09/29/2002 Entry: "James A. Hetley's THE SUMMER COUNTRY"
I wasn't sure what to expect when I began THE SUMMER COUNTRY by James A. Hetley. A first novel by a male author--could I expect the book to have a romance (for the purposes of this site)? Happily, Hetley's contemporary fantasy did not disappoint. It's a dark-edged, urban, Celtic fantasy story which reminded me a bit of Emma Bull's WAR FOR THE OAKS.
Maureen is a messed up young woman still traumatized from events in her childhood. The book starts on a dreary urban winter day on which an unearthly person, a fey creature, stalks Maureen. She's saved by the appearance of Brian Albion, a soldier who kills the stalker in a rather gory manner. Brian introduces Maureen to the world of magic, telling her it's her heritage. Brian and Maureen are both of the Old Ones--meaning a hybrid of human and an older Neandertal-like species--and are being stalked by other conscienceless Old Ones for their precious fertility.
This book is mainly Maureen's story, as she comes to grip with her mental illness and her issues with men during her fight for survival against her hunters/captors....--Preeti