A very good idea, which had the potential to be one of the better Doctor who novels. However, the way that this story has been written is terrible. The whole thing is based on various diary entries from various characters, this means that you have no idea which character is talking until the end of their diary entry. A dissapointing read.
Eye of Heaven is the first 4th Doctor novel in the Past Doctor range and as such I felt it should live up to the glory days of the TV series. Sadly it falls short.
Mortimore has a fairly decent premise going on, but his writing style really lets him down, making what could be an entertaining romp an absolute chore to make sense of. Eye of Heaven is written in a series of diary style entries which are not in chronological order. So one minute everyone is on a boat sailing to Easter Island, the next they are yet to charter the boat, then they are back on the boat again in the next one. It is almost as if Mortimore dropped the chapters then picked them up in the wrong order. It is confusing, adds nothing to the story, and would have been better written as a linear tale. There is nothing worse than a chapter ending with someone in peril, only to wait another 3-4 chapters to find out the conclusion.
The Doctor in question is the fan favourite 4th. Jim Mortimore thankfully gets his characterization right, but he doesn't see much action at all, which is a slight let down. The bits he is in are well done, there just isn't a lot of him. Leela on the other hand is a totally different story. The majority of the book is written from her perspective which from the outset seems like a good idea but she was never my favorite character, and her constant savageness grated on me. Mortimore also seemed keen to show her lack of knowledge, yet also has her knowing things she couldn't possibly comprehend. For example when she meets Stockwood, Leela struggle to understand basic things such as a "glass" and a "newspaper". However 9 days later she is able to list a pretty wide array of nautical terms, including some I didn't even know. It's easier to have her know it of course, but to me it's very lazy writing and a bit of a let down given how much Mortimore seems to like mentioning her lack of Earthly knowledge.
In short Eye of Heaven is a mediocre Doctor Who novel which struggles to pique this fans interest. Whilst the story is entertaining and has the potential to be a truly great novel, it is badly structured and often lazily written which detracts from the enjoyment the story does offer. Had the novel been written in a linear fashion then I might be able to forgive the bad characterization and gaping plotholes but I really struggled to read this novel, which is never good.Read more ›
This is, to my mind, the very best of the Past Doctor series. The non-linear and first person narratives work brilliantly in what is, essentially, a multi-layered gothic novel. The characterisation of the Fourth Doctor is excellent, and the Leela is also well realised. The supporting cast seem to jump off the page, and there is a neat, meaningful resolution at the end. Buy it now!!!
The only thing going for this book is that it is better than Jim Mortimore's previous efforts. After a promising start the book leaps all over the place and ends up going nowhere. The abrupt and puerile ending is unsatisfying. As to characterisation I think Mortimore needs a few lessons. For a start, Leela seems to know a lot of nautical terms and many other things besides yet we are led to believe that these are all new experiences. Worst of all, when we first meet Leela in the book she ponders over the fact that no-one in her tribe was over thirty. I seem to recall a few elderly people in her tribe in the TV series. The book has its moments, eg the prologue and the occassional sentence. Buy something else, preferably by a writer.