Friday, 27 May 2011

DW: Dead of Winter

The next round of DW books kicks off with... Dead of Winter by James Goss.

Short version: it sucks. Long version: it sucks and blows.

The TARDIS crashes and Amy, Rory and the Doctor end up at a Italian health resort in 1783. There is some extremely transparent identity confusion, and it gets extremely painful to get through the first 100 pages. After that, the book becomes more streamlined, with running around and sort of avoiding monsters (in that they are sort of monsters). I will admit the final 'defeat' of the creature is the one interesting item in the entire book, but otherwise this is an annoying waste of time.

It's just that it takes so long to get nowhere. There's a lot of pages passing by, but nothing really happens, and so much that does happen is pointless and then retrod. We're ahead of the game, and treading pages for everyone else to get on with it.

And then, and this really annoyed me, there is the method of the narrative device. A lot of this story is presented as letters, or journal entries. Which relate huge chunks of dialogue. Really? No-one writes that in letters in reality. You can't remember conversations at the level of exact words. At best phrases, and topics, but not exact sentences. And then some letters are left off in the middle of a climax. "I must write to tell you that I was walking along... and then I was stabbed in the back! Your loving daughter," Again, no, it doesn't work like that. Who would write that and leave the letter there? You are clearly writing, so obviously it's not a cliffhanger. It's not like some present tense dictation of events, in which you can be interrupted, no this is clearly done after. It makes no damn sense!

In all, one interesting plot point (which I've just realised is a variant on the Explosive Overclocking trope), and a nice cover, but otherwise completely avoid this book.


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