To die a stranger by Jilly Paddock



Immerse yourself into Jilly Paddock’s futuristic world of intrigue and mental sciences.

Synopsis: The time is the 26th century and mankind has just about recovered from the Dark, an ecological and political catastrophe that brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Life is good now, on Earth and the core planets of her trade empire, but not so much so on the poorer worlds. Earth preserves her dominance by means of covert manipulation and elimination of her enemies, that being the remit of Earth Intelligence, an amalgamation of a number of security organisations. EI have a secret weapon, a group of spies who can read minds, move objects without touching them and walk through walls, tricks worked not by magic but by pairing ordinary people with a computer that gives them access to psionics.
Anna-Marie Delany knows nothing of all this. She’s a bored little rich girl who takes on the alias of an actress in the holo-industry to spice up her life. She has some success and wins a lesser award or two before tragedy strikes and she almost dies in an aircar crash. As she recovers and regains her memory, she finds that the crash wasn’t an accident. Her attempts to uncover the truth bring her to EI’s attention and lead to a meeting with one of their psionic computers, but Zenith-alpha 4013 is flawed, unable to pair with any of the candidates offered by EI. It picks Anna as its partner, changing both of them forever.

Thoughts: 246 pages of sci-fi goodness. If you enjoy a thoroughly intriguing read, then sink your teeth into this one. It took me 2 glorious days to read; I pretty much forgot how to function as a human.

Where to buy: Amazon has the book for kindle for $3.99.

Review: Oh, now, what to tell you about ‘To Die A Stranger’?

Firstly, more people should be reading this little gem. The storyline, the characters and the written craft are top-notch. Jilly explores the senses, she throws you deep into the characters psyche and drags you back out kicking and screaming once you’ve set up a place there.

Do you dare take the plunge into this fantastic futuristic world of hers?

At first I didn’t like Anna-Marie/Amaranth, our heroine (this, I think may have been intentional) but not too far into the bulk of the story, I was converted. I enjoyed the mingling of science-fiction with a psychology tinge with space exploration and intelligence agency spy action. Also, the inner dialogue going on in Anna’s head had me smirking quite often, which lent itself to softening the harsh edges of the sci-fi/action storyline.

I think most people will read this and come to love Anna, just as I did. She sort of grows on you slowly, taking her time to let you into her inner self.

Throughout the story, Jilly threw in a few twists and turns, some a little predictable and others not so much, but they were all well constructed and just seemed to fit.

I don’t think I’ve read much else like this. I liked the partnering of the Zenith computer and Anna, the exploration of psionics and also the great story of triumphing over adversity that Anna goes through after the aircar crash.

I was, and still am very pleased to find out that Jilly has a few more stories in this style/genre coming, I will certainly be picking those up when they’re available.

I found one typo:
99% – “More than you could possible (possibly) realise.”


5 thoughts on “To die a stranger by Jilly Paddock

  1. No news on the novel publication front yet, but they have taken one of my short stories, The Third Worst Thing That Can Happen On Mars. It will come out from Pro Se Press, but I’m not sure when.

  2. Well done picking up that typo – I miss ones like that 😀 I love the cover of this book and your review – I may give it a try 😉

    • I know I miss plenty in my own work, but when a document is new to me I tend to be hypersensitive to them. Great for people whos books I read though 😀

      I have quite enjoyed all of Jilly’s work that I have read (just finished another novella by her), only one left to go. Jilly did contact me after my review went live on GR and she also happened to advise that To Die a Stranger is being considered for publication by a small press, so it might be taken down from Amazon if it gets accepted. Best get in now if you’re keen to read it.

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