Neptune’s Tears – Susan Waggoner

“It’s 2218 and Zee McAdams is in her second year as a healing empath at a busy London hospital. When a mysterious young man arrives for treatment, Zee’s hard won calm is pierced. She will need all her courage if she’s to follow her heart… Especially when David reveals a devastating secret.”

Neptune’s Tears is a young adult novel set in the future that follows the life of Zee McAdams, who works at a hospital in London – a familiar setting, but hospital treatment has been radically transformed. Patients are cured telepathically by empaths, and Zee is a brilliant empath – because she hasn’t been ‘pierced’, i.e. fallen in love. But one day her patient is a handsome, grey-eyed man and she feels an instant connection to him. Zee finds out that he is an alien, visiting from his home planet, Omura. Since the aliens first arrived on their planet, she had learnt to resent them – as a child, her father’s belief that the alienate would bring them great wisdom lead to near-ostracism by their friends and community. But she cannot stop falling for David. She has been pierced.

Working in a hospital, Zee is used to tragic incidents, but terrorist ‘shock bomb’ attacks start occurring frequently – attacks that cause internal injuries to anyone within radius of these bombs. She begins to realise that she can sense these impending events right before they about to happen and discovers that she’s a diviner – Zee has the ability to predict disaster and save people before it strikes. But she doesn’t want to be a diviner and have the weight of everyone’s lives on her shoulders – she just wants to be normal.

Unfortunately, her normal life with a normal boyfriend is not to be. She discovers that David didn’t tell her the full story when he told her about Omura, and finds out that he has travelled from the future – a bleak one, and one that makes it forbidden for them to be together. David’s every move is being tracked, which means their time is limited. Meanwhile, Zee has accepted her fate and started training as a diviner. Her newfound talents enable her to avert a major catastrophe, but shortly after the lovers are pulled apart…

Neptune’s Tears, part one of Waggoner’s Timedance series, is a clever book. Susan has created an intricate, believable world, weaving plenty of detail throughout the story to keep readers intruiged without causing confusion. However, when we first encounter the book’s namesake in the first few pages – Neptune’s Tears refers to a collection of jewellery made from rare Neptune Diamonds, designed by one of Zee’s patients – I assumed that they would play a large part in the book and was disappointed when they never reappeared. Perhaps they will show up again in Starlight’s Edge, the next book in the Timedance series… I look forward to finding out.

Many thanks to Piccadilly Press for the review copy.

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