A Bleak World / A Riveting Read!
09 October 2020
If you enjoyed the classic Doctor Who story Inferno then this story is for you. We get to find out why the characters we love are so different in the parallel world. Although there is no alternate Liz and Benton in this story, the world they exist in is painted all too clearly and it is not a pleasant place! It isn't hard to see why they are so different! What we do see is the young man who will become the cowardly, bullying, Brigade Leader. The British Republic is a bleak and violent place. The Monarchy was assassinated and the old democracy abolished in the 1930s. Britain is ruled by The Party! And the world they have created is both bleak and violent! The young 15 year old, Alistair, we met in Schizoid Earth, has grown up in Major James Lethbridge-Stewart's world. He has been raised by his 'Father' Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, Director of State Security, to become the perfect fascist soldier. But this hasn't been a good upbringing. Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart has his own agenda and to help him achieve his goal the young Alistair has undergone an abusive form of programming. All this Alistair wants is to, rise in the ranks, be a better soldier than his brother and to have his father be proud of him. You can't like this anti-hero version of Alistair, but you would need a heart of stone not to pity him. You begin to realize he has been deeply affected by his disfigurement and all that he really wanted was to be accepted and loved for who he is. When he does think he has found love, even that isn't what he thinks it is. This is a excellent story. The world of the British Republic is painted well, so well that you don't just visualize it you start to feel the fear that permeates it. All the characters are well-developed and used appropriately. This is a book I found hard to put down, there aren't many books I read in one day, but this was one of them.