Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Almost Perfect by James Goss

I love the BBC Wales television series Torchwood, so I was happy to find a series of novels based on the show. I read Almost Perfect by James Goss only to find out halfway through that it was the fifth in the series, not the first. Oh, well. My bad. I’m not aware of the timeline of the first four but Almost Perfect takes place after the deaths of Owen and Tosh. I still haven’t forgiven the writers and producers for killing them off.

In this fifth book, Ianto Jones wakes up one morning to find he’s changed into a woman – a very beautiful woman. Almost perfect. While Jack and Gwen search for the reason behind his sudden change in gender, across town a skeleton appears in a restaurant out of thin air and a frumpy young woman has found a strange device that promises to make her perfect and create faults in her enemies.

Unfortunately (and naturally), these aren’t the only odd things happening in Cardiff. A ferry overturns under mysterious circumstances and Jack discovers a strange cloud of static energy increasing in size and strength just over the city.

As is typical in Torchwood episodes, all the bizarre events are connected and, as Ianto suspects, alien technology is involved.

Goss’ story is a lot of fun but there is a lot going on, too. Goss has good imagery and describes scenes with vivid details. However on occasion, the story becomes a confused mess and a lot of it remains unexplained at the end. Maybe it was the author’s intent that the reader could connect all the dots, but gaps remain as do a lot of questions. Not everything is cleared up.

However, Goss’ writing style is witty, smart and hilariously punctuated with numerous pop culture references. For fans of the show, it’s easy to see Jack, Gwen and Ianto in this adventure and hear their voices from the pages. Goss keeps everyone in character which is paramount for us fans.

If you’re not familiar with the show or the series, begin with the first novel or start watching!

One of the best lines I ever read: Gwen Cooper to Captain Jack Harkness, “When will you learn that you can’t solve a problem by shagging it?”

If I had a dollar for every time…

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