Friday, September 3, 2010

REVIEW: Torchwood - Almost Perfect by James Goss

Just reading the news this morning, and I see that Jane Espenson is working on a 3 episode arc for the new season of Torchwood.
  • Squealing moment of gurlish glee #1 – there’s officially going to be a new season of Torchwood
  • Squealing moment of gurlish glee #2 – one of my favourite Buffy writers is going to be involved
  • Squealing moment of gurlish glee #3 – she gives a shout out to the amazing James Marsters (who has, amazingly enough, kissed both Buffy & Captain Jack!)
So, on that note, I thought I’d dig a little bit and offer up a review I did last fall for my favourite Torchwood novel to date, Almost Perfect by James Goss.

OMG. Captain Jack being himself, Ianto Jones transformed into the ‘perfect’ woman, Captain Jack, lots of sex, and (did I mention?) Captain Jack. If you’re even a casual watcher of Torchwood, then you have to pick this book up! I stumbled across it in a bookstore one weekend, then ignored everyone and everything around me as I devoured most of it on the train ride home.

As the book begins, we learn that Ianto Jones has awakened with a gap in his memory, no clothes, and the body of a ‘perfect’ woman. Thanks to the alien device responsible (no spoiler here - this is Torchwood, after all), he is physically perfect. Mentally and emotionally, however, he is still the same shy, awkward, loveable young man he’s always been. He has to learn how to walk, how to dress, how to talk, and how to respond to the opposite sex. His struggles and grudging acceptance of the situation are beautifully handled, complete with generous doses of humour and sweetness.

Meanwhile, single men are disappearing from speed-dating nights all over town, victim of another ‘perfect’ woman. How she became so perfect, and what’s happening to her unfortunate dates, is all inextricably linked to Ianto’s situation – if only he could remember his last night as a man.

On top of all this, the solution to all of Cardiff’s problems involves Captain Jack literally diving into the gay community, which itself has become strangely ‘perfect’ over the past year. I won’t go into too much detail here, but the scenes at the gay dance club are absolutely priceless. The ending gets a little dark, but Torchwood is all about the interplay between light and dark, good and evil, hope and despair.

Well-written and thoroughly entertaining, this is not only a book that lives up to its promise, it’s a book that lives up to its inspiration. James Goss completely captures the tone and spirit of the TV show, and I cannot wait to see what he does next. Absolutely recommended!

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