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Infinite Requiem

By Daniel Blythe

Book review by Chris Girdler

Daniel Blythe plays it safe with his second book, Infinite Requiem, which conforms to the Doctor Who tradition without repeating plot ideas from the past. Once again there's a sub-plot set on Earth (and once again, its relevance to the main plot is somewhat dubious), but the best chapters are set solely on the worn-torn Gadrell Major.

The Sensopaths are the strongest characters in the book. Unfortunately they are mind readers/controllers which means that a) the Doctor (being a Time Lord - or more) can resist their power and has the upper hand, and b) we get to delve into the regular characters' innermost fears. Is the Doctor still guilty about his past? Does Benny really care if people find out that she's not a real professor? I encourage deeper characterisation for the main crew but writers need to move on and develop these characters further.

Prior to reading Infinite Requiem, I presumed the hologram of the Doctor was a fill-in character to replace the newly-departed Ace, but the hologram is a useful plot device and only makes brief appearances. Having said that, Livewire shares many of Ace's characteristics except she has a crossbow instead of a gun. The Doctor is definitely the main character of this book which is a relief after his questionable relevance to the plots of some recent New Adventures. (7/10)

Book review by Francis Cooke

The recent New Adventures (Falls the Shadow, Parasite, Warlock and Set Piece) have all been rather heavy-going books, trying to leave the reader stunned and dazed at what had happened. Now the relief ships come, with Infinite Requiem being a story that takes you on a nice, comfortable ride, and drops you off at the end feeling very satisfied. There are no dramatic revelations about the Doctor, he doesn't destroy seven planets or manipulate his companions so they hate him. Instead we enjoy a nice relaxing story.

It starts on a base on the planet Gadrell Major, where humans and Dalek-like mutants in protective casings called Phractons are busy hacking it out together, with the Phractons taking the upper hand. The leader of the human party is Darius Cheynor, from Daniel Blythe's previous book, The Dimension Riders. Blythe also has a whole array of new characters, my favourites being Suzi Palsson and the Phracton Commandant.

Into this come the Sensopaths. They are one entity which has broken into three splinters, Kelzen, Jirenal. and Shanstra. Shanstra arrives at Gadrell Major. Keizen is flung into a very vivid 1997, and Jirenal winds up in an interesting 'future society of dreamers and telepaths'. All of the characters in the book are very well done, the plots great, the settings are excellent, but it just seemed to lack that spark that got a lot of the recent novels top marks. Maybe my opinion will change with a re-read... (9/10)

This item appeared in TSV 45 (September 1995).

Index nodes: Infinite Requiem