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by Christopher Bulis

Book review by Felicity Scoones

Shadowmind is a moderately entertaining, moderately well written, moderate book.

Its greatest strength is its alien species. The author takes a concept: group consciousness - widely used for aliens in recent years - and successfully develops the idea, resulting in interesting, well used aliens with an original twist.

Overall, Shadowmind lacks cohesiveness. It introduces several minor characters in great detail then fails to use them until much later in the book. This would not matter so much if the characters played significant parts in the plot, but their roles are almost irrelevant and don't justify the attention accorded them earlier in the book.

The regular characters do not fare much better. It is said that in a well written book, the plot will be derived at least in part from the personalities of the main characters. This is certainly not the case in Shadowmind - the Doctor, Bernice and Ace could be replaced by any moderately intelligent pseudo-military heroes or heroines.

Christopher Bulis attempts to give Shadowmind integrity by including references to the Doctor's past involvement with humanity. Despite this, Shadowmind seems very isolated from the other books. There is no character development, and the book has no wider impact once the story is over.

Bulis does not seem to take Doctor Who seriously. The result is a superficial, average book.

This item appeared in TSV 36 (November 1993).

Index nodes: Shadowmind