This review is from: Doctor Who: Storm Harvest (Mass Market Paperback)
Storm Harvest is a 7th Doctor PDA, which is serial 3 in Mike Tucker and Robert Perry’s self-styled series 27, following on from Illegal Alien and Matrix. Personally I loved Illegal Alien but felt let down slightly by Matrix so I didn’t really know what to expect from this.
The main premise of Storm Harvest is an ancient alien genetically made life form is reawakened and sets about terrorizing a group of islands. There really is nothing more to it than that, it’s a classic base under siege type story and it works surprisingly well.
Tucker and Perry proved in both Illegal Alien and Matrix that they know how to write for both the 7th Doctor and Ace and nothing has changed here. Little things like question mark handled spades and references to Courtney Pine show some real love and devotion to this period of the shows history and make the novel all the more enjoyable. My main niggle with the 7th Doctor PDA’s (and yes that includes The Hollow Men) is that the authors insist on splitting the Doctor and Ace up for vast chunks of the novel. Whilst it’s nice to have two plotlines going on separately, it’s also nice to see the Doctor and his companion work together, and luckily Tucker and Perry keep the main leads together for the vast majority of Storm Harvest. Talking of Ace she is done really well, obviously matured but still the same old Ace we know and love. Her bits with the Doctor coming to terms with what happened to them in Matrix was also very well done.
Other cast wise, things are not so great. There are some good ideas like speaking dolphins, but they are overwhelmed by run of the mill characters usually found in Doctor Who novels. Colony leader in over her head, dodgy second in command obviously under alien control, random nobodies to give a face to the senseless killings etc. etc. The one character of note is the confused Garrett whose actions I didn’t see coming, the rest just fade into the background. The main alien threat, the Krill, are interesting, however having them almost invulnerable makes reading the “fight” scenes fairly boring as you know no matter what is thrown at them they will survive. The other alien race, the Cythosi, have been done to death and offered absolutely nothing new.
In short Storm Harvest is an above average novel, which delivers what you want from a Doctor Who novel. It isn’t game changing in anyway, and a lot of the action you’ve seen / read before, but it still satisfies somewhat making it a pretty good read.