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St Anthony's Fire

By Mark Gatiss

Book review by Jamas Enright

This is the second New Adventure from Gatiss and it is just as brilliant.

There is civil war on the planet of Betrushia, caused by a differing of religions. However, after fifteen years, an armistice is to be declared. Before the order for peace can be given, something happens to the central cities, and so the orders are never received. Instead it appears that their religious prophecies are about to come true and the quakes, meteor showers and strange ships in the sky signal the end of their planet.

The plot is very fast moving and I just couldn't put this book down. However, the speed may have been detrimental to the descriptions as I found it hard to picture some of the main places, which hindered my comprehension of what was happening.

The Ismetch and the Cutch (another warlike lizard race) have been very well thought out, and they come across as very believable. The characters have been so well done that it is a pity that they will never be used again.

On the other hand, the Church of St Anthony seemed almost irrelevant, and if not for the religious conflict, they could have been replaced with almost any invading race.

There seems to be a change indicated for the TARDIS crew, with the TARDIS and the Doctor's clothes changing physically, and Ace changing mentally. It will be interesting to see if the next novels follow this up. This New Adventure rates highly, and I hope Gatiss continues while he is going so well.

This item appeared in TSV 43 (March 1995).

Index nodes: St Anthony's Fire