Doctor Who: So Vile A Sin [Book Review]

Doctor Who: So Vile A Sin
By Ben Aaronovitch and Kate Orman / Virgin Books / May 1997

‘If you step into history,’ said the Doctor, ‘I won’t be able to protect you.’
‘This isn’t history,’ said Roz. ‘This is family.’

The Earth Empire – the Imperium Humanum, upon which a thousand suns never set – is dying.

The Great Houses of the Empire manoeuvre and scheme for advantage; alliances are made; and knives flash in the shadows. Out among the moons of Jupiter, another battle is just beginning, as an ancient brotherhood seeks limitless power and long-overdue revenge

The Doctor returns to the thirtieth century, searching for the source of a terrifying weapon. He fears a nightmare from his own past may be about to destroy the future. Nothing must be allowed to get in his way.

But the Doctor has reckoned without the power of history – which has its own plans for the wayward daughter of the House of Forrester.

The fact that this book was rushed to publication so fast was probably the most vile sin of all. Delayed due to Ben Aaronovitch’s hard drive crash, Kate Orman stepped in to finish this much anticipated New Adventure, which heralds the death of a companion.

The book has a promising start, but deteriorates into a muddled mess of a narrative. It’s not like I hated the book; I was just very disappointed.

There is so much happening in the novel, and it is very difficult to follow. There were even times where I couldn’t figure out why certain parts of the story were there in the first place. So Vile A Sin is definitely full of great ideas and great moments, but put together, it seems that it deserved a little more polishing before going to print.

Although So Vile A Sin was a disappointment and a difficult read, it is probably a must for those who have followed the New Adventures loyally. And while I may have panned this particular effort by the authors, I must say that Aaronovitch’s The Also People was brilliant, and I have enjoyed every New Adventure I have read by Orman: The Left-Handed Hummingbird, Set Piece and Sleepy.

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