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Engines of Empathy

Publisher’s Description

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.

Final Thoughts

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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