With Amber Tears by Jilly Paddock. Ebook review

With Amber Tears by Jilly Paddock, Pro Se ebook, £1.99, 2015

Reviewed by Sandra Unerman

Anna Marie Delany is a telepath with a psionic link to Zenni, an AI computer. In this far future novel, the second in a series, she is on the run from Earth Intelligence, the powerful agency at the centre of a galactic empire. On a distant planet, she falls into a trap, is separated from Zenni and left for dead. When she recovers, she is desperate to restore her link to Zenni. She must also find a way to deal with her enemies and with a gang of terrorist hijackers.

The novel starts slowly, with most of the first chapter providing background information and introducing characters whose importance does not become clear until later. After that, we are taken into Anna’s point of view and the narrative becomes much more engaging. She travels to Lysseya, an intriguing world with three suns and from there to a variety of other settings. Anna can teleport herself from one planet to another and can also move objects by telekinesis. I felt that her successes were too easily won as a result of all her powers. But I was glad to find a young woman portrayed in such a dominant role and Anna’s personality comes across effectively as headstrong and naive.

Paddock does not explore in any depth the implications of the science she has invented for her novel. She provides a political framework which may offer scope for more development in later books but the setting which comes across most vividly here is the planet Lysseya, where we share Anna’s interest in its people and their nocturnal way of life. But the focus throughout is on the action, rather than the setting or on character, in this lively, fast-paced adventure.