March 11th, 2014


The Brood of Erys, by Andrew Smith

Another audio with Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor and Lisa Greenwood as feisty young companion Flip. This has two very effective concepts - the eponymous Brood, who call themselves the Drachee, horrible malevolent childlike aliens; and the woman who has amnesia, engineered so that she does not know the role she plays in the history of the planet Erys (which itself turns out to have some unexpected secrets). Smith of course wrote Adric's debut Full Circle back in the day, and has done a couple more Big Finish stories since; I think this is the best of them.

March Books 2) The Other Hand (aka Little Bee), by Chris Cleave

The second paragraph from Chapter 3:
In your country, if you are not scared enough already, you can go to watch a horror film. Afterward you can go out of the cinema into the night and for a little while there is horror in everything. Perhaps there are murderers lying in wait for you at home. You think this because there is a light on in your house that you are certain you did not leave on. And when you remove your makeup in the mirror last thing, you see a strange look in your own eyes. It is not you. For one hour you are haunted, and you do not trust anybody, and then the feeling fades away. Horror in your country is something you take a dose of to remind yourself that you are not suffering from it.
A book about the intersecting lives of a young woman from Nigeria, who flees the violent destruction of her village and family, and the English woman whose life gets intertwined with hers. There are some graphic and moving descriptions of the horrors of Little Bee's life in a British refugee detention centre; I think the story goes a bit astray in equating the problems of the English protagonist with those of her Nigerian counterpart, but I suppose its heart is in the right place.

Interesting to read this at the same time as Dominion by C.J. Sansom; both novels feature Englishwomen in rocky marriages whose young sons are called Charlie; in both cases their world is upset before the start of the story by a death caused by falling.