Sunday, September 4

Another Life by Peter Anghelides

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.

There is a storm brewing over Cardiff of the worst kind. There is no known natural cause and it's not the only thing strange that's been happening.

Dead bodies have been showing up, the subjects of human cannibalism. When the killer is caught, he calmly greets his death…but the killings keep happening. It's up to Torchwood to figure out what's at the source of it all.

'Another Life' is the first Torchwood novel, taking us way back to the early days when Gwen was still new to the whole scene. After almost four seasons of Torchwood, I liked revisiting the beginning, to experience some of the things that I miss. It was an enjoyable kick to the past but also a further insight into some of the characters.

This book focused a lot on Owen Harper, the resident doctor of Torchwood, which I loved. He is such a sarcastic and witty character and I felt I got a good look into how he viewed his life working for Torchwood and how it could have been if he'd chosen a different path.

The mystery of the book is very compelling. The title 'Another Life' is quite striking as not only does it highlight an interest of Owen's – playing "Second Life," a massive multi-player online role playing game – but it also hits on the mystery of the novel, which has a sort of perverse mirrored symbolism to "Second Life."

While I don't feel that the book was as focused on Jack as it was on Owen, I was compelled by the way in which Gwen viewed Jack in her early days in Torchwood: how she saw him as a boss, how he handled things, what kind of human being he proved himself to be throughout and by the end of the novel.

I think that Tosh proved that intelligence holds a lot of power in this novel, since her brainy ideas and inventions were so heavily relied on at stages. Not that she wasn't also very skilled in the field. I found the foreshadowing of Ianto's storyline from early in the first season of Torchwood to be quite thrilling. It gave a sort of reference point, allowing the reader to see where he was in his relationship with the team and his place in Torchwood.

I enjoyed travelling back in time and reliving a new story with the Torchwood team. I'd recommend 'Another Life' by Peter Anghelides to anyone who wants more of Torchwood, aliens and Owen Harper.

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