31 July 2015

Review: The New Adventures: Twilight of the Gods by Mark Clapham and Jon de Burgh Miller

Acquired March 2015
Read April 2015
The New Adventures: Twilight of the Gods
by Mark Clapham and Jon de Burgh Miller

What a way to go out! And what I mean by that, is that the New Adventures have gone out with a total whimper: the last three novels have just been boring and dull, the narrative potential of the Gods arc totally squandered. Here, basically Benny just got to do some technobabble and the allegedly universe-shattering problem that she's been up against is solved so easily. Add in yet another previously-unseen-but-supposedly-very-well-known-colleague-of-Benny's-from-St.-Oscar's, and you have a banal action-adventure plot that delivers on none of the neat stuff about faith set up by Rebecca Levene and Simon Winstone in Where Angels Fear.

(As a side note, it was amusing to note that I don't think Dave Stone ever read this book, as nothing he says about the hell dimension Jason was in in The Dead Man Diaries and The Infernal Nexus really relates to the one he ends up in here; probably someone just told him, "Jason's in a hell dimension," and he just went and did his own thing, as he so often does.)

I've been reading the Bernice Summerfield New Adventures on-and-off for ten years now, and since April 2012, I've read one of them every three months (more or less) in an effort to finally finish the series off-- which now I've done at last. To be honest, I don't think it ever really delivered on its potential. The narrative arcs were either halting or uninteresting, the early insistence on providing frothy sci-fi standalones meant Bernice never really grew or developed as a character, and the writers/editors obviously never really committed to a recurring cast of characters-- the only characters who were carried from book to book were the ones already introduced in Doctor Who (Jason, Braxiatel, and Chris). There's a lot of potential in Benny as a character, as Big Finish's later work would show, but these twenty-three books have a surprisingly few number of highlights.

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