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Drift (Dr. Who Series)

Drift (Dr. Who Series) [Kindle Edition]

Simon Forward
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

White consumes the New Hampshire landscape, as US troops close like a platoon of ghosts on an armed cult, following a spate of unnaturally severe blizzards. Screams are carried on the frosty winds, but as the troops break in they find the house deserted. A gunfight with no victims. The Doctor, hoping to give Leela a taste of life among the tribes of Native America, finds he has fractionally misjudged his coordinates, and they too are trapped in the frozen wastes, for he has strangely lost his homing affinity with the TARDIS. In the nearby small town of Winnipesaukee, a little girl called Amber Mailloux, distressed by the disappearance of her father, frustrated with her mother's roaming, unsettled life, feels almost at one with the heartless, lonely raging of the storm. But none of them know that the snow, the ice is not just a backdrop, but the real enemy. At the heart of the drift is a living presence, glorying in the cold, inhuman structures of the ice. And it's hungry...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 465 KB
  • Print Length: 245 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #500,116 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Born in Penzance in 1967. From the age of about three I was probably dreaming of writing for Doctor Who. Certainly it wasn't a case of just watching it: I'd go to bed with all sorts of adventures and story possibilities buzzing around in my head. From the age of eleven, I knew, whenever any aunts and uncles asked the "What do you want to do when you grow up?" question, the stock replies of jet pilot, train driver, astronaut were never going to be good enough for me. "I want to be a writer", I always said. And, what do you know, I am.

So far, that's amounted to works of licensed fiction, including novels and audio dramas for Doctor Who, plus more recently three novelisations for BBC's Merlin series. Meanwhile, of course, my main goal is to establish a name for myself with my own original works, in a variety of genres, including Young Adult and children's fiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy and - with Evil UnLtd - my own blend of SF Comedy.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detail adventure and a very good read, 9 Feb 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As soon as I started to read "Drift", I couldn't put it down. I found the details of the "White Shadow" Special Forces Group to be very military accurate; they could exist in the real world. The style of writing kept me engrossed in the book for hours. I was impressed by both the detail of military hardware and the description of the scenes within the book. Very good book, even if you don't like Doctor Who, it's worth reading from the military aspect of it. I can't wait until the next book.
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Format:Kindle Edition
I think this is a bold experiment in Doctor Who storytelling. It has the pace of a thriller, building up speed as the book progresses, as a thriller should - a surprisingly successful mixing of genres, I think. It gives us lots of characters, some of whom are going to live, some of whom are going to die in the course of the unfolding story, and some of whom we aren't going to care about but, by the end, some of whom we are going to be pleased made it through to the end. It also gives us a very different kind of alien, one that is as implacable, and as unbeatable as the weather. The characters of the Fourth Doctor and Leela are very well drawn, the Doctor in his most serious, almost sombre cast of mind here, with little time for humour as he battles to understand the mystery of the annihilating power closing in on a small, isolated American town.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Tedious and lacking in depth 21 Jun 2013
By Alaran
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very uninspiring and unsatisfying Doctor Who novel. The writing is flat and tedious. Not a great deal happens apart from a lot of police, military, special services and quasi-terrorists (who all seem to be portrayed much the same) running around after or away from a mysterious entity. There is a distinct lack of atmosphere in a story that should have been laden with tension and suspense. Furthermore, there are far too many breaks in the text. Rather than increase the pace it breaks the action up too much, ruining any atmosphere and making the storyline seem disjointed.

The book has too many characters that are too similar and the author rarely invests enough time in his characters to allow the reader to form an attachment to them. Thus when they are killed or in jeopardy it is difficult to emphasise or care. The continual breaks in the text prevent the author from focussing enough on any individual character. The entity itself has no character at all and the reveal of two aliens is a completely unsurprising twist lacking any interest or intrigue.

