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The Summer Country
James A. Hetley
Ace, 368 pages

Art: Lori Early
The Summer Country
James A. Hetley
James A. Hetley is an architect and retired Kempo karate instructor who lives in Maine. He also served three years in the U. S. Army during the Vietnam war, and has worked such diverse jobs as electronics instructor, trash collector, and operating engineer in a refrigeration plant. The Summer Country is his first novel.

James A. Hetley Website
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SF Site Review: The Summer Country

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Alisa McCune

The Summer Country by James A. Hetley is a wonderful first novel not to be missed.

Maureen Pierce is a very troubled young woman. She was sexually abused as a child, and as a result feels damaged. She feels like she wears a psychic chastity belt after the years of abuse. Maureen is unable to trust any man and has allowed her fears to push her into an existence that she loathes. Her sister, Jo has just stolen the man Maureen has spent the past two months allowing to get close to her -- David. The betrayal she feels erodes any sense of self-esteem she has fought for.

One fateful evening, Maureen is attacked in an alley by a very strange being -- it almost looks like a troll. Maureen's worst fear has come true -- someone is attacking her. To the rescue comes a knight in shinning armor -- Brian Albion -- a Pendragon Knight. Brian dispenses with Maureen's attacker and then continues to explain to Maureen that she is not a normal woman. She is a carrier of the 'Old Blood' and unaware of its power.

The Old World is literally the old world of magic. It's called the Summer Country and is home to magical beings of all kinds. Maureen's power is very desirable to the residents of the Summer Country. Most of the residents of this Celtic Otherworld are sterile. Maureen is not and that makes her a target. Women in the Summer Country are either sorceress or slaves. Dougal MacKenzie has decided Maureen is his perfect mate and he will do anything to posses her and her future children.

Brian has been sent to protect Maureen as best he can. The Pendragon Knight's are all that stand between the Summer Country and the 'real' world. Maureen does not play the damsel in distress and fights any protective measure Brian takes.

The Summer Country is a very fun book to read. It deals with many dark emotions, but is tempered by true love and friendship. The characters are well written and diverse. Maureen is such a wonderfully damaged person who decides to live and overcome her demons.

Copyright © 2004 Alisa McCune

Alisa discovered science fiction at the tender age of eight. She devoured The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and never looked back. She lives in Chicago with her husband, cat, and 5000 books. For more information please visit her website at

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