The Wheel. A ring of ice and steel turning around a moon of Saturn, and home to a mining colony supplying a resource-hungry Earth. It's a bad place to grow up. The colony has been plagued by problems. Maybe it's just gremlins, just bad luck. But the equipment failures and thefts of resources have been increasing, and there have been stories among the children of mysterious creatures glimpsed aboard the Wheel. Many of the younger workers refuse to go down the warren-like mines anymore.
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Doctor Number Two
A Few Cracks In The Ice
Yes, especially if they are Second Doctor fans. The flavor of the characters is really well captured.
This is a very solid read. I am not familiar with Stephen Baxter's other work, but based on his work here I'd give it a go. I was definitely intrigued by the basic setting here, and Baxter did a good job of bringing it to life with a decent-sized cast of characters in addition to the main cast of the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. Although some of the characters didn't really rise about the stock cyphers we're usually presented with, even in the television series, a few of them took on enough dimension to make them interesting. So it's good that the main cast is well rendered. It might have helped that I listened to the audio book, and David Troughton does an amazing impression of his father, the late Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor. It really is uncanny at times. The surprising thing is that he does a very good Jamie as well.
The main plot is intriguing enough, and unfolds in a pleasing manner for the most part. The mystery is solved little by little for the most part. One unfortunate exception occurs during one of the "interludes" in the book. The author uses this device to give us a bit of the backstory of certain characters or settings. For the most part, it works. But I feel like the nature of the main "threat" came too early during one of these interludes, and it became annoying that the main characters were falling behind us in discovering it's nature and it took some of the mystery away too early.
There is a subplot involving a visit to another moon that seems to not go much of anywhere. I think the point was to build up the guest cast a bit (and give Jamie something to do) but while Jamie comes off well, the guest cast with him never really comes to life. It just seems to be a series of misfortunes that happen to them that don't amount to much. I was also a bit annoyed at the number of times characters entered and exited the moon. They'd barely escape with their lives, and then head right back down again. I think this happened at least four times. Although the task ahead was different each time, it did feel a bit repetitive. Also - I must note that bomb defusing in a book is even less interesting than it is in TV shows or in the movies.
Still, all in all I found it an enjoyable experience in audiobook form, and I'm so happy past Doctors are finally getting new books again.
- Jon Huff "designer and aritst"