In 2023, Fitz and Trix are interrogated by the Russian
division of UNIT regarding a burglary and fire at the Kremlin.
As for the Doctor, he has been spirited away to the year 5000
with one of the time-travelling burglars. But how can a world
war in the future be connected with Napoleon Bonaparte's advance
across Russia in 1812...?
plot strands taking place across several physical and temporal
locations with no immediately apparent connection make for
some perplexing reading at first. Unlike the two timelines
in last month's Wolfbane, this novel doesn't remain
focused on any particular set of characters for very long
during its first half, which really doesn't help the reader
to settle into the story. By about halfway through, though,
Simon A. Forward's book has become less bitty, with longer
stretches of the narrative being devoted to each of the converging
such plot strand concerns the future war mentioned in the
Tom Baker story The Talons of Weng-Chiang, from which
the evil Magnus Greel fled through time using his Zygma beam.
Greel is mentioned in passing by several characters, but not
by the Doctor, who has no memory of those events, although
he is somehow familiar with Zygma energy, which has a bearing
upon this story.
year 5000 setting also offers a character called Mogushestvo,
whose physical mutation and propensity to rant at prisoners
and underlings alike makes him markedly similar to Greel.
But Mogushestvo is a bit player rather than a major villain.
A more significant role is played by Vladimir Garudin, a 21st-century
industrialist and a truly despicable and immoral piece of
work. However, the author seems to run out of things to do
with Garudin some time prior to the novel's conclusion. In
fact, there is no main villain as such, unless you count love
itself, which drives many of the book's characters to carry
out questionable or damaging deeds.
writing style retains his characteristic penchant for bizarre
similes, which illuminate the narrative throughout. These
include such gems as when the Doctor drinks in the Siberian
landscape "like some elixir with too much ice and lemon" or
when Garudin's "charm" comes across to Trix like "slime masquerading
as a smoothie."
though, the novel's ending turns out to be as bitty as its
this item online
compare prices online so you get the cheapest
(Please note all prices exclude P&P - although
Streets Online charge a flat £1 fee regardless
of the number of items ordered). Click on the
logo of the desired store below to purchase
All prices correct at time of going to press.