Home > Books, Geek > The further adventures of Torchwood

The further adventures of Torchwood

Earlier this year, Torchwood: Miracle Day‘s launch was accompanied by a trio of tie-in novels1. Previous releases have included books written by the likes of genre favourites such as Dan Abnett and James Moran, so it came as no surprise that this batch featured work by some of the more notable and ‘upcoming’ authors.

Long Time Dead by Sarah Pinborough is the most intriguing of three, as it stars recurring villain Suzy Costello. Fans of the show will recall that Suzy is a girl who just won’t stay dead, and in this, she’s back again, raising hell. Pinborough delivers a nicely chilling story of murder, other-worldly horror and science-gone-wrong with some lovingly delivered moments of utter creepiness. Just enough is left to the imagination to be nicely chilling, and though the tale runs across fairly predictable lines, the characterisation of the confused yet completely crazy Costello is superb. One to pick up by an author who’s worth checking out.

First Born features the return of well known characters from the series

James Goss’s addition to the series, First Born is the best of the bunch. It features former Torchwood agent Gwenn, her husband Rhys and their new-born baby girl on the run. The small family swiftly finds itself in a remote welsh village with a sinister secret and twisted problems. The tale is told from multiple perspectives, and Goss makes the characters compelling and endearing. Fans of the show will find a lot to love here and it’s the sort of science-fiction horror that Torchwood does well.

Man who sold the World is the weakest of the three, and suffers from the fact that the main character, Rex, is the least established Torchwood hero. (He’s only been in the recent series.) It’s a neat little sci-fi thriller, but Rex comes across as unlikeable (rather than headstrong). Author Guy Adams is a very strong writer who seems to have had the toughest deal here, and though it’s a reasonable adventure, the main characters simply don’t carry the story far enough. I was quite disappointed by this, but I do hope we see Rex again, should they do another set of spin-off novels.


1: You may have noticed I like tie-in novels. This is because I’m a big fan of shared creative works, and I find the idea of being invited to play in someone else’s creative sandpit to be highly appealing. Creating a world from whole cloth is one thing, but telling original tales in a more established setting is something else entirely, and allows for a depth often missing from single-creator works. I do wonder if some people are snooty about tie-in fiction because they feel foreknowledge is required to enjoy them. This is rarely the case, as a good tie-in writer can cater to both new and experienced readers at the same time.

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