Survival of the Fittest

Author: Jeff Mariotte
Simon and Schuster
RRP 5.99
ISBN 0 6898 7274 7
Available 04 October 2004

Alien abduction fever has gripped San Francisco. People everywhere are reporting loved ones missing... only to have them show up at home with no recollection of having been gone. The Charmed Ones can't help but become involved, especially when Phoebe receives a letter to her advice column from a woman who's convinced her sister was "taken." The victim says she was just out, but since she's returned, she's developed an almost demonic devotion to a new workout program...

The workout program in question, created by Meg Winship, has become increasingly popular in the Bay Area. Even Piper, after seeing an informercial, suddenly finds herself jogging to the "Winship Way." Luckily there's a rally being held in San Francisco in the next few days. Meg Winship herself will appear to further inspire and thank her new disciples. If there's something supernatural involved, as the sisters suspect, the fitness fiesta is their best bet to figure out who - or what - is in charge of the chaos.

Survival of the Fittest sees Charmed go all X-Files. There's even a hint of a zombie story hidden away within this well thought out book - with joggers out mindlessly running with a blissful look on their faces as they listen to the keep fit recording on their personal stereos.

The story unfolds at a good pace and I loved the way everything started to dawn on Phoebe and Paige - that they not only had to rescue their sister Piper, but hundreds, maybe thousands of women across San Francisco.

I was really shocked at how poor the cover image was. This really bad cut-out of the three sisters looked like a child had done it with plastic scissors.

Otherwise, this is another cracking Charmed book that fans of the TV series will love.

Amber Leigh

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