Home : Archive : TSV 41-50 : TSV 46 : Review

Lords of the Storm

By David A McIntee

Book review by Paul Scoones

A few scenes in Planet of Fire was all we got to see of the period in the Doctor's life when Turlough was his only companion. David McIntee's Lords of the Storm gives us an insight into that partnership and suggests that the Time Lord and the Trion made a capable, if somewhat uneasy team.

Turlough is given the development he lacked on screen, although unlike other recent books this amounts to his perspectives on the current adventure than much background detail of his earlier life, although we do learn a little about Trion society.

McIntee theorizes that at least one future Earth colony retains the national identity and culture of one of today's countries. The adventure mostly takes place on the moon called Raghi, which supports a colony very much like one might expect to find in present-day India, complete with a strict caste system and arranged marriages. McIntee's three previous novels (White Darkness, First Frontier and Sanctuary) were all set in distinct times and places in Earth's history, and even though Lords of the Storm is a futuristic space opera, in parts it might as well be set in India. McIntee could have extrapolated an Earth colony of the far future with a broad mix of humans of many different cultures and possibly also aliens, but instead the wholesale transplant of an easily researched, present-day society lacks creativity.

Another characteristic present in every McIntee novel is the high level of descriptive detail. Reading any one of his novels requires concentration and patience as they are densely packed with minutiae such as technology, politics, biology and astrophysics. Take for example the full two pages in which a group of characters stands around discussing the gravity drive principles of a Tzun Stormblade nacelle. This level of description does however have its positive side for fans of the Sontarans. Just about anything you could ever want to know about the race appears somewhere in this book. McIntee has even rationalised the various differences in appearance of the Sontarans in the television stories and in the Shakedown video.

There's a plot strand which is concluded in Shakedown, but it is not essential to read both novels to appreciate this one; but be prepared for a complex plot and a mass of detail - much of which could have been dispensed with at no loss to the story - and you'll probably be satisfied with this book.

This item appeared in TSV 46 (January 1996).

Index nodes: Lords of the Storm