Torchwood: Hidden (2008) by Steven Savile

“Hidden” is an odd story in an odd range, a series of ten audiobooks not based on any actual books. That is, these stories were never released in print, they exist only as read-aloud-audiobooks, even though the actual writing is entirely prose and in every sense a novel.

This enlivens the actual stories being told quite a bit, as an issue with some of the prose Torchwood novels was dialogue that, while it well may have fit into the first series of the show (for better or worse), came across as awkward and stilted. Here, Naoko Mori brings all the dialogue to life as she does an admirable, enthusiastic job of emulating the other cast member’s voices. She goes the extra mile with imitating their mannerisms, and does a fun job of attempting all their different accents.

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For the most part, the actual writing is on-character enough, except for a few lapses there (particularly a bizarre tangent where Owen starts talking about “fixed points in time” and literally cribbing some of the Ninth Doctor’s “everything dies” monologue). Owen gets a bit of a tough time with the writing honestly, he delivers a cloyingly sappy monologue to Gwen that also characterises her in painfully uninteresting woman-as-caregiver terms too (thank god the show eventually iterated past that). Jack not reacting to a certain event involving Ianto also seems a weird oversight. The highpoint of the book is a enuinely thrilling sequence involving a car chase and its bloody aftermath.

A lot of what I assume are the author’s pet interests (King Raven, some matters of biology, a lot of entry-level alchemy that is explained and re-explained to the point of tedium) factor into the story, which is neat and integrated well enough, but the actual plot itself isn’t particularly engaging. Still it was an enjoyable listen all things considered. Two and a half secret societies, and a car crash.

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