Book Review of Amaryllis (Curtain: St. Helen's, Bk 1)

Amaryllis (Curtain: St. Helen's, Bk 1)
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Helpful Score: 2


Writing as Jayne Castle, Judith Ann Krentz has a series of books set on far off worlds, originally colonized by Earth, but now cut off from their home world. Amaryllis, Zinnia, and Orchid are the first (in that order), set on the planet of St Helens where psychic energy is evolving to replace no-longer working Earth-based technology.

In these first forays into a futuristic setting for this author, the off-world details occasionally feel a little awkward. None of these 3 made me feel like reading an entire book in one sitting. That said, They kept my interest, the characters are interesting, and there is a mystery to solve as the hero and heroine fall in love in each book. From Amaryllis to Orchid, the books seem to become more polished and entertaining as the series develops.

The other-world marriage customs (using matchmaking agencies) were believable, but some of the descriptions of the technology and psychic powers felt less real, and the author just did NOT know what to do with other-worldly plants, animals, and by-products. In particular the practice of naming plant and animal items on the new planet with hyphenated versions of Earth names, drove me *crazy,* i.e. coff-tea, "shaggy six-legged ox-mules," honey-syrup, bee-flies, twin-snakes. Argghhh! And yet, they have (non-hyphenated) cars, trees, clocks, and phones.

If the frequent consuming of coff*hyphenated*tea doesn't get to you like it did me, you will enjoy getting into Ms. Castle's new universe.