FINALLY, the hopelessly over-extended and over-convoluted arc of the recent Eighth Doctor novels reaches its climax with Sometime Never... Long-term readers will finally get the answers they've been waiting for since The Ancestor Cell (31 whole books ago!), and to his credit Richards does manage to tie up a good 99 per cent of those lingering threads in a convincing - if not always enjoyable - manner.
Unfortunately the downside is that the bulk of the original story of the novel itself is rather uninspiring - the characters are shallow and one-dimensional, the long-heralded replacements for the Time Lords are just as boring, the bulk of the novel seems to consist of the regulars running around in circles in the Institute of Anthropology, and there is - inevitably, large doses of continuity and technobabble.
Sometime Never...is a step backwards for Richards after his previous 8th Doctor novels, and despite the complex arc-resolution this reads for the most part like a speed-written filler. Casual readers should avoid this like the plague, but committed EDA followers will find this to be a welcome release in spite of its shortcomings.
Sometime never does what time zero promised and failed to do, and that's to bring all the interminable story arcs that have been flying around this for so long to a conclusion. Well, most of them.
Rather a disappointing read. Having the doctor suddenely wake up and say 'it was all a dream!'wouldn't have been quite as anticlimactic as this. The villains of the piece turn out to be a very dull bunch. And some characters meet their destinies. Some of which we can be glad about.
This is a book that services the needs of ongoing plots. Nothing more, nothing less. As such it's not the first one in the range you should pick up. You'll only get anything out of this is you've read the books in order. And probably all you'll get out of it is sweet relief that we can move on at last
on 18 February 2004
A bit fast paced and confusing. There could have been more character development as some of them lacked the depth we've come to expect. The ending had to be read twice owing to the rushed pace. On the whole not too bad, most decidedly interesting if you are a solid fan but not for the uninitiated.