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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Novel for the Diehard Fan
Paul's writing has much improved since his earlier forays into B7 fan fiction, which I didn't get on with at all. Lucifer is a curate's egg but is, at worst, a cracking read for the committed fan. Unsurprisingly, Paul has Avon's character down and the second section, where Avon escapes from the bloody scene at the end of the BBC series is well worked through. The female...
Published 11 months ago by Morphaniel

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2.0 out of 5 stars Oh... Avon!
Someone once said that "Star Trek V" was really set in William Shatner's own personal version of the Trek universe. Starships that don't work, the centre of the galaxy being reached in a few hours. The Romulans being involved in a treaty 20 years previously (despite nobody knowing what they looked like at that time). It was Shatner's vision of Trek, not the one we...
Published 7 days ago by Vague Boy


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Novel for the Diehard Fan, 31 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Lucifer (Blake's 7) (Hardcover)
Paul's writing has much improved since his earlier forays into B7 fan fiction, which I didn't get on with at all. Lucifer is a curate's egg but is, at worst, a cracking read for the committed fan. Unsurprisingly, Paul has Avon's character down and the second section, where Avon escapes from the bloody scene at the end of the BBC series is well worked through. The female characterisation throughout is strong, if rather too obviously similar to Servalan (strangely, when Servalan herself turns up she isn't drawn as well as these other characters!). The men, besides Avon, are treated as cannon fodder by their women folk and by Paul too.

There are too many anachronisms with the known B7 universe alas, for my own taste. In particular the constant references to percussive weaponry (shotguns, machine guns etc) and aircraft technology instead of space technology is rather jarring when B7 is well and truly set in a 'Star Wars' style universe. But at least Paul avoids reinventing teleport for the third time!

He does invent a post Federation war on Earth that sets up a 'Chinese' force patrolling through the universe alongside Federation remnants and Warlords. This device is used rather like a fairy godmother to get Avon out of major trouble from time to time but since Orac is buried on Gauda Prime for 99% of the book, you have to allow for some alternative fairy dust!

The closest thing to a fatal flaw in the book is Avon's relationship with Magda, which we are eventually led to believe must have lasted around 20 years but is treated by almost everyone as being a recent crush. There was an opportunity to put more meat on these bones without affecting Avon's characterisation - having Avon eventually walk out on a meaningful relationship for selfish reasons would have worked just fine but Magda is sketched too thinly for this and when the likely 20 year relationship timespan becomes clear it is difficult to tie it into the main story arc.

So it's not a novel that will win SF awards and isn't something that you'd read if you weren't into B7 in the first place and from my review above you may be surprised that I give it 5 stars but I *am* a dedicated B7 fan who watched the original series' broadcasts, joined the fan clubs and still occasionally watches his prized DVDs some 30 years later. I thoroughly enjoyed Paul's book, devoured it it in only a few sittings and then have spent many, many hours lost in my own B7 memories as a result.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to know what happened to Avon, Blake, Villa,, Dayna, Tarrant, Soolin & Orac???, 3 July 2013
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This review is from: Lucifer (Blake's 7) (Hardcover)
This is the book to read!!!! If you thought Travis was dead, then think again!!!! One HELL OF A READ!!!!!! Hope Paul Darrow continues writing his own Blake's Seven Novels, cos i'll certainly be a regular customer!!!!! - ian cawkwell
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars smashing stuff, 10 Jun 2013
If you like Blake's seven you will love this, oodles of interstellar villainy and skullduggery valiantly combated by one of the best Sci fi characters of the last forty years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to the past future, 2 Jun 2013
Thank you Paul Darrow. From the man who gave us " You're him aren't you?"" We have a great intergalactic political backstabbing romp. I read it in one go. Please can we have another one soon?
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2.0 out of 5 stars Oh... Avon!, 24 July 2014
By 
Vague Boy (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
Someone once said that "Star Trek V" was really set in William Shatner's own personal version of the Trek universe. Starships that don't work, the centre of the galaxy being reached in a few hours. The Romulans being involved in a treaty 20 years previously (despite nobody knowing what they looked like at that time). It was Shatner's vision of Trek, not the one we had grown up with.

Well the same can be said about "Lucifer". On TV Blake's 7 mixed high camp, space opera, sharp dialogue and a certain bleakness. This book is more about political maneuvering and strategizing. Think "Dune" rather than Terry Nation or Chris Boucher.

In fact Chris Boucher's absence is quite noticeable. There's no real wit to this book. Avon is as cynical as ever but there is not one single memorable Avon put down along the lines of:

Vila: This is stupid, Avon!
Avon: When did that ever stop us?

Vila: When you get Zen working, ask him to prescribe something for a headache, will you? I've got this shocking pain right behind the eyes.
Avon: Have you considered amputation?

Without a crew or any other really memorable characters to bounce off, Avon comes across as a bit dull. In fact the book was something of a slog to finish. Despite being written by the actor who played him, I don't think Paul really "gets" the Avon we saw on TV. This is his version and frankly, he's not as engaging a character.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avon is back!, 17 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Lucifer (Blake's 7) (Hardcover)
Lucifer was the long awaited sequel which I had been searching for to quench my longing for a more satisfying termination to Blake's 7. However instead of sating my desire this book has relit the fires of my imagination.
Paul Darrow provides an uncanny insight into Terry Nation's paradigm for a conclusive ending to Blake's 7. In which Lucifer lovingly holds true to Terry Nation's authoritarian dystopian landscape.

