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Deadfall (New Adventures) Mass Market Paperback – 16 Oct 1997

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: The New Adventures (16 Oct. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0426205138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0426205135
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,487,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

Jason Kane is in trouble. He is trapped on a barren rock in a desolate sector. Chris Cwej is his only hope, but a bizarre force beneath the planet has wiped his memory. Now Jason must save himself and an amnesiac. To make matters worse a prison ship full of female convicts arrives in orbit.


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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The sixth of the post-Doctor New Adventures novels now sees his 'replacement', bibulous archaeology lecturer Bernice 'Benny' Summerfield, herself ousted; apart from a brief appearance at the beginning she doesn't feature at all! Instead, her ne'er do well ex-husband Jason Kane, and her sometime travelling companion, sexually confused teenager Emile take centre stage. Once they've left Dellah (Benny's current planet of residence), the two adventurers are drawn into a search for the legendary planet Ardethe - home of vast wealth in terms of riches and knowledge allegedly. Unfortunately what they find instead is a nebulous brain-eating alien life-form; not to mention a crashed spaceship containing a bunch of female space convicts, and a very iffy computer. Fortunately they also stumble across an old friend: Space adjudicator and all-round good egg Chris Cwej; less fortunately, Chris has almost total amnesia.
Gary Russell's novels are invariably decent, and this is pretty entertaining stuff on the whole. My one criticism would be its lack of real 'Benny-ness', as it is she who really brings these novels to life.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like the author's later BBC novel, Beautiful Chaos, this book stumbles through a series of disconnected events and then ends abruptly.

Deadfall was written as Doctor Who fanfic, then translated into a Doctor-less audio drama before being rewritten again into this book. You can clearly see the influence classic Who had on Russell's work - the separate locations with distinct casts and subplots, barely connected to one another until they collide and waddle on together, is clearly informed by the multi-part serial nature of the TV show: the location shoot is a colour-shifted quarry; characters obviously hang around because they're contracted to appear in all four episodes; the scene structure is arranged to make an easy shooting schedule (by having people appear in scenes with the same people more often than not). The only concession to the budgetless terrain of the written word is the vast underground city, and even that inexplicably makes use of real-world locations and repeated backdrops. Additionally a lot of the writing is somewhat confused. Luckily the characters interminably recap what happened "last episode" so you can keep up, but these recaps disagree with the actual events so frequently that you can tell Russell strayed quite far from his original notes. Or maybe this is the effect of adaptation decay - one scene gets mutated to fit the new characters, but later dialogue referring back is left in. Basically it's a sprawling, amateurish disappointment of a novel.

Gosh, it really sounds like I didn't like the thing, but I must confess to a certain fondness for the book. This may be largely due to the presence of Chris Cwej, a long-time favourite character. I'm self-aware enough to note my predispositions.
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