Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

December Books 16) First Born, by James Goss

A prequel to this year's Torchwood: Miracle Day series, which fairly leapt off the online shelves at me when I realised it was by James Goss, whose contributions to the off-screen Whoniverse have been pretty impressive, and that two of the readers - the main two, it turns out, the other four getting only a chapter or so each - are Kai "Rhys Williams" Owen, who did such a good job of Goss's Ghost Train, and Clare Corbett, who likewise did well sharing The Hounds of Artemis and carrying Dead of Winter on her own.

I was not disappointed. Although the plot itself is a pretty straightforward cut-and-paste from The Midwich Cuckoos and Children of the Corn, Goss puts together a very compelling story of creepy children in a village where nothing is quite right, with the added factor of Gwen Cooper and Rhys Williams and their very small baby trying to work out what is going on and also incidentally not get killed. I have been generally enjoying the Torchwood novels, which as a series are some of the hidden gems of Who fiction, but this is one of the best. The audio brings us Kai Owen's voice to do a warm, confused but courageous Rhys, with Clare Corbett doing a convincing interpretation of Eve Myles and carrying her chapters extremely impressively (she is really good at accents). Apart from the basic horror of the story, there's some bleak office humour about the bureaucracy of atrocity, and some tough teenagers who are central to the story. Very strongly recommended.
Tags: bookblog 2011, tv: torchwood, writer: james goss
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