Friday, March 29, 2013

Blood Heat!

Jim Mortimore's "Blood Heat" is like a cross between Jurassic Park, The Hunt For Red October, and Planet of the Apes - all set in the Whoniverse. I'm not sure I really liked the book, but I do have to give him credit: it's a fantastic examination of actions and consequences, and he does a good job of faking that no character is too important to kill off. At various points, it almost seems to apply to the Doctor himself.

My reasons for not being sure if I like it stem from my general dislike for mass bloodshed and military novels, coupled with my equally-general dislike of dystopian fiction. But the changed Earth of "Blood Heat" is expertly drawn. While there is a lot of new information since the book came out on dinosaurs, it's clear he spent some time researching the ecosystems of prehistoric Earth. I particularly liked the "no flowers" touch and the fact that humans were starting to be nearing a food crisis with the changes to everything.

It's those little touches that really make the difference. Watching familiar characters die. Moments of bravery. Strangeness in characters we thought we knew well, but we can see why the strangeness is happening. Ace's little smartbomb. The TARDIS sinking into a tar pit, of all things!

I hadn't encountered the Silurian's third eye before, but my exposure to them has been limited to new series characters and I'm not at all sure at this writing (within minutes of having closed the book) whether the third eye is something Mortimore made up or if it's found in the earlier Silurian episodes. What I do know is that I like it. But then, I have a weakness for telepathy.

I don't hate this book, not by a long shot. It's well-written and well-thought-out. I just don't think I'm the target audience. Its audience will love it.


  1. The original Silurians had a third eye and some unexplained abilities associated with it, but Mortimore's the one who made those abilities psychic, as I understand it.

  2. I've been going back to this one for ages, never able to convince myself to buy it...but from your review it does sound like I am the intended audience (1984 is my favourite book ever)