The Price of Paradise
By DJ Forrest
Written by Colin Brake
For BBC Books
First published 2006
Starring Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler.
Laylora is a paradise planet. A place where all inhabitants are peace loving, where tropical beaches stretch for miles, where it’s warm and all is good - except, since the arrival of an explorer some 15 years ago, the planet has faced poor crop yields, where raging monsters terrorise the neighbourhood, and where people are going missing. Brother Hugan, the shaman, is concerned enough to want to pray to the goddess Laylora in the hope that he can find a peaceful outcome.
When a spaceship crashes through the jungle foliage and unleashes chemicals into the forest, and the Doctor and Rose land somewhere in amongst the chaos, following a message from the damaged Spaceship called the Humphrey Bogart, you know, if anyone is going to find the root cause, it’s the Doctor himself.
There’s enough detail in the inhabitants of the tropical planet, to build an image of who they might be, and you grow a fondness for them instantly. You begin to question the boy Rez and his family history and of the connection to the spaceship, although, I was pleasantly surprised that the connection wasn’t as predictable as I first thought.
For me personally, when the chase was on, I didn’t want to stop after one chapter (reading a chapter a night), I wanted to plough on and find out if the heroes of the hour would make it through, and who the casualties would be, and if the monster was revealed.
The monsters I have to say are brilliant, and although I couldn’t wholly picture them, they did conjure up enough of an idea of what they could be, that folklore images played a huge part in helping the story along, and kudos on the idea of what they were at the end. Brilliant.
From a writing point of view, I liked how each chapter was broken up into different scenes. Sometimes a chapter would be given to one character, but this was split so that the story from three different characters were all set into the one chapter, which helped to gain an insight into the story without you losing sight of the action.
Overall, this is a well written novel and well worth a read. I have no idea in which order this novel comes in for the 10th Doctor and Rose adventures, but to be honest, that doesn’t really matter to me. It’s the Doctor and Rose Tyler, adventuring in the TARDIS, and oh yeah, lots and lots of running, and climbing!