'The Amber Rooms' is the third book featuring Saskia Brandt written by Ian Hocking. Produced nearly a decade after the first, 'Déjà Vu', was originally written, it is easy to the ongoing maturing of Hocking's writing skills. Written entirely from Brandt's perspective, Hocking limits you to the knowledge that the character herself has, a style used successfully by other great SF authors like CJ Cherryh. You are limited to the protagonist's experiences, with little exposition of the plot through info-dumps. As Brandt is not full cognisant of the time-travel technology and motivations that have come to dominate her life, you meet the surprises as she does and have an incomplete set of information to work from to gain understanding on what is going on. This does make the novel feel much less lightweight that the first book, but I found the approach refreshing and interesting. I think a fourth book without some more meat on what is going on would be frustrating, but this doesn't reach that point.
The first book succeeded because the energy and twists of the plot carried the story forward at such a pace it was hard to put down. This latest novel starts slowly, but kicks into a higher gear once the 'Amber Rooms' of the title are reached.It is set in the last days of Tsarist Russia, with the protagonists including Lenin and Stalin. A good deal of research has clearly been done, which comes close to becoming overwhelming, but now quite. There is a sequence where non paradox-constrained time travel is explored, which also fills in many of the gaps in knowledge about what Brandt has been doing since the end of the previous novel, 'Flashback', whilst stepping on the plot accelerator at the same time.
I found the book altogether satisfying, but a very different experience to the first two in the sequence. Technology is not front and centre in the story, but serves to underpin the whole plot. Recommended.