1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2009
This original Eighth Doctor novel features Paul McGann's incarnation of the nomadic Time Lord, with companions Fritz Kreiner - a young man from Earth in the 196os, and Anji Kapoor a stockbroker and rationalist, also from Earth but born in the 1970s.
As the story opens we see The Doctor pushing the TARDIS to its limit, but this backfires when the Time craft begins to break up. The travellers manage to land on the surface of a frozen sea of acid on the planet Endpoint, in the distant future. When the ice begins to break up, The companions flee to the nearby city of Hope, only to see the TARDIS sink to the bottom of the sea. In Hope, a policeman investigating a series of particularly grisly murders explains that the planet is toxic, so the humans on it had to evolve to survive; however, a serial killer has recently appeared on the scene and has has been decapitating people. The Doctor agrees to help a cyborg named Silver solve the crimes, in return for having his TARDIS retrieved and returned to him.
With hints that the so-called 'Brotherhood of the Silver Fist' are using abandoned Cyber-technology to turn themselves into super-humans, this novel has several intriguing premises. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite live up to its early promise, and is ultimately less than the sum of its parts.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2002
Hope is a very clever novel that subverts expectations at almost every level. It is not only a good Doctor Who book but a superb SF piece. As a charcter drama it works superbly by placing Anji in centre stage and her scenes with the Doctor after he discovers her betrayl are stunning.
Another in a long line of successful books by the BBC.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2008
I flew through this book, it's brilliant. I love the idea that the first thing the Doctor and co want to do when they find a body is get back to the Tardis and scarper.
I also really liked seeing the Doctor stick around after the puzzle is unravelled. I'd say this book is one of my favorite's to date, definately worth reading but it helps if you've read 'Escape Velocity' first as a story line does continue on from it.
A refreshing must for EDA fans.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2002
Hope is Mark Clapham's first solo Doctor Who book, although he has co-authored one other, and co-authored two spin off books.
What Hope does so well is straddle the old "rad/trad" line. I can easily see this as a big-budget made-for-TV movie version of Dr Who for 2002...it has bad guys, action sequences, humor, monsters, and all the things that made TV Doctor Who so popular. At the same time, it has excellent, poignant characterization of the sort that we've seen in the original novels and it successfully carries over some of the themes established in recent EDA's. Thus, Hope, I think rises to the challenging task of satisfying all tastes in the hugely diversified ranks of taste in Doctor Who fandom.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2002
Initial impressions of Hope suggest that it's going to be a dark, atmospheric book with a mood akin to Blade Runner. It is possibly not too much of a long shot to suggest that this is the kind of mood Clapham was trying to achieve. Unfortunately he quickly confounds our expectations in an extremely dissatisfying way, ruining supremely atmospheric set-pieces with trivial dialogue and half-baked understatement clearly designed to sound cool and off-beat.
Be warned - he doesn't succeed on this level. Silver himself is a character who could have been more intriguing were he not given such huge exposure at the beginning of the novel. Masterminds shouldn't, as a rule, get their hands dirty. But Silver's in the thick of it all the time.
It's a shame that Clapham has a chronic inability to retain and build atmosphere without lapsing into utter trivia. Witness his well-written, evocative description of Silver Towers...confounded by the Doctor's deflating and uncharacteristic exclamation "perhaps they have a miniature golf course". Blade Runner? More like the Famous Five!
Characterisation is woefully flawed at the beginning of the novel. Silver has already been mentioned, but there are other characters like Powlin (the resident brooding detective) who could have been given a makeover to make him seem moody and cynical rather than flat and long-suffering. Should he really have been presented as an incompetent uber-companion who asks too many questions?
These are all concerns that make the first part of the novel seem trashy. However, it has to be said that Clapham does much to improve his plot and characters as the story progresses. Hope is most rewarding if the reader perseveres beyond the brain-numbing dialogue and childish description early in the novel. Things shift up a gear later on, and this reader is forgiving enough to disregard Clapham's earlier transgressions and write them off as mere 'teething trouble'.
Hope is not a worthy follow-up to Adventuress, but one has to question how anyone would be able to provide a satisfactory sequel to this astoundign work. Mark Clapham made a brave effort, and hopefully his next novel will see less redundant flab and self-indulgence.