THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE
NOVEL "STATE OF
CHANGE" AND THE
BIG FINISH AUDIO
OFFICIAL BBC 'PAST
RELEASED IN MARCH
the TARDIS landS on a
strange world whose
seem the very model
of tranquillity. Of
course, it's too good
to be true...
the Red Sun
Bland, boring, plain… - not the three kindest words to begin a review with, I will grant you,
but appropriate words nonetheless. There is nothing to be found here that is flagrantly poor or offensive, nor is there anything to get even remotely excited about. Indeed, “Palace of the Red Sun” has ‘average’ written all over it.
However, whilst this book is irrefutably slow to start, once it gets going it is rather good fun. Author Christopher Bulis plays around with Peri a lot here – not only does she progressively shed her clothes over the course of the novel, but she attracts a local young ‘scavenger’ who becomes so enamoured with her that he loses control of himself when he has to pretend to wrestle her! Unfortunately Bulis goes a bit far with it though, having the scavenger try to take Peri as his bride, but up until it falls into formula it is really amusing stuff.
The sixth Doctor fares far less well, partnered as he is with Green-8 - a mechanical gardener cum sentient robot – and lumbered as he is with a markedly curbed persona that, without Colin Baker to give it voice, falls stupendously flat.
Other elements did interest me, though. Glavis Judd, for example, is a wonderful little chestnut of a tyrant, but sadly his stealthily orchestrated rise to power is glossed over in just one or two particularly dense passages and his ultimate fate is downright bizarre.
Nevertheless, this novel is at least interesting from a scientific point of view. Esselven is a fascinating world with one side permanently facing its sun, not to mention some sort of bizarre time dilation effect affecting its inhabitants. Sadly neither concept is new or even particularly well done here, and in fact the latter has been done much more successfully in a recent episode of Star Trek: Voyager, “Blink of an Eye.”
I think that the most succinct summing up of “Palace of the Red Sun” that I can muster is simply to point out that Dexel Dynes – a character from Bulis’ divisive 1997 novel “The Ultimate Treasure” – returns. And if that little morsel does not put you off this one, then you will very probably like it!
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
This novel’s blurb offers no guidance as to its placement, and the text offers no clues as to a more specific placement. Accordingly we have made it the Doctor and Peri’s third post-Lost Stories, pre-Trial adventure, because it was released third and the characterisation flows quite nicely from the author’s earlier sixth Doctor novel.
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