Halflife deals, albeit temporarily - with the amnesia that has been plaguing the 8th Doctor since The Ancestor Cell. In this respect the novel is satisfying enough, but as a novel in it's own right the story of an organic sentient weapons factory on the run is only semi-successful. The first half of the novel is languid, with the Doctor and Fitz exploring Espero and going through a bit of mind-swapping - the latter half is overly busy, with numerous aliens and concepts struggling to be fully realised in a short amount of space. Reasonably enjoyable, but Halflife is ultimately stronger on it's characterisation (the Doctor's amnesia, Fitz's hilarious erotic dream, Trix finally failing to go in disguise and starting to reveal her own character) than it's plot. Good, but a little disappointing as a follow up to the authors debut Relative Dementias.
Finally freed from the story arc, we can now get back to more regular doctor who stories. This is one such, bringing us a rather conventional plot of strange worlds and alien devices. There's a lot of strong incidental detail, mostly in a nicely realised alien world and some good supporting characters, but the book meanders for the first half and then has to rush to wrap everything up before the end.
It also deals with the doctor's lost memories. The resolution of this was not was I hoping for, but I didn't throw the book across the room, so it can't have been too bad