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Review — Sleepy

First Published:
Sonic Screwdriver #96

Publish Date:
May 1996

Thankfully, Kate pulled out of the downwards trend, especially with Unnatural History. I’d still rate Hummer as at least her equal best book, though.

Sleepy is the latest in what seems a continual series of New Adventures by Kate Orman. Her first work, The Left-Handed Hummingbird, was brilliant. Set Piece was a big disappointment, apart from the rather cool opening scenes on the Ship. Two more books are set to come within the next year.

Jump straight to the first point: Kate can write. I’ve read dozens of stories by her over the years, and there’d only be a couple that weren’t brilliantly readable, a far sight from a couple other NA and MA authors I could name… Plus she has a knack for different styles and viewpoints — between stories, within stories, and sometimes even in scenes. Sometimes she even breaches suspension of disbelief and still keeps your attention. I mean, who else would have an ten-word chapter (’Dinner with White’): ‘What the hell do you mean, you can’t find him?’ Yes, it’s purely a joke, but it works.

Yemaya 4 is the initial setting for the book — a newly formed colony where the residents are abruptly developing new powers: telepathy, pyrokinetics and other rather awkward things. As it turns out, it’s all a case of fiddling with genetics from the past — but by whom? Benny and Roz travel back in time to try and find the source of their problems (hey, Kate, write a NA without time travel!) and discover some rather interesting computer hardware. Speaking of computers, I think my favourite characters in this book were the various computer intelligences: WATCH OUT!, CONNETICUT, GRUMPY, FLORANCE, BAR B, and, of course, SLEEPY itself.

But what do I think of it? Well, I slot it between her previous works; yes, it’s very readable, but the plot is pretty thin and dodgy (a few neat ideas do not fill out an 80,000 word book). Kate has said her second book was far harder to write than her first. It seems, if story depth is any indication, this one was even more of a struggle. Let’s hope she copes better with the rapid turnover of her next two. Yes, read this book; you’ll enjoy it. It just won’t blow your socks off like Hummer did.

And as for the cover; well, even if they’re crap, most pictures of Chris aren’t based on certain Sydney fans. Grrr…

End of Review

Here’s the list of the Doctor Who reviews available here:
Benny Adventure: Beyond the Sun
Benny Adventure: Deadfall
Benny Adventure: Ghost Devices/Mean Streets/Tempest
Benny Adventure: The Sword of Forever
Fanzines: Mag Bag #1
Fanzines: Mag Bag #2
Fanzines: Mag Bag #3
Fanzines: Mag Bag #4
Fanzines: Mag Bag #5
Fanzines: Mag Bag #6
Fanzines: Mag Bag #7
Fanzines: Mag Bag #8
Fanzines: Mag Bag #9
Fanzines: Mag Bag #10
Fanzines: Mag Bag #11
Fanzines: Mag Bag #12
Missing Adventure: Dancing the Code
Missing Adventure: Downtime
Missing Adventure: Invasion of the Cat-People
Missing Adventure: Lords of the Storm
Missing Adventure: Scales of Injustice
Missing Adventure: Shadow of Weng-Chiang
Missing Adventure: System Shock
New Adventure: Bloodheat
New Adventure: Death of Art
New Adventure: Dimension Riders
New Adventure: Eternity Weeps
New Adventure: Falls the Shadow
New Adventure: Legacy
New Adventure: No Future
New Adventure: Sleepy
TV: The Curse of Fenric
TV: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
TV: The Happiness Patrol
TV: Season 25 Review
TV: Season 27 Review (the 2005 return)
TV: The Twin Dilemma
→ Or just head back to the Doctor Who Index

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This page last updated by David J Richardson on Wed, 20 Apr 2005.