Ok this is my first review so I'll give it my best shot and see what happens.

The story stars the Fourth Doctor and Leela and a plot centred around an alien artefact being sought after by various factions and an alien ice creature. There is no timeframe given, as far as I could see, although it is set on modern day Earth. The story is well paced from the start and the characters of the Doctor and Leela are well captured, although the Doctor's hmm's at the end of sentences seem more in line with the first Doctor. Maybe I'm wrong but this is the first fourth doctor novel that I've noticed this.

As for the other characters, many of them are well done. White Shadow comes across as more then just another version of UNIT, whilst Parker and Melody are well characterised, although it feels they are underused. It would have been nice to see both White shadow and Parker and Melody used again. They come across sufficiently strongly that the Doctor and Leela's part in the novel seems to be equal. In a lot of the books I've found the Doctor and companion(s) either take centre stage or are pushed into the background. Mention must also be made of Kristal, who is written brilliantly for the short time she appears.

As for the alien creature, again, it is well done. It doesn't dominate the book and is more in the background. Its influence to begin with is very subtle. A refreshing change to the full alien invasion of many stories, and you can almost feel sorry for it.

The setting of winter is reinforced throughout the book with the background setting, the ice creature and various uses of words such as cold, ice, freeze etcetera. Instead of being over-intrusive, this really sets the scene.

Overall I think this is a excellent book, one of the best who novels I've read. Maybe the fact I read this in winter time (It snowed the day after I finished) made it better which in that case I recommend anyone to do the same.

Review by Ade Ellis


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