I found that this novel not only enlightened but also illuminated the tragic end of of the final episode(Blake). It paid homage to the last sequence without being overtly sentimental.
Mr Darrow manages to capture the wonderful ethos of Nation in his implicit characterizations and in his genuine portrayal of the dynamic and subversive Avon. Avon is consummately represented as antisocial but not as sociopathic through his self-realisations.
The author has shown intelligence and a creative ability to write fluidly and with passion.

I essentially found Lucifer addictive and I now have a marvellous complusion to read the next installment.

Bring it on Mr Darrow!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Whatever Happened to Avon?", 10 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Lucifer (Blake's 7) (Hardcover)
Stories set after the final episode of "Blake's 7"- "Blake" are mostly the province of fan fiction. The only ones I can recall which might be viewed with even semi-official staus are the novel "Afterlife" and the radio play "Logic of Empire." (*1)
Well now we have a new semi-official one written by Paul Darrow. He gives us Avon some 20 years after the Gauda Prime massacre in Blake. Perhaps recalling his advice to Cally "Regret is part of being alive, make it a small part" he never refers to any of his deceased comrades, except for Blake and then only when asked about him.
He is stuck on Island planet Gauis 7, (there are a also weapons called Five 7's making 7 a bit of a motif) and wants to be back in the thick of things somewhere. The appearance of Federation soldiers on Gauis 7 may spell a way off the planet, but when they realise who he is, the powers that be send more after him, intending to capture him.
A prologue tells us why the Federation is very different to the administration of the series. There is now a ruling body to this version of the Federation-The Quartet. the Quartet and their followers introduce some good new charcters; Gabriella, the camp Witt and the Servalanesque Dr Ess. Speaking of our favourite femme fatale, she is back too and does have a meeting with Avon. Servalan is characterised as a mixture of Servalan, Jacqueline Pearce herself and Sunset Boulevard's Norma Desmond.
She sips a lot of champagne under house arrest but remains an influence on the powers that be. She is as in the series, a woman who enjoyed power too long to give it up. There is a nice reaction to the put down by someone who wishes he could have met her when she was younger.
The only odd note is some of her dialogue e.g. describing Avon as "A cruel bastard" jarrs and doesn't sound like Servalan. Otherwise her appearances are a highlight of the book.
Orac has a cameo and far from being the character of the series, a self aware and self important computer who as Dayna noted, only ever treated Avon with respect, here he scolds Avon like some disapproving Vicar for his ruthless behaviour and seems to violently dislike him.
Avon himself well you'd be surprised if he wasn't characterised decently. Darrow portrays him as a loner, a man afflicted by wanderlust who is maybe too dissociated to develop strong feelings for others. He has a younger lover he cares for Madga, but only to an extent. He cannot for instance wait to leave her behind when he gets to leave the planet, but does acknowledge he's no good for her. He is very cold, unleashing an orgy of destruction on the soldiers etc who come after him-if you've read his earlier novel Avon a Terrible Aspect, you'll be expecting the lengthy descriptions accompanying carnage and detailing weapons.
The most anticipated part of the book and my favourite bit is the section set immediately after the closing moments of "Blake." Darrow plays fair, credibly getting Avon away from Gauda Prime and explaining what the shots heard during the closing titles were.
Blake's body is looked at to confirm he is definitely dead. The death of the rest of the Scorpio crew is glossed over so that if he chose, Darrow could bring some of them back in the next book.
There is some good continuity, better than in Terrible Aspect. The only bad note is that Darrow has forgotten that in series 4; publicly, Servalan wasn't Servalan & was posing as another person Commisioner Sleer. Here she was still president and was behind the Gauda prime massacre. She also sends mercenaries to pick up Avon and Blake which is kind of working against herself but we'll let that go & assume it was to pick up Orac in secret. A nice touch is that on hearing Blake was shot by a comrade, she guesses Avon did it.
Some undeveloped ideas include the alien greys (beloved of alien abduction stories) being on earth. Avon deduces someone is actually a grey but it is unclear whether greys look like humans or are disguised as humans but possibly this may go somwhere in the next book.

Will you enjoy it? Well naturally that depends on what you think should have happened after "Blake." Personally, I think its' nicely set up for more, stronger than Terrible Aspect, and a good read for big fans.

(*1) I had a copy many years ago and recommend it. Paul Darrow plays Avon, supported by Jacqueline Pearce as Servalan, Peter Tuddenham as Orac and Gareth Thomas as a ghostly Blake. A good script with an ending you will either love or hate!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Preferred 'Afterlife' as a sequel, 1 July 2014
By 
K. Rayment (Welwyn, Hertfordshire) - See all my reviews
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I'm a big Paul Darrow fan. I think he is a fantastic actor and really enjoyed "Your Him aren't you". I have ready quite a few B7 books, but found this one a little on the slow side. Being set after the 52 tv episodes, creates a challenge for any author due to the lack of the Liberator and any of the other human crew members. A bit more sci-fi and less politics would personally have appealed to me more. In terms of sequels, I preferred Afterlife by Tony Atwood. - Sorry Paul.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lucifer: Revelation (Blakes 7), 27 Jun 2014
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Mrs. C. A. Dyke "Mrs D" (Kingswood Bristol) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lucifer: Revelation (Blakes 7) (Kindle Edition)
I read this straight after Lucifer. How series 4 ended was always left open to interpretation and this was a very enjoyable version.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great story., 25 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Lucifer: Revelation (Blakes 7) (Kindle Edition)
I love this story, Avon is as twisted as every, but the main problem is Orac. It's sounding more and more like Vila, as it goes along. That's the trouble with being a soul survivor, Avon as none to bounce off, verbally. And Vila was always the stooge, for the nasty back chat. Otherwise. Great stuff!!!!!
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