AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
4 out of 5
Torchwood: Long Time Dead
When a government operative excavating the ruins of Torchwood's Hub is killed in a horrific manner, it heralds the return of long-dead Suzie Costello. But Suzie has not returned from death alone and, as DCI Tom Cutler discovers, the resurrected woman could herald the entire world falling into a dark dimension of pain and terror.
So, cards on the table; this is the first Torchwood book I've ever read and I have only a passing familiarity with the TV series itself (I've caught a few episodes here and there). Since this is the seventeenth (of, currently, nineteen) Torchwood novels, I'll admit that this is perhaps not the best place for a newcomer to start. It should also be noted that although this was marketed as a prequel to 'Miracle Day' (AKA Series 4), it has pretty much nothing to do with the events of that storyline. Similarly, although Gwen Cooper and Captain Jack are both mentioned on the back cover, only one of them appears in the book and that appearance is a cameo, rather than them being a significant character to this story.
With all that said, I actually found this book very enjoyable. It doesn't hand-hold too tightly for newcomers, but at the same time it also doesn't rely too much on lore from the TV series. As far as I can tell, Cutler is a brand new character and Suzie Costello hasn't been around since (I think) Series 1, meaning that both of the main point of view characters have to discover what the current situation with Torchwood is as much as I needed to. I have seen some criticism of this book in that the familiar faces of Torchwood weren't the main characters, but I really didn't mind and, if anything, it just piqued my interest and prompted me to want to seek out the DVD boxset to see what does happen with Jack and Gwen.
Taken on its own this is a really good horror/science fiction story and I really liked the fact that, despite being a tie-in about minor characters, the stakes here are really high. The genuine horror of what could happen to the world if the threat behind Suzie breaks loose was more than compelling. Balancing that is a strong emotional core as the protagonist and antagonist of the story actually form a surprisingly meaningful bond with one another, each damaged in their own way by their past interactions with a certain suave gentleman in a WWII greatcoat.
4 out of 5