I bought this book about 15 years ago when I was 10ish; the Star Wars card was still in place when I picked this novel up a fortnight ago at the place where I'd given up - page 11! The opening chapter sees Mel at a University Reunion, while the Doctor meets Anne Travers at her 50th Birthday party - not exactly themes to engage a very young Who fan. However, a mature me enjoyed this novel immensely, some nights I found it hard to put it down - surely the signs of a good, well-written novel??
Yes, as the previous reviewer wrote, this novel does have rather too many references to the TV show and a bit too much FW - like the assertion that the Great Intelligence was an evil Timelord from a previous universe!! Also the dialogue is sometimes a but crude. But the Sci-Fi ideas that have gone into this novel are perfect WHO and one is left wondering just what this would have looked like on-screen. The back states that the author is/was into x-men and fantasy literature; this comes through perfectly in the second half of the novel in the twisted reality. Ashley Chapel is a great Bond-like villian, and the author even makes Mel not seem too annoying. This yet another example of how interesting Colin Baker's Doctor could have been - what a wasted opportunity!
All in all - a cracking read...even 15 years after purchase.
The tragically premature death of Craig Hinton last year throws his back-catalogue into sharp relief. Millennial Rites features The Sixth Doctor and Mel and pits them against Ashley Chapel and his nefarious organization which has designed a computer programme that will ultimately hold the Earth to ransom. Why is Chapel laying off most of his staff? Who are the demonic creatures who are killing his former workers one-by-one, and what has all this to do with The Doctor's old enemy `The Great Intelligence'..? Hinton is clearly a DW nostalgic - Anne Travers, daughter of The Second Doctor's ally against The Yeti; The Valeyard - The Sixth Doctor's murderous alter-ego; UNIT; Tobias Vaughan and The Cybermen are all referenced here and whilst this doesn't detract from the story the accompanying techno-babble and sci-fi jargon do, quickly becoming wearing - as does Hinton's leaden prose and obsession with continuity. These niggles aside, the characters are mostly well-drawn and the sub-plot concerning two of the IT bods and their fractured relationship provides a welcome diversion from the overall campness that Hinton seems to favour.