I don't envy Peter Anghelides much, Kursaal, his debut Doctor Who novel had the misfortune of following Lawrence Miles' Alien Bodies which is quite possibly one of the greatest and critically acclaimed novels to date. Therefore it was always going to struggle given the fans now high expectation of the range. That said Anghelides manages to give us a fairly decent offering, which is still enjoyable, just nowhere near Alien Bodies league.
Kursaal is a leisure world, or will be once it's built. The trouble is developments are being hindered by eco-terrorists (HALF) and the re-emergence of a long dead wolf like race, the Jax. The Doctor and Sam arrive for a break, 5 years too early and end up separated and embroiled in the struggle between the opposing parties.
The beginning of Kursaal is great, really really great. Sadly it drops off around halfway through and you feel that Anghelides is just going through the motions. There are no surprises, you know what happens before it happens and it makes the book seem clichéd, even though Doctor Who hadn't dealt with werewolves previously. The ending isn't as satisfying as it should be and I finished the book feeling slightly let down.
The characters are what really lets Kursaal down though. The story is interesting enough, but the characters just don't cut it. Sam is relied on for the last third of the novel and she just isn't a strong enough character to carry the novel.
Kursaal had big boots to follow, and it fails to deliver when compared directly to it's predecessor. If you look at it from a stand alone point of view then it is a perfectly enjoyable, but utterly forgettable Doctor Who novel.