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Book Review

Book Cover



Authors: James Moran, Joseph Lidster, Andrew Cartmel, Sarah Pinborough and David Llewellyn
BBC Books
RRP: £6.99, US $11.99
ISBN: 978 1 846 07784 5
Available 01 October 2009

Saving the planet, watching over the Rift, preparing the human race for the twenty-first century... Torchwood has been keeping Cardiff safe since the late 1800s. Small teams of heroes, working 24/7, encountering and containing the alien, the bizarre, and the inexplicable. But Torchwood do not always see the effects of their actions. What links the Rules and Regulations for replacing a Torchwood leader to the destruction of a shopping centre? How does a witness to an alien's reprisals against Torchwood become caught up in a night of terror in a university library? And why should Gwen and Ianto's actions at a local publisher have a cost for Torchwood more than half-a-century earlier? For Torchwood, the past will always catch up with them. And sometimes the future will catch up with the past...

Consequences is another Torchwood novel from BBC Books. However, this time around, instead of one continuous tale, we get a collection of short stories which loosely link together.

I have to admit that I wasn't overly struck on this book, mainly because everything seemed so rushed. And of the five tales, only two were actually enjoyable.

First up is The Baby Farmers by David Llewellyn. This is a story from Jack's past as he investigates an organisation who claim to take babies from poor families, who can't afford to bring them up or don't want them as they are born out of wedlock, and have them adopted with rich families. Well, at least that's the official line. A little dull and heavy going, this isn't the best story to open with.

Next up is Kaleidoscope by Sarah Pinborough - now this is more like it. Torchwood are on the hunt for an alien device which appears like an old fashioned Kaleidoscope, but when the user looks through it they see a weird, yet beautiful, aura around people. However, while at first the consequences to using the device seem harmless - even beneficial considering how it actually has the ability to change people who are viewed through it - the addictive nature of the Kaleidoscope soon sticks its claws into the user. Pinborough actually creates a tale that's worthy of your full attention. From the opening page to the rather bleak conclusion this is a neat little story.

The Wrong Hands by Andrew Cartmel sees a young woman going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the safety of her baby. Torchwood are called in to examine just what exactly is going on. While fairly interesting, this story spends way too much time building up to the main twist, and then it all seems to conclude a little quickly.

Virus by James Moran follows on from the previous tale, with an alien on Earth in order to seek his revenge on Torchwood for the death of a member of his family. Jack is injected with a virus and has a limited time in which to hunt down the antidote. This is a good, solid tale which comes beautifully to life.

Finally we have Joseph Lidster's Consequences. For me, this is the one story that I just didn't get. While I understood what the writer was trying to do, he made it so unnecessarily complicated as to appear pointless. It's also possibly the most excessive use of story stretching I've ever read.

On balance this is not a book I'd recommend, although if you want a collection of short Torchwood related tales there's sure to be something here to your liking.


Darren Rea

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