The Doctor and Leela don't really fit in at all. It almost seems as if this book started out life as a separate story which the Doctor and Leela have later been slotted into. The characterisation of the Fourth Doctor is quite off and Leela, although close to her television personification, is almost a completely inconsequential participant in events.

On the plus side, there is probably the essence of a good story here. It probably shouldn't feature the Doctor and needs a much vaster word count to allow the author to invest more in his characters and bring them to live as well as allowing for a more tense and mysterious atmosphere. Done as a longer horror/suspense story it might work well. The novel might also have benefitted more if it featured the Third Doctor and UNIT instead.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An acceptable fourth doctor and leela novel 2 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Drift is a reasonably good fourth doctor story which is best read in front of the fire on a cold wintry day. For those who like Leela to be a feisty amazon type the portrayal in this book may seem a little too timid but the book moves along nicely and holds the attention well.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story 28 Jun 2003
By Gwyn Jeffers - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book. Yes, there are swear words. But these books are tended more for an young adult/adult audience than children.Swearing is more permissable now. Simon has done a remarkable job characterizing the 4th Doctor and Leela just like they were in the series. I couldn't put it down; it's somewhat X-Files like, but much,much better. Give it a chance; just because there is swearing in it doesn't make it a bad story, it gets very good by the middle of the story!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gorier than Ezra Jack Keats 18 Nov 2003
By Jason A. Miller - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It's hard to rate "Drift". It's a debut novel, nominally a 4th Doctor and Leela book, the second in four for the PDAs (coming behind "Psi-ence Fiction"). Leela is very much a minimal presence, which I think is probably a good thing, especially coming so soon after a book by the guy who created her.
What's most noteworthy, I think, is that "Drift" is set entirely in the United States (southern New Hampshire)... and actually feels like it's filmed in the US, as opposed to TC4! Let's face it, most "Doctor Who" novels set in the States miss the mark in terms of what characters would think and say. When Forward describes a stretch of I-93 in New Hampshire, though, you can actually believe he's driven it (as I have). The character names are more diverse than in "Salvation" -- although when a guy named Marotta shows up here, as sure as eggs is eggs, the word "Brooklyn" is close behind -- so there's finally a sense that not ALL Americans in "Doctor Who"have Anglo names and speak with stilted southern accents. On the other hand, the token New England general store clerk doesn't say "Ayuh" once, so maybe Forward doesn't know his cliches all that well.
I enjoyed the sense of menace that gradually builds up over the first 175 pages or so, and unleashes over a prolonged, violent, action-filled climax. 80% of the word count is devoted to descriptions of snow which, let's be honest, grate after a while, especially when the author has to resort to phrases like "cold inferno" on page 217. Before the action takes over, we meet several characters, military and civilian alike. The military leader is not a closed-minded buffoon, and even the drunken ex-husband gets a few moments of pathos before the inevitable happens.
The plot is hard to make out if you're reading too quickly. The details involve an extraterrestrial device of unspecified origin; a couple of incognito aliens (again, unspecified) looking for a way home; and psi-conscious cultists looking to cross over. Most of this information is kept in the margins -- perhaps too far in, especially in the case of the cultists, who are massacred offscreen practically before page one, and the survivors of whom streak across the first 4/5ths of the novel committing random violent acts for reasons we're never fully made aware.
