Cover Image: Under the Midnight Sun

Under the Midnight Sun

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Member Reviews

A highly enjoyable if a bit short read. Fantasy loosely based in a Viking set-up with poly amorous couples and lgbtq+ relationships. A bit short for the stories telling and pacing, which could improve, but still good
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Excellent worldbuilding but the actual romance parts felt a bit cut short. I'd enjoy reading more of this anyway as a fantasy book on it's own!
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** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **
Copy received through Netgalley

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Under the Midnight Sun, by Lore Graham
★★★★★
105 Pages
POV: 3rd person, one character
Content Warning: depictions of violence and death, mentions of lovers lost during battle


I absolutely loved this! It's been a while since I read a really good Viking story, and this was exactly what I'd hoped it would be, when I first read the blurb and requested it from Netgalley.

The worldbuilding is spot on – it's obvious right from the start that this is a Viking-esque world, what the politics and living conditions are like, and who the central characters are – and it's well written in a way that brings balance between showing/telling, description and dialogue. I loved that it was clear from the start – with two Kings and Otto's brother having married another man – that this was a world that accepted gay relationships as the norm. While there was little information about how the females functioned in the world, I appreciated the equality women were afforded, that they all seemed happy and were accepted as warriors and mages, just as equally as they were accepted as mothers. There was an overall sense that this was a world of acceptance and appreciation.

The use of modern dialogue and speech patterns in a historical book would normally drive me batty, but it felt natural here. Perhaps because of the writing style and word choices of the main writing, but also because of the realism of the characters.

There was a lot to love about this book. There was a lot of diversity with the characters, who were all individuals and interesting in their own way. I cared about Otto as a central character immediately, and was intrigued by Lukas from the start, while the secondary characters all had a purpose. I felt it had the right level of worldbuilding for the story, that the writing style was perfect for me, and there was a good, intriguing, well paced plot that kept me interested all the way through. The chemistry between the central couple was clear and a slow burn that meant the adventure aspect of the plot could shine. All in all, while I loved all of this about the book, it was the characters and their journey that sucked me into the story and kept me hooked from page one to the end. I felt connected to the two central characters and wanted to see them get their happily ever after. I'll definitely be reading more by this author in the future.

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Favourite Quotes

“something told Otto there were caves and catacombs beneath Lukas's modest, stony exterior.”
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I was lucky to get an e-arc of this book through netgalley.

Under the midnight sun is a fast paced novella with LGBTQA+ and viking themes. 
I was intrigued by the cover and the name. 
In the beginning we were introduced to a lot of characters, and I'll be honest and say that put me off in the beginning. I put the book down and decided it would just be a book I didn't finish. Two days ago I decided to sit down and give it another try. Once past the introduction I found myself sucked into an universe I couldn't wait to explore. 
I was a little sad when I found out we wouldn't learn more about some of the characters we were introduced to in the beginning, and I would have liked to know more about the different people on their adventure, not just Otto and Lukas. 
I would also like to know more about the different gods, and how/if they're workshipped. The monsters would also be amazing to learn more about, and I feel more like this is an introduction to this universe than the only book where we explore it. 
I really enjoyed this book, and it's one I can see myself re-reading at some point. The only thing is that I wish we had gotten the chance to explore this universe and its inhabitants further.
I really enjoyed Lore's writing style, and I will definitely find more of zirs books to read them as well!
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Overall this was an enjoyable read, though I did feel that it was largely a vehicle to write smut. I would have appreciated more attention to some of the details like more clearly defining the women's relationships as well or the biases against warriors and healers being one and the same. I loved the development of the relationship though and the respect being earned for listening and responsibility instead of just respect because of nobility. 

(Weirder side complaint but for smut writing, it felt very modern, particularly the use of arsehole in an otherwise Vikings-esque fantasy world.  Kind of took me out of the world a bit).
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I really liked the world Lore Graham created in Under the Midnight Sun, however, the pacing on the novella is off. It's a shorter book and too much time was spent on describing various things that happen on the journey instead of the climax and ending. Another few thousand words added to the end fight and to the conclusion would have really brought this book up for me. In the end the romance wasn't well fleshed out either and none of the characters had meaningful communication on the page either.
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This was an interesting novella. I appreciate the attempt for Nordic mythology of sorts. This may not be for everyone because it is short, but also somewhat slow as far as the development goes between Otto and Lukas. 

The world had a lot of detail and more that I thought was interesting. I just don't have the same appreciation for novellas as I do fill novels because of little things like that. It's an interesting and arguably rich world story wise, but because it's a novella, there's not much depth, seemingly, to the story.

