Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Opinions Unsolicited: Bay of the Dead by Mark Morris

My friend Chandra (find her at either SakuraLovesTea on Twitter or on her blog Dreaming in Red) sent me home on Christmas Eve with bags of things to read. BAGS. So after reading those two Doctor Who ebooks, I thought it was time to move on to new subject matter and a different format.

So I read the Torchwood novel that she’d thrown in the bag.

I’ll come right out and say it: it’s only okay. I was expecting a more advanced read, frankly, considering the subject matter of the show. Other than the gore, this book seems to be intended for a much younger audience than the show is aimed at. It was a reasonably simple plot, and very a quick read (I blew through the 238 pages in under three hours).

The main reason I picked this book out of my enormous pile of things to read is this: I miss Ianto. I know, I know, I only finished watching Torchwood about three days ago, but there you have it. I would happily clip_image001read every last Torchwood book just to take in all the amusing Iantoisms. And pleasingly enough, the cover of Bay of the Dead features Ianto, looking sharp as usual, wearing an uncharacteristically bold red shirt (just ignore the blood spatter and dismembered corpses in the background….)


Why, yes, I am easily amused. Why do you ask?


The plot revolves around Cardiff being overwhelmed with zombies. Just think of any zombie movie in recent memory, but our team is divided into two groups throughout most of the book rather than working as a single unit, with Gwen and Rhys running around trying to get… somewhere… while Jack and Ianto are tasked with actually trying to sort out what’s going on. (This book takes place after Toshiko and Owen have died. Well, after Toshiko died and Owen’s reanimated corpse got trapped in a nuclear plant containment cell. I can think of half a dozen ways his character could be brought back given the circumstances set up within the show. But anyway, I’m writing about the book. I could write a detailed essay about my opinions and feelings about the deaths of main characters in the series. Maybe one day, I will.)

My favourite part of the book might very well be when Jack gets his throat torn by a zombie, falls and knocks himself unconscious. Ianto is so used to him dying he deosn’t bother to check for a pulse, and just assumes he’ll revive and heal himself, meanwhile Jack is frustrated he didn’t die because now he has to deal with the pains of concussion and bruising. I giggled. A lot.

Yes, yes. Easily amused. We covered that already.

Also a big point in the book’s favour: the word ersatz was deftly used more than once. A+ to Mr Morris.

I don’t think I actually have anything more to say about the book. So I’m going to throw out a few amusing quotes that have to do with Ianto, because those were my favourite bits to read.


Jack had once remarked that you could cook eggs on the heat of the sexual tension between him and then statuesque policewoman. Ianto hadn’t been sure whether Jack was joking, and therefore couldn’t now work out whether he ought to be jealous or not.


”I’m always careful,” Jack said out of the corner of his mouth. “Just be ready with the handcuffs.” 

“If I had a penny for every time you’ve used that line,” Ianto deadpanned.


”I don’t ‘scamper’. I stride. Briskly but with dignity.”


And, very likely my favourite quote of the book:

”Just ignore him. He likes to show off. He’s not even a real American.”

No comments: