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May Books 20) Transit, by Ben Aaronovitch

There was one pedantic point that really annoyed me about this book: Arcturus is spelt incorrectly throughout, missing the first 'r'. A good defemce lawyer would plead that we are not talking about α Boötis but about some other celestial body with the similar name of 'Acturus', but I'm unconvinced.

Apart from that point, I actually rather enjoyed this book, which is a fairly huge admission for me as I am very definitely not a fan of Aaronovitch's two broadcast stories (Remembrance of the Daleks and Battlefield). I found it reminiscent of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, which was pubished two months earlier - so can hardly have been a direct influence; must have both absorbed the Zeitgeist. The Doctor and friends are caught up in a peculiar problem involving AIs and an interplanetary mass transmat system, but also involving grizzled war veterans and various other factions. There is a cracking pace to it.

Besides the mangling of Arcturus, I have one other minor gripe about the book. The previous volume in the series, Love and War, invested much time in introducing new companion Benny Summerfield; but here she (and to an extent the Doctor) blend into background scenery, with much more action going to the Brigadier's genetically engineered warrior descendent, Kadiatu Lethbridge Stewart. She turns out to be a super character in her own right, but it does give the book a mild air of being Kadiatu's adventure in which the Doctor appears trying to rescue Benny, which is not what one expects from a Who book.

Still, very enjoyable.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
scott_lynch
Jun. 1st, 2010 05:44 am (UTC)
Oh, man. This takes me back. The early New Adventures were the "bridge" between my childhood reading tastes (mostly Doctor Who novelizations) and the adult science fiction (Dune, The Forever War, Foundation, Neuromancer, etc.) I started reading when I was 13-14.

I have to admit that I'm a huge Remembrance fan, and that while Battlefield as filmed is, er, considerably less than epic, I always liked its concepts.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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