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Something in the Water by Trevor Baxendale

Something in the Water

by Trevor Baxendale

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Several of my friends regularly watch/watched Dr Who and Torchwood. I managed to never get into Torchwood when it was on the air. I was familiar with the characters and concepts due to catching bits and pieces of the show or hearing friends discuss some point or other. I'm more of a reader than TV watcher, so I started reading this series as I was interested enough to see what it was all about. At first, I had assumed the novels would just retell the events from the TV show, but these are totally different stories. The books do occasionally touch on stuff that happened in the show as the events they portray sort of happen between episodes. After reading the first 12 novels in this series, I actually went back and watched the whole show, too, since I liked the characters so much. ( )
  ktlavender | Jul 17, 2017 |
Reads like a first series episode - very gross in spots, no character development to speak of. ( )
  SF_fan_mae | Jan 15, 2016 |
I loved this book. It was so exciting and I absolutely love the cast of characters. It did give me some strange dreams when I read it right before bed though lol. ( )
  Barb_H | Feb 27, 2014 |

One of the first run of Torchwood novels, which I am just now getting into (just in time for Miracle Day). A fairly standard monster-of-the-week story, the monster in this case being an alien which poses as a lake creature and infects male humans with its offspring. I felt the writing style was a bit clunky at first but it seemed to get tightened up as we went on. The front cover and spine feature Burn Gorman as Owen, and he does get more exposure than the other four, but we get a fair bit of Jack and Toshiko as well. Will be looking out for more of these. ( )
  nwhyte | Jun 5, 2011 |
First in the trio of books released for the start of the second tv series. There are a couple of internal references to tell you that it's set between "To the last man" and "Meat", but there's nothing that requires specific knowledge of the show other than the basics of who Torchwood are and what they do.

Baxendale takes an old British legend and puts a Torchwood spin on it, as a water hag causes havoc around Cardiff. The book starts with several different strands which have no connection other than stagnant water, and for good measure tosses in a flu epidemic that isn't. It takes the Torchwood team some time to connect all the clues, by which time they're infected as well. Much running around chasing or being chased by bad guys ensues, making for a plot that offers both thoughtful research by the team and physical mayhem before they manage to close down a major threat.

Excellent characterisation, and I could hear the voices while reading much of the dialogue, as Baxendale catches the distinctive speech patterns well. There's a decent spread of word count across the characters, and good ensemble play between various combinations rather than focusing on only one or two (though don't go looking for any overt reference to the relationship between Jack and Ianto, because it isn't there). Owen gets a fair bit of attention, as this is partly a medical mystery and his expertise is directly relevant to one strand of the story. Owen's very likeable in doctor mode, without entirely losing his nasty edge with his teammates, which is the way I like him.

There's a lot of good banter, and some nice one-liners, not just for the main characters but for the one-offs created for this story.

It's a solid story that makes good use of both the inspiring myth and various quirks of the Torchwood universe. This isn't just a generic science fantasy with the right names pasted in, but something that's very clearly Torchwood. There are some minor disappointments (in particular, I felt the ending was rather abrupt), but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I can see why people with different tastes might have found it a bit flat, but it happens to hit my buttons rather well. ( )
1 vote JulesJones | Jul 2, 2008 |
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For Martine, Luke and Konnie - with love as always
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The late Bob Strong. That's what they called him.
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Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen, Owen, Tosh and Ianto are a close-knit team of investigators solving alien and human crimes as they delve into the underworld of modern day Cardiff. This novel ties into a BBC2 series.

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