AUTUMN MIST is a bit of a mess with an overly simple storyline being let down by some truly atrocious prose. Any attempt to wrap the reader in its narrative, ends jarringly when one comes across a sentence or fragment that would make the English students in the readership cringe.
The story itself isn't all that bad. There is nothing really the matter with it, but there is also nothing much positive to say about it either. Some books with a weak storyline can turn this perceived limitation into a strength by adding character conflict, angst or introspection (with varying degrees of success). Here the lack of plot is made up for with long war scenes that pay more attention to the tanks and equipment than it does to the people that are operating them. This contributes to the uncaring feel that the book has, as though nothing that one is reading matters in any tangible way. By the time one reaches the end, one does not really notice that the conclusion has been rushed through. Although this sort of sloppy writing at the finale is a problem that plagues many an EDA, it seems strangely appropriate here.
The prose and the sentence structure are really where this novel collapses. Strange sentence fragments joined together by random punctuation marks become distracting at times and very detrimental to the reading experience. This is a book that would have been enormously helped by an extra stage of proofreading and/or editing. It's a shame that this did not occur.
The characterization of the regulars was, for much of the time, fairly acceptable. However, there were a few points where the Eighth Doctor seemed more like the Seventh Doctor than we've ever seen him before. Fitz seemed to waver a lot between two extremes: one of total cowardice and the other of tremendous heroics. This seemed almost like a caricature at times, though it did work well in some places. Sam is much less annoying than she usually is (which is a pleasant surprise) though her decision at the very end seems to come from absolutely nowhere.
In the end, reading this failed to generate any excitement in me whatsoever. Events happened and some people were killed, but I couldn't make myself care about any of this. The "third side" referred to on the back cover tries to dance between magical and hard, scientific technobabble, and ultimately fails at being either. Not recommended.