I love the Torchwood series, I love the stories, I love the characters, I love it all! So I bought this book along with the two others in the series - wow what a disappointment!! The story was not in the exciting, pacey vein of the TV shows, the writing seems so simple that it is hard to read. It doesn't flow at all. The characters have been simplified and certain traits exaggerated - in the TV show the characters are much more complex than the one dimensional people in the book. I did manage to read this book to the end, but I have never felt inclined to pick up one of the other books in the series that I bought. It feels a far cry from the TV series that I love so much, and I would not recommend this book to a Torchwood nor someone looking for a good read! What a shame!
There is not one single Torchwood book that I can physically read past chapter three.
As a great fan of the show I had very high expectations of the books, especially as they are from the BBC. However, to say I was disappointed is a very big understatement...
None of the characters in the book are true to the show and there are things said and actions carried out that would never happen on Torchwood. Reading up to chapter two on this book I tried to imagine what the scene was like and the characters saying their lines, yet this was impossible!
All the books are by different authors so I thought I'd hire them all out of the library (thank heavens I did, otherwise I would of wasted a lot of money on nothing!) and see if some authors are better than others. But they weren't. The authors all have very similar writing styles which consists of highly basic 7 - year - old language and unimaginative situations.
If you haven't watched the show you might like the books, but I doubt it...
I don't know why I do it but for some reason every time that I go to a jumble sale or a car boot sale I come home with a bag full of books. I already have a bookcase full of novels to be read, yet still I add to this ever increasing pile. To make matters worse it's not as if my taste is any good. My bag of books will not contain classics or Booker nominated fare - it will contain generic crime novels and worst of all the tie in novels. To heap even more shame onto my purchases I have been known to buy tie in novels for shows and films I have never even watched. Why do I do this to myself? Probably because these books are such easy reads that I can get them finished in two days! One such example of this was 'Torchwood: Slow Decay'. I have never watched the show; would a book encourage me to do so?
There is a new diet pill sweeping the streets of Cardiff with a difference - it actually works. People are asked to take one pill to begin the weight loss process and another to end it when the desired load is shifted. Sounds too good to be true? Well it may just be because the new pills are more deadly than first imagined, the people who take them become ravenously hungry and keep losing weight no matter what they chew on (even their own flesh). Captain Jack and co. are on the case when they stumble across the body of a creature seemingly attacked by a ravenous human. Can they stop the hunger from spreading?
Having never watched 'Torchwood' I was struck by a couple of things that the book seemed to suggest about the show - its unlikeable characters and its adult feel. These two elements work together in 'Slow Decay' as the constant musing on matter sexual makes you feel at unease with the characters. One character that is particularly creepy is Owen who seems obsessed by sex. If this was not enough the supposedly likable heroes of Captain Jack and Eve are too self obsessed for my liking. I assume that the creators of 'Torchwood' were aiming for a 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' feel with a show that is as much about relationships as science fiction. Unfortunately, they seemed to have fallen into the same trap as later 'Buffy' with thinking that the audience actually care that deeply about character insights.
With only one likable character on show, technology expert Toshiko, it is easy to think I hated this book. This is not the case as the story itself was very intriguing and just the right level of B movie horror for me. The book was a cross between a zombie adventure and aliens, by taking the clichéd elements of these 'Slow Decay' actually works. The central premise of an alien diet aid works brilliantly and Lane is able to structure the book so that the story is played out at a good pace and with an exciting finale. I could easily see this making a solid action film; I just hope that the BBC don't plan to make it with dodgy CGI and poor actors.
With a fun plot that rattles along at a good pace I was surprised how much I enjoyed 'Slow Decay'. The problems do not lie with the narrative, but the characters and their flaws. I can handle a book that rips off countless better pieces of work, but I can not stand having to sit through 300+ pages of unlikable people who I am meant to sympathise with. Captain Jack seems aloof and stuck up in this book, not the kind of man I would want to follow into a battle to the death. Yet despite all these flaws there is no denying that Lane has fashioned a decent science fiction novel. I think that fans of the show would come out of this book with more than I did and they should read it. Non fans should probably avoid it as there is little here that has not been done better elsewhere.
Author: Andy Lane
Price: amazon uk - £5.49
play.com - £5.49