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Another Life (2007)

Another Life (2007)
3.48 of 5 Votes: 5
0563486538 (ISBN13: 9780563486534)
random house (uk)
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Another Life (2007)
Another Life (2007)

About book: **SPOILER FREE****critical FANBOY WARNING**The worst part of this book is that there is zero JackxIanto yaoi fangirl service. Bummer. But the bad parts aren't that much of a buzz kill any way.I read another review here on where the reviewer said s/he stopped reading because there were so many typos. Well, before I started, I decided to keep track. There were about 13 typos in all, through out the whole book. Give or take. Which may not sound like a lot, but it is. Whomever edited this book, did a piss poor job of it. What annoyed me the most was that there was one on page 253, line 13. The last paragraph of the book! The last paragraph? Did the editor not read the last page?Another negative point; The author had absolutely no grasp on the character of Toshiko. Which I thought was very odd, as she seems like the most basic character in any team based story line. She is the shy computer nerd, with a crush on the rebel. Anghelides actually has Toshiko say "Don't make me slap you" to Owen. Toshiko would NEVER say that to Owen. Not in Series 1 at least. And Anghelides] barely touches on Toshiko having a crush for Owen- Through a subtle observation by Owen. I really hated that, because Toshiko is my favorite character, so to have her written in a way that isn't "natural" for her character is annoying and hard to read for a FanBoy.On the other hand Anghelides had the best grasp on Jack and Gwen. describing Jack as a man who can enter any room and command authority. I loved how Anghelides kept referring to Jack's coat as his "greatcoat". The Author also has Gwen showing her connection to her past as a beat cop and the awkwardness of running into her old colleagues at crime scenes and having to exercise her new position or rank to get her job done. When I watch the TV show, watching Gwen trying not to change, trying not to become like the rest of the Torchwood team, is a concept I find interesting and it was nice to see Anghelides explore that a little bit.Torchwood, as a concept, really lends itself well to book form! Really well. They're Alien Hunters, sure, but Gwen's police approach to situations and the teams approach to clue gathering and problem solving give this book a tiny bit of a Mystery crime novel feel.The book starts off a little on the dull side with a seemingly meaningless subplot involving Owen. This book takes place before the episode "Cyberwoman" so it's great for fans to see Ianto lurking around the Hub suspiciously. However, the last 10 or 12 chapters are VERY good. Typos and all. It really turns into something you could envision playing out on the show. Had they the budget. With a clever, plausible (and by plausible I mean, it works in the WHOniverse) ending. It works.Another thing I loved about this book was how British it was. The turn of phrase the characters and the author use were very fun for an American to read. Although, there is a lot of play with the Welsh language that I found completely unreadable. Fun, but I would gloss over the words, just like some of the characters in the book. Which made picturing Gwen and Ianto's amusement that much easier.If you are a fan of the show, as obsessive as I am to the point where you are driven to read this book, Do it. It's obscure enough in the states where most people won't know it's a book based on a British science fiction television show about alien hunters. There by keeping your street cred in tact.

(From my blog: Quill Café)In accordance with the FTC, I would like to disclose that I purchased this book. The opinions expressed are mine and no monetary compensation was offered to me by the author or publisher.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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It took a while to move the plot and didn't have the rush of Border Princes, but overall it was quite thought provoking in places. The narrative was quite hard going at some points as you jumped perspectives and didn't quite understand who you where or what was going on. Best thing to do was not worry and just keep reading and it all became clear int he end.Torchwood Border Princes/Slow Decay/Another Life General:I've now read three of the Torchwood books. I was most interested in how three different writers dealt with the same charater and scene confinements and also what it means to have pre-defined characters who can be watched on screen so much so that even the actors mannorisms are already determined. Would the fact that characters didn't have to be drawn in depth within the narrative effect the way books were written? To my mind yes, to a certain extent, it should. Rather than drawing a particular character, the narratives can take this as read and then concentrate on the plot. However two of the three books tended to replace charater drawing with personal issues and lengthy reflections, which made the narrative slow - they ended up being more like an episode of Casualty (or other soap) than a gripping sci-fi/detective fiction.
The Torchwood novels, released in progressive sets of three throughout the show's run, follow the chronology of the TV series in terms of character development and major events. This first book is set somewhere around the second or third episode of Series 1, with the corresponding early versions of the characters: Jack is tough and mysterious and shows little warmth; Gwen still thinks like a beat cop, and is frequently appalled by Jack's lack of humanity; Owen is a petulant creep who chafes at Jack's orders; Toshiko gushes techno-babble while having little defined personality; and Ianto is still solidly in his one-dimensional butler role, though there are refreshing moments when informed readers know he's slipping off to the basement to check on Lisa. (Amusingly, he deflects whenever Jack tries to flirt with him. Definitely early days...)There are some fans who liked the original characterizations from series 1, but I am not among them. That made elements of this story less appealing to me (why should I care about Owen's love life when I really just want him to be hit by a bus?), but in the book's defense, overall, the writing is very true to the voice of the characters at that point in the series. There are even moments that foreshadow some of the developments to come, which is nice, and there are occasional nods to Jack's mysterious past -- or future, whichever way you view it.That said, there were a few moments that felt off in terms of characterization -- Owen's digital avatar and game of choice was not at all what I would have expected for someone of his personality type, nor was his supposed lack of technical knowledge believable. (For that matter, the entire MMO description felt very much like someone trying to relate something they had never personally experienced. Perhaps the author didn't know any gamers?) And Toshiko, who had the least "screen time" in this book, was surprisingly standoffish and caustic toward Owen, even threatening bodily harm, which seems out of character for her.In terms of plot, it's a bit more complicated than the usual episode adventures, with several avenues of investigation going on at once, but that's not an unwelcome change for a series that characteristically suffered from too many one-dimensional crises. There's a bit of Rift-related hand-waving and super-convenient technology -- again, typical Torchwood fare -- and the last third of the book or so is entirely predictable, but it's not handled badly. (To be fair, this book has a more complete storytelling structure than most of the Torchwood episodes did...)In short, if you liked Series 1, this installment is worth reading. But be warned -- there's a lot of pre-redemption Owen in it.
I love Torchwood. Love the characters, the story lines, all of it. So when I found out there were books, I REALLY wanted to love them, too. I didn't. Well, for the most part, I didn't. The plot kind of dragged. A lot. There were many typos/wrong word usages. One that had my fiber-arts loving back up was "crotchet edge". It is crochet! *ahem*The thing that really made it very difficult for me to finish reading this book was the switching between third person and whatever it's called when you tell a story in "you"-form. Completely and utterly jarring. At first I thought it might be to have an obvious distinction between our heroes and the bad guy, except it happened in hero moments, too. I did like the portrayal of the crew. Tosh might have had a little more spunk to her than what I remember her having around the time this story supposedly plays out, but I liked it.
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