The solar system is being spring-cleaned. Jupiter's moons
are to be drastically reduced in number to improve its feng
shui. But with eco-terrorists taking an active and deadly
interest in the work, corrupt officials lining their own pockets,
and incompetence leading to the demolition of the wrong moon,
the Doctor, Fitz and Trix realise that not everything is as
aesthetic or as innocent as it seems...
its doom-laden title, To the Slaughter is a decidedly
fun and frivolous space-hopping adventure. The plot verges
on farce at times, with much comical hiding under desks, hitting
people with pans and running up and down corridors. For the
most part, the only slaughter that we are party to is the
threatened demolition of scores of Jupiter's moons, though
a more bloody massacre, reminiscent of a zombie movie, erupts
range editor Stephen Cole knows his regular characters well,
and their wry observations help the rather densely typed pages
to fly by. Even Trix, the character with whom the author is
supposedly least familiar, comes across well, getting into
all sorts of hair-raising scrapes (almost crushed to death,
attacked by rampaging beasts, nearly burned alive - twice!)
yet still finding time for quips about huge pants and Stars
in their Eyes. The TARDIS crew are now, thankfully, very
familiar and comfortable with each other, which presumably
means there will be no ill feelings at the end of the next
book, The Gallifrey Chronicles, the last of the regular
Eighth Doctor novels.
who was expecting a gradual build-up to the end of the Eighth
Doctor's era, of the kind that Virgin Books gave us in the
run-up to the Seventh Doctor's demise, may be disappointed.
However, there are small elements of foreshadowing as Fitz
and Trix start to think about the possibility of life without
addition to the three regulars, Cole plays around with a sizeable
cast of new characters, many of whom are introduced in a relatively
short space of time. However, the author distinguishes them
well enough so that the reader has little or no difficulty
in telling them apart or recalling each one, even when someone
is seen through the eyes of a character who cannot put a name
to the face (or to the bald spot in one instance).
also keeps things exciting with trips to several of Jupiter's
his afterword, Cole confesses that his book was conceived
in order to exonerate the Fourth Doctor from a notoriously
inaccurate scientific claim that he made in Revenge of
the Cybermen, back in 1975. For me, this just adds to
the frivolous fun of the venture, and the beauty of it is
that the amnesiac Eighth Doctor doesn't remember the events
of Revenge. However, the author was perhaps unwise
to be as specific about the number of Jupiter's satellites
as he is in parts of this narrative, which might also become
out-dated if any more moons are discovered in years to come.
the whole, though, I'm over the moons about this book!
this item online
compare prices online so you get the cheapest
deal! Click on the logo of the desired store
below to purchase this item.
All prices correct at time of going to press.