The Deviant Strain, while not in my opinon the best of the current series of books, nevertheless provides a top read for fans of the new series, with perhaps the best balancing of the trio usage. Top form here is the newbie Jack, who demonstates brilliantly the changes that are turning him from the ruggish rogue of 'The Empty Child' to the heroic soldier of 'Parting of the Ways'. The secondary characters are also made by Richards to be entertaining and also somewhat creepy, excellently capturing the mood he is trying to establish - this is a darker tale, yet feels completely different to any of the episodes that have gone before, mainly due to the perfect choice to have an adventure set outside London in the present day. While this isn't quite as good as his first book for the Ninth Doctor, Justin Richards still manages to create a spooky atmosphere fitting of such a tale, complete with some shocking twists. If 'The Unquiet Dead' was your favourite episode in the new series, you'll be right at home with this.