Book Review: New Series Adventures – Night of the Humans by David Llewellyn
While the first Eleventh Doctor novel, Justin Richards’ Apollo 23 was fun, albeit a bit paint by numbers and borrowed heavily from a previous story, David Llewellyn’s Night of the Humans was a wholly original and overwhelmingly entertaining Doctor Who story.
Llewellyn’s characterization of the featured characters was no better or worse than Richards, with a strong grasp of The Doctor and perhaps a slightly improved feel for Amy Pond’s character. Where Llewellyn managed to surpass Apollo 23 was in creating an outstanding supporting cast. The new characters introduced in the novel are instantly distinct, and in the case of most, quite likable. By the end of the book, there are new characters that I felt genuinely sad to be gone, and I really hope they’re along for a future installment in the series.
Night of the Humans follows The Doctor and Amy as they arrive on The Gyre, a flat planet created by space junk from nearby galaxies combining in an area of high gravity. It is an interesting and jagged terrain of metal scraps, so vast it has its own atmosphere. The Doctor is quickly abducted by a society of barbaric humans, while Amy is taken by a gray, bald race of humanoids called the Sittuun. When Amy realizes that the humans are the ones to fear, she persuades them to aid her in rescuing the Doctor, while dealing with the minor problem of a gigantic comet on a collision course with the planet.
I would highly recommend Night of the Humans to anyone interested in going from a Doctor Who watcher to a Doctor Who reader. It is consistently fun, engaging, well written, and quite memorable. I loved the tone of the story, with a very sci-fi pulp sort of feel. If you take out the Doctor, it seems like one of those novels you’d get off of a spinner rack with a ridiculous cover in the 1960s. I mean this as a compliment.