Even if rookie author Forward gets a little carried away with choice of language and stylistic techniques -- clarity and simplicity really are virtues, even though the BBC editors don't seem to encourage them -- there's also solid plotting, good characterization, and well-visualized action on display. And, lest you think Forward is taking this too seriously, the day is saved because the hero gets drunk. The palette is small (one New Hampshire village) but well-defined. Honestly, I enjoyed this far more than Stephen King's comparable "Dreamcatcher", which distended over 900 pages and was a lot more gross.
One thing that jarred is the sudden intrusion of body horror at the tail, tail end of the novel. Most of the early deaths are suggested at, not shown, or least played as CGI effects rathern than gore. In the last chapter, however, one character dies when icicles spike through their eyeballs. This jars, and I can only assume it was the fault of A) an editor who failed to take it out, or B) an editor who insisted, "Hey, this is a "Doctor Who" novel with psi-powers, so we have to trot out the same anime-style deaths that the New Adventures ran into the ground during their psi-powers arc!".
Otherwise, Forward manages to rise above more recent DW cliches, by leaving most of his regular cast alive, and reasonably happy, at the end of the day. All together this is one of the more enjoyable debut novels of 2002 and stacks up well with the fandom-acclaimed (and doubly oblique) "History 101".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Never judge a book by its cover 9 May 2002
By J. Surowiecki - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The artwork for the Doctor Who novel "Drift" is without a doubt one of the most gorgeous covers in the entire series' line. It conveys the chill and solitary feeling one would experience in a blizzard. I adored the novel for its cover more so than the story within.
About a quarter of the way into it I found myself doing the book equivalent of channel surfing... that is... skimming pages until I got to passages that mentioned either the Doctor or Leela. I would start reading at that point, as I really didn't care for a majority of the characters in this particular installment. But that's just me.
It's been interesting in recent adventures to see past incarnations out of the United Kingdom and in what is ostensibly foreign lands to fans of the series. This one was just a little below par story-wise. If this were an episode of the series... it would have been similar to "Image of the Fendahl" or "Underworld." I didn't care for those particular episodes, but I watched them just the same.
Two stars for the brilliant artwork and the fourth Doctor's ever-so brief appearances in the story.
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes for a nice companion piece with that new Kate Bush album 10 May 2012
By Michael Battaglia - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Starting off, I'm going to agree with probably every other person and note that the cover is by far one of the most evocative and mysterious covers to grace the series that I've seen so far. While a lot of the others have seen fit to throw together whatever garish elements the BBC Books design department has bet each other won't go together for a cover, this one actually does what a good cover should do, it sets a mood, it illustrates a scene (even if it's not a literal one), it makes you want to pick up the book to find out what's going on inside. The image of a ghostly TARDIS stranded in a snow-covered forest, setting there like you've just stumbled upon it, is as close to illustrating the heart of the mystery of the strangeness of "Doctor Who" I can imagine.

