By Alastair Reynolds
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I wanted to read HARVEST OF TIME, because terrible dick-shaped spaceship cover aside, it promised a team-up between the Doctor and the Master, his enemy and former friend. I love their dynamic on the show and I was eager for more - especially since I'm familiar with Alastair Reynolds' terrific space operas.
Reynolds definitely takes advantage of the fact books don't have a special effects budget. There are oil rigs and bits of ocean disappearing, a large-scale crystalline crab invasion, and more. Nor is the action limited to Earth.
The Doctor in HARVEST OF TIME is the third Doctor, accompanied by his companion Jo Grant. I loved their relationship, as well as Jo on her own. She's got her own ideas about the right course of action and isn't afraid to get involved when the Doctor isn't available. I also liked Eddie, a woman caught between her company's secrets, the military, and another branch of the military. She's smart and determined, two things I love in any character.
While I enjoyed HARVEST OF TIME, the ending drags quite a bit. It cuts between two groups of characters, and the groups definitely don't have an equal amount to do. Certain scenes at the climax are glacial when they should be propelling the action forward. I did enjoy the characters and the promise of resolution enough to push through. And the mysteries at the beginning of the novel are quite compelling.
HARVEST OF TIME isn't a perfect novel, and definitely not the best choice for someone unfamiliar with Doctor Who, but it is a fun novel for series fans. Reynolds does not shy away from exploring the relationship between the Doctor and the Master, and that is how I was drawn to the book after all.