Set between Torchwood's third series (Children of Earth) and its fourth (Miracle Day), First Born tells the story of Gwen Cooper and Rhys Williams, neSet between Torchwood's third series (Children of Earth) and its fourth (Miracle Day), First Born tells the story of Gwen Cooper and Rhys Williams, new parents on the run from undefined forces, due to their part in the events of Children of Earth. They end up in a small Welsh village, with a history of infertility. If nobody from the village is able to have children, then where did all the teenage children come from? Why do they seem just a little bit left of normal? And what is the connection back to Torchwood?
James Goss has crafted a book that works as a Torchwood tie-in novel, and an effectively chilling British science fiction/horror novel. His characterizations of Gwen, Rhys, and Captain Jack Harkness are spot-on. He creates an effectively creepy mood when necessary, and manages to give us a science fiction explanation that feels internally plausible and consistent without being confusing. It's the sort of story that is very much in keeping with the tone of the Torchwood television series, but requires almost no knowledge of the show in order to appreciate it.
Of course, because it's a prequel to the latest series on television, we know Gwen and Rhys survive just fine. But that doesn't make the story any less compelling, because Goss gives us new characters whose fates we want to learn. For fans of Torchwood, it's a chance to see a new, offbeat adventure, one where Gwen can't rely on the support structure of Torchwood and the skills of Captain Jack. For readers looking to while away the hours with a spooky-ooky story, it fills that niche just fine, as well....more
You would expect this Torchwood novel, written by its star, John Barrowman (with his sister), to be fairly faithful to the tone of the TV series. AndYou would expect this Torchwood novel, written by its star, John Barrowman (with his sister), to be fairly faithful to the tone of the TV series. And Exodus Code doesn't disappoint. As I read it, I could absolutely picture this being filmed for television. I could hear the actors saying their characters' dialogue, and imagined the scenes as they would be filmed. The Barrowman siblings have written a very visual novel. However, by throwing in an element of synesthesia, they've also created a story that works on the page better than it would on the screen, by including something that could only be experienced by getting into the characters' heads.
It's not a perfect novel; the ending feels a bit rushed and confusing to me. However, for fans of Torchwood, with no new TV series in sight, this will strike a lot of familiar chords, and will fill the desire for a new Torchwood story. It also speaks well for the writing team of the Barrowman siblings. It's easy to imagine that this book was commissioned on the celebrity name of the TV star. However, this doesn't feel like just some cynical vanity project, but the product of two authors who truly love the series, and want to do right by it. Lots of fun!...more