The Doctor knows that Ace is going to die. In London, 1959,
he does all he can to prevent her death, but in the process
he discovers further anomalies: swarms of giant ants, an astronaut
from another dimension, and a disturbing fetish for cyber-conversion...
the Alien starts out as a rather garbled mixture of elements.
Perry and Tucker follow up the prediction of Ace's death in
Tucker's solo novel Prime Time, while also cramming
in gigantic ants, augmented apes, James Dean, and the exploitation
of cyber-technology left behind from the Cybermen's invasion
in the authors' earliest collaboration, Illegal Alien.
Indeed, this book is a partial sequel to Illegal Alien,
and also features the return of private investigator Cody
McBride and police inspector Mullen. Add to all that some
elements that evoke the adventures of Bernard Quatermass -
the existence of a British Rocket Group and an astronaut called
Kneale - and you have a fairly hefty concoction.
certain ways, this book is like the similarly over-egged pudding
that was Gary Russell's Instruments of Darkness. That
novel also picked up story elements from books written many
years ago. Unless you've recently had cause to re-read Illegal
Alien, you will find yourself having to cast your mind
back six years, almost to the beginning of BBC Books' Doctor
Who publishing programme in 1997.
Happily, Loving the Alien rises above its shortcomings
more successfully than Instruments of Darkness did.
Gradually you see the ways in which all (well, most of) the
disparate elements fit together. This is particularly startling
during the scenes set in a strange locality in which American
reporter Rita Hawks finds the food curiously dissatisfying.
However, the business with the British Rocket Group remains
an unnecessary complication, and I could also have done without
the giant ants.
Occasionally the authors forget that their story is set in
the 1950s when writing dialogue - one of the characters refers
to Rambo, for example - but in other regards their work remains
almost as readable as ever.
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