It's also the best thing about the book.

Now, before anyone goes jumping down my throat, I'm saying that the book is bad, it's just that the cover is a masterpiece and the story is so-so. It's not for lack of trying, however. Much as the cover promises, the story takes place in the snow. In a blizzard, to be exact, and probably with the team most equipped for outdoor survival, the Fourth Doctor and Leela. But before they even show up we're treated to heaps of action, or at least implied action, as covert military team goes to take out a bunch of cultists and discovers that most of them have gone missing. Fortunately, the team has a psychic soldier and soon they're on the case.

Forward has quite a few things going for him here, the most notable is that his prose shows all the marks of someone trying not to be pedestrian. He doesn't achieve the quirky grace of the better stylists (Kate Orman, Lawrence Miles and Paul Magrs are the main ones that come to mind) but there are quite a few parts where you can almost see the steam coming out of his ears as he's clearly trying to find ways to describe things that aren't ordinary. His reliance on a thesaurus shows at some moments, notably in the introductory sections where he has to come up with a zillion metaphors for snow and a-l-m-o-s-t succeeds. If he had cut it short by maybe three or four sections nobody would have noticed but it goes on long enough that it calls attention to itself. But, you know what, I give him credit for trying. A little flair is always welcome.

The other notable point is how he tries to give us an alien that is different from ones we've seen before, without falling back on the tried and true "I want to take over the world puny Earthings" trope we've seen many, many times. He even has friendly aliens in the book and barely calls attention to it! Unfortunately, these bright spots tend to get hamstrung by the odd pacing of the book. In his attempt to build atmosphere, he winds up working against himself. A good chunk of the book has various hints that Something Bad is about to happen, ranging from people disappearing to the storm getting ominous and while that can be very effective when used sparingly, its about a hundred and eighty pages in before we even determine that we're fighting an alien, period. There are very few times when I wish for MORE aliens in "Doctor Who" but this was a time when the reveal could have come a little earlier. Maybe not if the pages before were filled with fascinating suspense but for the most part we get Leela running around in circles with the Psychic Native American Soldier so they can both talk mystical/tribal to each other and the Doctor roaming around trying to investigate but mostly spinning his wheels because nothing has really happened yet. So, in the meantime, the rest of the plot has to ramp up.

Therein lies the problem. In the absence of the alien, there's too much else going on. Years before Russell Davies entertained us with the antics of Rose Tyler and family, we get a whole host of domestic problems here, as cop Mackenzie deals with his romance with single mom Martha, her troublesome daughter Amber, her alcoholic and abusive ex-husband, meanwhile his brother is part of the covert soldier team. It threatens to push the problems with the looming alien off to the side and you start to wonder how any of this is relevant. It reaches its peak (or nadir, depending on one's perspective) when the two brothers argue over the reasons why one left town to venture into the big city and who stayed behind to play small town cop, at which point you start to wonder if the Doctor is even going to guest star in his own book.

He barely does. Frankly, there are too many characters here, most of which have too much to do. Beyond the members of the covert action team, you have the cultists riding around shooting people as the plot leaves them little room to do anything else, the aforementioned alcoholic ex-husband, plus two CIA agents hiding a secret and investigating the alleged alien as well. By the time murders start happening, its almost a relief because it starts to winnow the cast down and give me a chance to tell the supporting characters apart. Leela's first written appearance in a while not written by creator Chris Boucher actually holds promise, until she gets sidelined for chapters at a time, with only the occasional checking in to prove that, yup, she's still running around.

At least matters pick up when the alien arrives for real. Except we barely see it and it tends to murder people off-screen so we don't even get to see the body horror factor. Which means people either spend their time running from it or debating how to communicate/kill it. There are some clever bits, the idea that getting sauced on the demon rum provides protection against it gives us a great sight gag, although a drunk Doctor wasn't as entertaining as I thought he would be. The idea of the alien taking over people and turning their nervous systems into a crystal ice lattice is creepy but little seems to be done with it to indulge in true horror. It's hard to say a book stuffed with so many characters is killing time, but an element of that starts to sink in. By the time we reach the explanation of how the alien understands the emotional problems of an alienated ten year old, you're just waiting for stuff to blow up. Which, fortunately, it does in spades.

Don't get me wrong, Forward has an extremely appealing writing style (some of the dialogue, especially with the CIA agents (who I assume are getting used later) is a little too cutesy and arch for me, but there are other places where he nails it) and does manage to keep things moving, both easy and hard with so much going on. But the novel could have used another round in the plot sharpener, as everyone's motivations other than the Doctor's (who is just there to be awesome) remains a bit cloudy. Nearly two hundred pages of setup followed by a hundred pages of all-out action isn't really the best pacing for the novel. Done right, the slow build up would have achieved a creepy tension that demanded an explosive climax just for the sake of release. But by the time you get there everyone has made you numb.

It's probably possible that nothing could live up to the glory of that cover, but the book has all the hallmarks of a valiant first attempt that could have gone through one more round of rethinking before getting published. Still, every page shows evidence that he's trying very hard to think this through and give us a nontraditional traditional "Doctor Who" experience, which is enough to make me look forward to his next Who endeavor, when hopefully he has a little more seasoning under his belt.
2.0 out of 5 stars Half and Half 18 Jun 2006
By Addy - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found half of the book to be pretty interesting especially a weird ice creature killing or invading the victim. I didn't see much of the doctor and leela in it though. This would still pass for a good book if it wasn't a doctor who book.Sometimes I skipped ahead to see what the doctor would do. So I'm half disappointed in it but half ok with it.
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