Five Stars -- LibraryThing
reviewer Jacquie Talento
I was very fortunate enough to win this book on a LibraryThing giveaway. Sufferstone is one of the most completely unique books I have ever read and I found myself wrapped up in it and unable to put it down.
Ms. Atruim has created a masterpiece with Sufferstone. She is a wonderful writer and I found this was an exciting read for me. I hadn’t found any science fiction fantasy that kept my interest until I read this one.
Her character, Kyle Le is very strong willed and someone you would want fighting on your side. This is one book I would love to see made into a movie. Wonderful job Ms. Atrium.
I’ve always hoped for some of the books I read to contain a glossary in the back of the book giving me some kind of description of the places and the people and I finally found one that added to my excitement.
Guest interview on website of International Best Selling Author
Guest blog post with fellow writer Emerald Barnes.
Guest interview with Hawaiian mystery writer Gail Baugniet.
Five Stars -- GoodReads
reviewer Frank Hicks, Jr.
This book grabbed me right in the first paragraph and pretty much held my attention all the way to end; that really isn't the end.
But note that you are told right up front that this is book #1 of The Dolvia Saga so don't expect a really great ending in this book. Still, by the time you get to the end you are ready for a break exhausted with all the suspense and work along the way.
Although Miller talks about going to Montana to raise horses he is stuck in outer space struggling to find his niche and survive a Universe that isn't all black and white. This is a person who works the angles and seeks out survival when it doesn't seem possible; never-the-less he is one who will also ride a white horse for a good cause.
Following him around in the frontiers of space and share the adventure and problems he gets into as he works with those being taken advantage of. It's a fascinating read.
Five Star -- GoodReads
reviewer Phoenix Carvelli
Very descriptive and great character development throughout the book. A wonderful job was done differentiating the various tribes and character groups. I look forward to the next book in the series.
Three Stars -- GoodReads
FIREFLY! That was the first thing that came to my mind after reading the first chapter our so. I love Firefly, a show that used to be on the Sci-Fi Channel (Bring back Firefly!). I could tell from the start I would like this book.
Stella Atrium created a completely different world. Her work is literally out of this world! Haha. The beginning was fast. Characters were introduced, personalities were established. The middle was full of suspense, turmoil, trouble! Atrium keeps the readers on their toes, wondering what's going to happen to everyone, until the very end, which isn't really the end (yay more books in the series!).
I'm so thankful I had the opportunity the read this book. It's intriguing, full of life, as well as suffering. A grand, neverending adventure!
Five Stars -- Amazon.com
Stella Atrium has written an amazing fantasy, space opera. SufferStone combines cultures, corruption, and mysticism to create an "out of this world" novel that will keep readers interested from start to finish. Well written, well thought out, this new work will not disappoint. Highly Recommended!
Three Stars -- POD People
reviewer Chris Gerrib
Some books are easy to review, whiles others, not so much. For me, SufferStone falls into the latter category. Stella Atrium, the author, is local to me (Chicago) and I think I've seen her around at various science fiction functions. I found out about the book via an email, and I asked for a copy to be sent to me. So, on one hand, I want to recommend this book. On the other...
Stella's web page and back-of-book blurb says in part, "I began to wonder why the protagonist in a sci-fi or fantasy story was always a man, even when the writer was female." This baffled me, since I'm a big fan of Elizabeth Moon, who writes books chock full of female characters. I suspect it would baffle Ms. Moon, who recently had a bit of a rant on the "missing" female characters. (Hint - they're not missing at all.)
At any rate, when I started reading SufferStone, I was expecting a female protagonist. I was wrong - the first 91 pages are told from the point of view of a man, one Brian Miller of Earth. He also tells the conclusion of the story. This got me thinking about other world-building questions. Miller is from Earth, and works with / around the Company, an autocratic entity controlled by Chinese and given near-Imperial powers. Okay, fine - humans have colonized at least part of the galaxy. Miller is sent to Dolvia, a planet being colonized by humans. Except there's already a large human presence there, which has been on-planet long enough to develop tribal customs and relationships with the planet. How did the humans get there?
Another factor which drives the book is a decision by the Company to mine uranium at a site sacred to the locals. In the book, the author has miners getting radiation burns from uranium. Well, here on Earth, naturally-occurring uranium doesn't have nearly enough radioactivity to do that. In fact, the main threat of uranium mining is inhaling radon gas in closed mines, which will eventually cause lung cancer. Some of the other authorial decisions had me scratching my head. Miller is tasked with getting a local clothing mill operating on Dolvia. That dominates the first 91 pages, and once we get to more substantial events, all the action is off-stage. Lastly, Atrium has invented a native language in which the same character can have multiple names, sometimes in the same sentence, and I found myself struggling to keep track of who was who.
In short, SufferStone is probably not the book I would have written. On the other hand, I did find myself being drawn into the book. Based on what I had written above, I would have expected to not finish SufferStone. But finish it I did. I found it oddly fascinating, and something about the book kept drawing me into it. I think part of what pulled me in was seeing the patterns of imperialism playing out again. I also think that Ms. Atrium made me care about the characters, thus I cared what happened to them. So, I'm putting SufferStone down as an interesting read.