The Price of Paradise
By DJ Forrest
Written by Colin Brake
For BBC Books
10th Doctor Story with
First published 2006
Laylora, the paradise planet, where white sandy beaches and crystal blue seas, and food is in abundance is suddenly producing ferocious monsters that terrorise the neighbourhood, steal away people from the village. The planet itself causes an electromagnetic pulse that sends space ships off course and crash-land onto the planet itself. The once beautiful planet is sick. Something has offset the once stable eco system.
The Doctor and Rose are also drawn by the electromagnetic pulse, which latches onto the TARDIS, after a distress signal is sent out. It takes the Doctor and Rose a considerably long time to make the connection but when they do, it is brilliant.
As you’re reading the story, you never think for one minute what the creatures are, what they were in the first place. It’s only as the 10th Doctor begins to piece together everything that it begins to make sense.
The creatures are trying to protect their planet but it’s not just the crashed exploration space ship that has caused the eco system to fail. It’s been failing for 15 years and no amount of attacks is going to fix it, at least not until there are certain realisations, and it has to be said, that the result is pretty amazing, and the story gives no indication throughout the beginning and middle of it, for you to go, ahh, I know what it is!
I’ve read a few Colin Brake Who books now, and although there is a kind of a dumbing down for the sake of the children feel to it, it soon dispenses with that and gets right into the nooks and crannies and picks up the pace again. I suppose the Who books, although at the time of watching the 10th Doctor and Rose Tyler sprint across the screen in all the episodes on the TV, was more or less geared for the wee kids, I never imagined little kids being into the 10th as they are with the 11th or 12th. To me, the 10th and even the 9th Doctor were incredibly darker characters, over which a lot of the tense emotions and actions went completely over the heads of small children. Although, kids always love the cool monsters and scary aliens, albeit from behind the sofa.
It's an easy novel to get into, and I was off from the first page. Some novels take a while to find a good footing before charging headlong into the story.
If you fancy a story about tropical beaches and landscapes, then this is one to read, but be sure to set your monster traps, and if you are going to go looking for crystals in caves, watch out for the bats!