Thursday, 8 August 2013

Almost Perfect

This is a little rant about a Torchwood novel, so if you have no interest in this topic you can stop reading if you want. If you are interested note that the following contains spoilers for season 1 and 2, if you read between the lines.

This last month I have been entertaining myself with reading Torchwood novels. This week I read Almost Perfect by James Goss, the ninth Torchwood novel released.

And it was... really not good. It read like poor fan fiction. I believe I could have written it better. It's annoying, because the plotline had potential, it just fell through.

Lets have a look at the description of the plot:

"Emma is 30, single and frankly desperate. She woke up this morning with nothing to look forward to but another evening of unsuccessful speed-dating. But now she has a new weapon in her quest for Mr Right. And it's made her almost perfect.

Gwen Cooper woke up this morning expecting the unexpected. As usual. She went to work and found a skeleton at a table for two and a colleague in a surprisingly glamorous dress. Perfect.

Ianto Jones woke up this morning with no memory of last night. He went to work, where he caused amusement, suspicion and a little bit of jealousy. Because Ianto Jones woke up this morning in the body of a woman. And he's looking just about perfect.

And Jack Harkness has always had his doubts about Perfection."
From amazon.

Before I started reading the book I was excited, this sounded like so much fun. But after reading a while I found myself thinking: "What the f*ck is this? Is this really an officially licensed Torchwood book?" I could have tolerated the weird writing style. I could have tolerated the long and winding chapter titles, like: 
"Ianto is more important than static cling" 
"Captain Jack is feeling buoyant" 
"Rhys Williams is cooking up a storm" 
"Gwen is the green eyed monster" 
"Ianto can ride a horse across a beach without fear or shame" 
"Captain Jack, Captain Jack, get off your back, go into town, don't let us down. Oh no, no" 
"Captain Jack has killed the wabbit, killed the wabbit" 
"Ianto Jones could teach you, but he'd have to charge"

Maybe I should just laugh it away because it's meant to be like that, funny and poorly written.

But what I couldn't really tolerate was how out of character it was written. This is a novel adopted form a tv-show, not the other way around as we often see, and you expect a certain characteristic. In my opinion the author has managed to make up his own characteristics.

Take Ianto. In this book he is turned into a beautiful girl. And the author has him wearing tight skirts, small dresses, high heels and lipstick. This is Torchwood, they run about chasing aliens, one would assume Ianto would choose to dress in something a bit more practical than 10 cm heels and tight skirts?

And shoes and dresses is all this female Ianto seems to think about. There is no depth to the character, no typical Ianto-ness. When Jack goes to right a wrong and tells Ianto not to follow, Ianto puts on an apron, picks up a duster and starts cleaning till Gwen comes in some 12 hours later. First then do they go looking for him. And Ianto is driving in high heels.

Jack is all smiling and smirking and beaming and generally behaving a little immature for his years. Gwen is a bit too jealous but otherwise her and Rhys's relationship are nicely described.

All in all, the whole thing just doesn't work for me. I don't recommend it. Unless your tastes are wildly different from mine, then go ahead.

Rant over and out.

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