I wish it were longer or perhaps a series and ,more detailed in the next.
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In Under the Midnight Sun, the eldest son of Thunderhill’s warrior-kings, Otto Johanson lives for battle but has forsaken love since the death of his partner three years ago. Still when the Midsummer festivities bring nomadic reindeer herders back to town, Otto can’t help but notice the handsome, if sullen, Lukas.

Tension rises between them during the annual tournament, but when a terrible attack devastates Thunderhill, Otto and Lukas must put aside their burgeoning rivalry to embark on a dangerous quest that may be the town’s only hope of survival. 

Goodreads
I received an eARC of Under the Midnight Sun from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Lore Graham and I are part of the same writer’s group.

I was excited to read Under the Midnight Sun when I learned it was going to be released. This is an enemies-to-lovers m/m romance with great worldbuilding. I loved the magic ze built into the world and built their plot around.

Under the Midnight Sun needs content warnings for multiple explicitly sexual scenes, scenes of graphic violence, and depictions of animal death.

While Graham is skilled at building a world, I think that ze could have put more into the development of the roles of zir female characters.

It’s very typical in Under the Midnight Sun for men to marry another man, and then to take wives to raise children and care for the household. There are a few female characters that are warriors and green mages, but there’s no romances discussed for them or any discussion of their options in this society. I think that this would be a simple thing to change about the portrayal of this universe, and would make it a much more pleasant reading experience for me. 

Overall, I liked this book. I thought there were too many sex scenes for its length (no pun intended), but I was feeling particularly meh about sex when I read it, so take that with a grain of salt. I would definitely read another book in this universe – perhaps about Petra or Britta. If this sounds more your thing, you can pick up a copy on Amazon or through the publisher.
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A pretty solid story, if a bit on the short side. I know what you're thinking, 'well you knew how long it was before you started reading it', but some authors can tell a complete and well rounded story in a hundred pages and some need a little bit more time. This was an example of the later but it was still a fun read and definitely an interesting base for what could be a larger universe. 

It's set in a fantasy world that seems to be loosely based on Vikings but where people generally form poly-amorous marriages of two men and a varying number of women. I would have liked this aspect of the culture to be explained more in depth but it was kind of just there to set up the fact that same sex couples are accepted in this world. Most of the plot centers more on finding and killing the bear, although there are a few steamy scenes and overall I was happy with the balance of plot and romance. Overall a pretty decent short read.
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Unfortunately, I did not finish this book.  I reached about chapter four and decided to put it down. I was very confused and didn’t understand the bands, burgs... etc...    I did like the LGTB rep but I was also confused, was everyone gay?  The males has husbands but took wives for children? So what of the wives?    I think this would be a great book for someone who could understand it more!
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My only real complaint about this title is its brevity.  Yes, I know that novellas are supposed to be brief, but there's some solid worldbuilding here, with little shining nuggets of lore studded throughout.  At times it felt like the prologue to a much larger fantasy epic.  I would happily invest in a five-book series exploring this world and the characters and monsters that live there.
As for the plot itself?  Honestly, I expected it to be a bit...raunchier.  There are a few steamy bits here and there, but they are brief, infrequent, and dont actually contribute much to the realization of the characters or their relationship.  The budding romance between Otto and Lukas takes a backseat to the heroes' quest to find and slay Ursa Magnus, which is either refreshing or frustrating, depending on the reader's expectations.  Personally, I prefer my romance as a side dish to the main course, but readers hungry for more hot, sweaty man-lovin' might be left wanting.

Overall, I'd say it's a decent entry in a niche genre that doesn't get much love or respect.  I'd be interested to see the author explore this setting further.
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As much as I enjoyed it with all the myths and likeable characters, it felt rushed. Too many things unexplained. Too many things just happened, just like that. The steamy scenes were a bit weird to read; there aren't many penises synonymous and the ones used sounded funny in that explicit context. They made me laugh, breaking the atmosphere of a promising naughty scene.

The book was too short. I think that with some adjustments and some more chapter between some scenes, this could be a great book. A solid 4-star, maybe even 5! It has a lot of potential but I feel it was left unfulfilled. 

The love story, as sweet as it was, felt forced when it began. I loved how Otto was starting to feel his heart longing for someone after being in mourning for three years, but then things just happened. Not many words said and they were already madly and nakedly in love. It felt weird given how grumpy and borderline rude Lukas was to Otto from the beginning. 

Loved their freedom of loving whoever they wanted, and the society not having problems with who you decided to be with. It was refreshing not witnessing the usual hiding ones attraction because it's forbidden or illegal or looked as unnatural. Felt good.

It was an enjoyable book, if short, that I didn't want to put down even if it was somewhat predictable so it didn't make me worry about the characters' wellbeing. Still, I'm glad I requested this book and read it.
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Too short and lacking depth. I think that i would've liked it way more if the story was more developed.
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