Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Highest Science

I found this one satisfying. It wasn't, say, Paul Cornell, but it was exactly what I was looking for after a couple of months' break from this blog.

The initial jumpcuts were slightly annoying. In the opening paragraphs, Roberts does a good job of telegraphing that they're coming up. This kept the annoyance factor from getting out of control, since I knew there was a connection and that it wasn't just a bad writer. Still, I felt the novel didn't really take off until Benny and the Doctor appear.

Once it did take off, I enjoyed it every bit as much as I have Roberts' forays into the new series. The Lovecraft pastiche of Urnst made me giggle. Benny has obviously developed quite a bit of comfort with the Doctor, and he is starting to settle down with her. That really helps.

I loved the Chelonians. Full disclosure: one of my immediately post-college nicknames is "Flaming Death Turtle" (... It came out of an RPG session. Don't judge!), so I was naturally predisposed to like disintegratey cyborg death turtles. I mean, it's kind of the natural next step in the progression. And I loved the tongue-in-cheek "Time of Blood" bit. I think giving the General the equivalent of PMS was pretty awesome.

Given the novel was written during the height of Lollapalooza, I also had some nostalgic love for the druggies. The Dead were still touring too, so that kind of big event show was a major part of the culture. Roberts' extrapolation of how that kind of event would play out made a lot of sense and brought me further into the novel. I found Rodo and Sendai at least very plausible characters.

Sheldukher didn't really keep my interest as a villain, except to wonder exactly how the Doctor would deal with him. But the entire setup of the plot, as explained in the later chapters, was very well done and satisfying. the Mcguffiny bits were handled deftly, and the wrapping up of the end worked beautifully.

I look forward to one day rereading this again. I'm also happy that a storyteller like this has found ongoing work with the series.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to see the posts continue. I was worried for the two of you when this went public. Keep up the good work!