Alrighty, totally honest review time here. Having been fortunate enough to win the book(through Goodreads First Reads), I feel that I owe a review in return…although in this case it certainly is no chore.
Now, the world of independently and self-published books is fraught with hits and misses, there really isn’t any guaranty of quality. For many people, this uncertainty keeps them away from such publications, staying with the major publishing houses. Of course, even the best of authors can have a problem getting a break with a publisher and those are the authors and books that many people end up missing out on.
If you don’t read independently published books, then you have not read SufferStone. If you have not read SufferStone, you are missing out on one of the best books that I’ve read in a while. I don’t give out five stars for just any book.
The book itself is billed as Science Fiction, though I’d be more inclined to call it anthropological fiction set against a sci-fi backdrop. Readers will find no bug-eye aliens here, no starship battles, or anything of the sort. What SufferStone delivers is powerful human drama that unfolds from the viewpoints of several characters. The fact that it takes place on another world is almost secondary, merely a storytelling device than anything else. Simply put, the story just encompasses so many things, and is balanced so well that it doesn’t even seem like fiction.
Author Stella Atrium does not needlessly rush, or prolong this story. Her sense of pacing is spot on perfect, drawing the reader in and holding them spellbound as she weaves a tale that is not alien on our own world… a tale of a corporation that seeks to subjugate the local natives and take the resources of the land. This type of story rings true because it is true. One only need to look at the plunder of Africa’s resources under colonial rule to find ample examples.
Yet, easy as it would be to just tell a story about an “evil corporation”, SufferStone is a tale of people; a story of their cultures, their philosophies, and their struggles. One finds themselves caring about them all, basking in their victories and bemoaning their losses. The author isn’t afraid to mete the occasional emotional gut-punch to the reader either. This author has no fear, for the story seems to unfold as it must. It isn’t forced, or cliche, it just…is.
SufferStone goes far beyond a matter of me recommending this book. It moves to the area where I question why you have not read it. Read it, you cannot regret it.