The Summerlands

A Novel by Susan Butler Colwell

“Debut author Colwell hits the ground running with this quirkily endearing magical metaphysical fantasy that delves deeply into nothing less than the construction of the universe.”
Booklife by Publishers Weekly

 

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The Summerlands is a work of metaphysical fiction that speaks to the heart… characters you’ll fall in love with, sumptuous visuals, and glimpses into the realm we belong to when we are not so busy believing we are human. This book will breathe magic into your soul.

About The Book

The following is a Booklife by Publishers Weekly Review:

At twenty-one, Sera Parker finds her way from the palatial Sherman Hill orphanage of her youth to Leesburg, Virginia, guided by the only mother-figure she’s known, Celeste, and her own intuition. Upon arrival, she finds herself among curiously familiar strangers until the day her true memories and self come back to her — in truth, she’s surrounded by people she’s loved since time immemorial. What follows is a thrill-ride of discovery as she faces the mysteries of who she is, why she’s missing memories, and just what, exactly, her role will be in the battle between the forces of light and dark.

In an epic feat of world-building, the author delicately balances action with herculean amounts of exposition. While some of the large swaths of information, covering angels, demons, elementals, and souls, can be overwhelming, bogging down the narrative flow, Colwell takes exceptional effort to ensure readers are fully immersed in Sera and her journey, even when the story meanders. Interactions in the Summerlands and some situations — telepathically chatting over ice cream with an elder in the form of an Earth-plane dog, for example — may come across to some readers as over the top, though it’s just that embrace of possibilities that marks the boundaries among the realms.

One of the most appealing aspects of the novel, aside from its beautifully rendered expressions of emotion, is the unique blend of science fiction and somewhat simplistic metaphysics combined with the relatable psychology of a person rediscovering and exploring their own identity. That, in conjunction with the artfully sketched cast of secondary characters, helps create the start of a series as endearing as it is thoughtful. Cleverly added musical and pop culture references also add a pop of surprise delight.

Takeaway: This debut novel, first in a planned series, offers an engaging blend of science-fiction, metaphysics and fantasy centered around the exploration of self.

Great for fans of: Devon Monk’s Ordinary Magic series, Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series

 

I loved the author’s explicit descriptive skill. Her descriptions were more than just creative; it was as if she had a first-hand experience of the metaphysical. As earlier stated, it seemed like she had seen an archangel or a metaphysical element before and probably interacted with them. They felt real to me as I read the book. The actions and battles were also well narrated and described to feed the reader’s imagination.

Online Book Club

To the there and back again, Susan Butler Colwell launches into an imaginative romp into other dimensions, including the book title, The Summerlands. An adventurous exploration of eternal love involving elementals and archangels, this joyous escape (but real…right?) made me laugh out loud at times due to the author’s clear-voiced, witty characters. Written with authority, a keen sense of humor, and dynamic fight scenes, I’m eager for the next book in the series.

Kristina I.

I laughed out loud at one point and startled myself.
It has been a long time since I was so thoroughly engrossed in a written story…thank you Susan Butler Colwell.
Gwen P.

The Summerlands is a magical, mystical masterpiece. The heavenly beings in the story are such well-developed characters I find myself wanting to have a conversation with each one.

Helen K.

This journey has a little bit of something for everyone….action, romance, drama, magic, and even the occasional sarcastic quip (a personal favorite).

Pamela B.

The Summerlands was very captivating and mesmerizing. I didn’t want to put it down. It was full of never-ending love and friendships and unconditional love. I can’t wait for more.

Bonnie F.

I have to say this genre of book is not what I usually read, but I was totally swept up in Seraphina’s mystical life. It has a little bit of everything — intrigue, mystery, laugh out loud humor, action, romance, and it takes you on a magical journey that is a totally fun experience! Whether you read the book or listen to the audio, you will enjoy every minute!

Nancy O.