Books : reviews

Ann Maxwell.
Pinnacle. 1975

rating : 5 : waste of time
review : 15 September 1996

Selena is a 'paren' (has paranormal abilities) on an Earth run by a fanatically anti-paren government. She's caught, and condemned to death, but rescued at the last moment by Mark Currien (the 'romance' interest) of the paren underground, and taken to the colony planet Paren.

It's explained early on that parens are more 'emotional' than normals; presumably to explain the violent and implausible mood swings that Selena and Mark undergo.

She's put in charge of using her talents to tame various animals. The Rynlon, an alien race friendly to the parens, bring a large alien feline to Paren. Selena is the only one who can communicate with it. Later she goes to its planet, Change, where she meets the rest of Changelings, a whole race of large telepathic sentient felines, who train her own abilities. When Earth launches an attack on Paren, Selena and the Changelings return to help in the fight.

I read the "Dancer" series some time ago now, and remember enjoying them, so when I saw an Ann Maxwell unknown to me, I bought it. I was a little taken aback at the shiny pink cover, and slightly alarmed that this copy was a recent reprint from 'Pinnacle Futuristic Romance'; but what the heck, SF is always being misclassified. [I have since discovered that 'Ann Maxwell' is a pseudonym for Elizabeth Lowell, who is a romance writer. Oh well.]

But this wasn't misclassified. And worse still, it wasn't even a very good romance. However, in the very choppy plot, I could just about spot some potentially interesting SF seeds that probably made me enjoy the others, and made this one a 5 rather than a 6.