Saturday, 12 December 2009

TW: The Undertaker's Gift

Took a while, but I got around to the second book: The Undertaker's Gift by Trevor Baxendale.

Torchwood are to blame for not taking care of the twenty-first century, and so are bestowed with the Undertaker's Gift. And that's not the only problem going on. As a story, it's mainly all action, with one thing or another getting in the way, and there's lot's of cutting between people and various menaces that have to be fought...

And hardly any character development, aside from some for some of the extras. However, given that in previous book "character development" was taken to mean "here's more badly delivered exposition about their backstory", I'm not complaining. Indeed, nice to have a book that just got on with things.

There is a mention of Risk Assessment, but understandably Baxendale ignores that ending (and would have been unlikely to deal with it unless there was a lot more collaboration between the authors). However, with the events heating up in this book, I was beginning to wonder if the style of this set of books was 'let's do what we want, never mind the TV continuity' (no idea how much of Children of Earth the authors had seen when they developed their stories). To get around his events, Baxendale gives us a very heavy handed plot device that just is too convenient to set well with the rest of the story, and instead feels like an idea he had that he wanted to use, but couldn't fit into the story properly.

Character wise, the regulars are not that deep, fitting in with the more action focused story, and we get two main extras who are given some depth. It's a fine balance between developing them and having a book with Torchwood in it, and Baxendale does get close to the edge. But I had somewhat forgotten them by the end...

A decent run-around, and a good escapist read.


1 comment:

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