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Dreamstone Moon

By Paul Leonard

Book review by Brad Schmidt

Despite the negative reviews Paul Leonard has received all too often for his work, I have enjoyed most of it, especially Genocide. Unfortunately his latest novel leaves the reader with a sense of despair and depression.

The story picks up where Longest Day finished, with Sam separated from the Doctor and facing the prospect of leading the rest of her life abandoned in a strange century. More angst is not what Sam needs to be a likeable character, but she has it nonetheless. When the Doctor finally enters the story, he is remarkably intuitive, leaving me with the odd impression that he possessed some sort of foreknowledge of events; an impression that isn't elaborated on but lingers regardless. Otherwise his characterisation is a welcome return to form, especially when you realise how often this Doctor is, when best portrayed, faced with such a multitude of events that he is unable to deal with all of them unassisted.

Leonard's style here is all too familiar, with the characters breaking into italicised panic attacks with amazing frequency, implying they are all on the verge of suffering a breakdown. The vast magnitude of alien species present suggests a novel of epic proportions, something which isn't evident in the finished product and simply leads to frustration at trying to visualise all the different characters. By the conclusion I still pictured Alloise as an Alpha-Centaurian, not through lack of imagination but as an easy alternative to struggling to imagine a character from Leonard's lifeless prose.

This isn't the worst Eighth Doctor story I have read, but coming from the same author as that of the excellent Genocide, it is a disappointment. [3/5]

This item appeared in TSV 55 (October 1998).

Index nodes: Dreamstone Moon