Lance Parkin is a British author, best known for writing fiction and reference books for television series, in particular Doctor Who (and spin-offs including the Virgin New Adventures and Faction Paradox) and Emmerdale. He also worked on the Emmerdale television series as a production assistant. Parkin has a regular column, "Beige Planet Lance" in the Doctor Who fanzine Enlightenment, which is published by the Doctor Who Information Network.
This book is the first in a series that span off from Telos' highly successful Doctor Who novellas. Given that and given that Lance Parkin is one of the most popular authors of Who fiction, I had high expectations for this book. Perhaps too high. The book is setting up the premise for the ongoing story adding a new story element that Daniel O'Mahoney's Cabinet of Light (recommended) did not and which gets past the lack of TARDIS in Honore LeChasseur's world. However it does it in a rather uninspired way. The initial mystery, Honore is asked to identify his friend Emily's body, only for her to turn up alive, is quite intriguing. So where has the body come from? You'll guess pretty early on, but there's still the question of how. But the getting there involves a visit to a dystopian future that is far too like that of Orwell (though one gets the idea that that is the point) without saying anything new about it. And not a lot happens in the meantime. Honore, despite being a lead character, gets little to do. In the end, the story is built as a blueprint for the series to explain what the characters can do and on that level it is serviceable, but the story never really shines. I was looking forward to a fusion of Who and noir, and maybe later books in the series will provide it, but this one doesn't.
Was this review helpful to you?