Jim's Books

First Born

James Goss

First Born
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ISBN: 9781849902830


Gwen and Rhys are on the run. Rhys was hoping this meant a windswept cottage on a cliff top, but he's had to settle for a miserable caravan in the isolated village of Rawbone. With the locals taking an unhealthy interest in their daughter, Gwen and Rhys start to realise that something is very wrong. As they uncover the village's terrible past, Gwen discovers that Torchwood will never leave her behind, and now she and Rhys stand alone in defence of the Earth. And the children of Rawbone can only bring her closer to the secret forces that want her out of the way.

Reviewed on 30th July 2011

This novel, the first of three set between series three and four of the Torchwood television programme, is probably the best Torchwood novel I've read. Following the events of 'Children of Earth', Gwen Cooper and husband Rhys Williams, and their baby daughter Anwen, are on the run from mysterious forces. They find themselves staying in a caravan park near a little village on the Welsh coast, but as always, there's something strange going on.

The story is written in the first person, alternating chapter by chapter between predominantly Gwen and Rhys, but also featuring the viewpoints of several new characters when appropriate. I'm not always a fan of this perspective, but found that it really suits the Torchwood style. The voices of both main characters are absolutely spot on, and this has to be the top selling point.

The story takes a little while to get going - there's quite a lot of set-up before we actually get into the adventure, but it doesn't feel wrong - it's just that there's quite a bit of stuff to get through first establishing the situation of the characters. It's a good tale, though it is very definitely the sort of story that I've come to expect in Torchwood novels - fairly simple, nothing too deep of sciencey and very little real explanation at the end.

The book is packed with humour, much of it around Rhys and Gwen coping with a small child, although also with some film references, and this really helps to make this an entertaining read, even to someone who has no experience of such things in real life. I had my doubts about another set of Torchwood books (and was a little disappointed by the absence of matching covers to the previous 15) but if they are all three like this one I will be very satisfied.

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