Charlotte Pudding, computer psychologist and recent orphan, is not precisely thrilled with her lot in life (and not just because of the ‘orphan’ bit).
Nevertheless, having her routine disrupted by a shadowy corporation, a man who claims to be a retired god, and the secrets of her own family history isn’t a walk in the park, either.
Charlotte’s quest for answers will lead her on a perilous journey into a religion based on quantum physics, a hunt for unexpectedly rare plant oil, and a fight to the shame against a black-belt in sarcasm.
In a world that runs on peace and harmony, Charlotte is about to discover just how far some people are prepared to go to maintain tranquillity
I recently read the science-fiction novel Engines of Empathy (Drakeforth Series, #1) by New-Zealand born author Paul Mannering.
The protagonist of this quirky science fiction thriller is Londonite Charlotte Pudding. Quickly introduced to a world where everything runs of the empathic energy of people, from cars, fridges, toasters and elevators- a situation arises when empathetic energy stored in giant batteries begins to fail.
Charlotte, a sensible but sometimes quick with a quip, is harassed to find her heirloom family desk may hold one of the greatest mysteries and scandals of empathetic energy. Forced in to an acquaintance and partnership with Vole Drakeforth – a man of dubious means and doubtful character- Charlotte is quickly embroiled in secrets, lies, coverups and scandals which have lasted generations and their exposure threaten the very future of empathic energy.
Engines of Empathy was a well-planned, easily inducted world-building for a science fiction that didn’t bog down in detail but introduced it along with the characters and their lives. It was one of the best science fiction world-building I’ve had the pleasure to read for some time. The quirky characters and ridiculous scenarios added to the sense of a Discworld novel. But there is also real depth to Engines of Empathy which made it stand out.
A great recommended read for lovers of comedic science-fiction, innovate world-building, mystery, suspense and rollicking good fun. A must read!
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