Timedance 1: Neptune's Tears by Susan Waggoner

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Timedance 1: Neptune's Tears by Susan Waggoner

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Buy Timedance 1: Neptune's Tears by Susan Waggoner at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Teens
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Linda Lawlor
Reviewed by Linda Lawlor
Summary: It's 2218, and Zee has been working at a busy London hospital for two years. She has seen other empaths lose their ability and their calm by falling in love, and she is determined it will never happen to her. But then she meets David, a boy with an extraordinary secret.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: September 2012
Publisher: Piccadilly
ISBN: 9781848122727

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Shortlisted for Romantic Novelists Association Award 2013: The Young Adult Romantic Novel

The premise is both original and timeless: star-crossed lovers separated by an apparently unbreachable barrier. Two hundred years into the future, a healing empath meets a mysterious young man to whom she is immediately attracted. For Zee this could be a disaster, not only because falling in love so intensely is likely to damage her ability to do her work, but also because the boy has a secret so huge and terrifying it could destroy them both.

And Zee's work is increasingly important as her abilities develop. London, like other cities, is prey to attacks from terrorists who use bombs which destroy victims slowly, from the inside. Zee is one of the best empaths in the hospital, and without her gift, the injured could not be identified until it is too late to save them. Throughout the book, she has to struggle with her conscience as she tries to decide whether her own desires and happiness are more important than those of the people she has dedicated her life to saving.

Novels about the future often present a world destroyed by the greed and stupidity of humanity, full of machines and despair. They are frequently dominated by the struggle to survive, or to have the right to behave and think as one wishes. This book does not fall into that well-worn mould. Zee and her friends are comfortably housed, and when they're off-duty they go out to enjoy themselves like any other teenagers. True, there is terrorism, of a more subtle and insidious kind than in the present day, but it does not prevent them from dating, shopping, visiting their relatives or eating out.

Zee is a delightful and rounded character, trying her best despite her youth to cope with gifts that bring her face to face with humanity at its most vulnerable. She grows as a person during the course of the book, and meets some interesting people along the way. And the book is undeniably well-written. So, why the fairly low number of stars? Simply because a lot of the final part of the book feels like a set-up for the next one in the series.

It's never a comfortable feeling to get to the final pages of a book and to realise, with a sinking sensation, that no matter how condensed the narrative, the ending simply will not tie up all the loose ends. It feels like a betrayal to have been invited to spend time, emotion and even money on a story which does not satisfy. Yes, the incidents of this particular book find some sort of conclusion, and yes, it was a very good read up to that point, but when an important part of the plot is rushed, with a vague promise of answers in another book, then it is hard not to feel cheated. So many things remain nebulous, including the relevance of the items referred to in the title of the book, and the exact role of a secondary character who suddenly changes personality without any clear motivation. Readers will have to decide to decide for themselves whether they are prepared to wait until the second book is published before reading this one, or else accept a certain level of frustration.

For those who enjoy their sci-fi shot through with a dash of romance, Bookbag highly recommends Being by Kevin Brooks.

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Buy Timedance 1: Neptune's Tears by Susan Waggoner at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Timedance 1: Neptune's Tears by Susan Waggoner at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Timedance 1: Neptune's Tears by Susan Waggoner at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Timedance 1: Neptune's Tears by Susan Waggoner at Amazon.com.

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