I’ve just started reading the BBC 8th Doctor novels, so it’s taking me a bit to get used to the characters and pacing (compared to the Virgin new and missing adventures), but I found this work, by Martin Day well rounded.
It’s aimed at more mature readers and holds your interest without going over the top with swears and sex. The characters are solid and the 8th Doctor is pretty much as you’d like him to be, which is nice. The story is compelling and I actually cared about most of the characters - not something I could say about some of the other novels in the range.
After so many adventures on a cosmic scale in a never ending story arc, it's great to get a book set on earth in a small location with a small cast of characters. An admirable tightness of scale that the range has lacked for too long.
And this is a very well written volume with it. Focusing on the human characters and how they perceive the doctor and his friends this has some very good characterisation and reads like a decent novel in it's own right.
It's not quite perfect as when the monster finally comes on stage at the end it's a very dull creation, although the author has clearly worked hard to make it an interesting and original one.
But don't let that put you off. This is one of the best books in the range