Monday, August 8

Night of the Humans by David Llewellyn

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer purchased this book. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Random House UK and is used solely as an aide to the review.

Thousands of years into our future, Amy Pond and the Doctor follow a distress signal and find themselves on a vast terrain of space junk. Their feet hardly planted, Amy and the Doctor find themselves separated and taken hostage by two separate races – the Sittuun and the Humans.

With a comet heading straight for them, Amy must find the Doctor before the comet hits or the Sittuun are forced to obliterate the entire area. If the comet strikes, space junk will be launched towards other planets, causing further destruction.

It isn't long until another ship comes to the rescue...but who is Dirk Slipstream and can he be trusted?

Time is running out and the Humans are coming...

After consuming 'Trace Memory' by David Llewellyn, I thought it would be fitting that the first Doctor Who novel I read would be one written by him. I managed to find a store with one copy of 'Night of the Humans.' I picked it up but I didn't leave with it.

Why? I'd enjoyed his writing enough to give this book a chance. There were a couple of factors: One was the text log at the beginning of the book. I suppose I wanted to be launched straight into the narrative. Another was the absence of Rory. I love Rory and I suppose I wanted to find a Doctor Who book that featured him.

Regardless, later that day I had purchased this book...but not in paper form. I bought the audio book and was enamoured by it. I took the chance on it because I learned that all the Doctor Who audio books featuring the Eleventh Doctor were unabridged. When I learned that Arthur Darvill (who plays Rory Williams) narrated 'Night of the Humans' I snatched it up and started listening to it straight away.

I got more than I expected. While I was glad to be back with David Llewellyn's writing (bad Keri for playing runaway) it was the dramatization that really brought the book to a whole new level.

The characters in the book are very well done. I enjoyed reading about the Sittuun and the Humans. It was fascinating to see the similarities and differences between an alien race and a human like Amy and the Humans who inhabit the terrain of space junk known as “the Gyre.”

Once again – as when I read '0.4' by Mike Lancaster – I found myself contemplating the true meaning of "humanity" and what it is to be human. Our view of the term revolves so much in what we know but what if there was a life without fear? What if we had evolved away from planet earth and how would our creationist theories have differed?

One thing that this book really targeted is that it is human to want to make sense of things...but in the end, do we want our own truths and what would we do if faced with an alternate stark reality?

Arthur Darvill did an excellent job of bringing the tension of the story to life. I was transfixed and always wanting more. I still want more now that the book is at an end. He does the accents for all the characters so well. Even Amy's Scottish accent, which made me giggle at the beginning, was fantastic.

Being a Doctor Who fan makes a story like this enjoyable enough but if you are looking for good writing and characterisation, then choose 'Night of the Humans.' I recommend the audio book 100%.

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