Beyond the Summerland by L.B. Graham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
3.5/5. The world-building and storytelling in this book were phenomenal. Also, the author does a reasonable job of developing the characters (though some more than others) and I cared about what happened to them, and I was fully immersed in their world.
However I couldn’t rate this higher for the following reasons:
* The women are for the most part weak, powerless, underdeveloped, and useless. They’re objects of affection for the men.
* To the above point, this book is male-dominated. Allfather (the “God” that everyone worships) only seems to speak to men. All of the teachers are men, all of the prophets and mythical beings are men, the men do most of the fighting, only the men have powers, gifts, foresight. Women are just wives, mothers, and love interests, who can’t think or find their way out of any trouble without the men there to rescue them.
* The storytelling was good, yes, but the writing was so-so. Grammatical errors, weird instances where it lapsed into first-person, awkward character point-of-view shifts, etc. The pacing was strange, with some sections dragging and others summarized quickly.
* The ending was frustrating. 🙁
I’m willing to forgive all of the above faults except for the first two. If L.B. Graham made the women stronger and developed them a bit more, this would be the PERFECT fantasy series. Sigh. I’m still going to pick up Book #2 and hope the women are better in the that one!