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Reviews for Speed of Flight

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Weird review for a weird book

By:Tom Lingwood, Broseley, Shropshire
Date:Monday 1 July 2002
Rating:   6

I found this book weird. Although it’s enjoyable, it has strange names of people and places. If you buy this book, you’ll find it, um… weird.

Interesting Ideas

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Tuesday 20 January 2015
Rating:   7

This is the third Paul Leonard novel I have read, and I can see a pattern emerging. This, like the others, is quite violent. As in the others, Leonard has aliens cocoon or cover one or more of the TARDIS crew in muck that takes over their minds. As in the others, Leonard strives very hard to create an alien culture that is both alien and culture. The idea for this one is interesting, sort of a more complicated and more thought-out version of the idea of a transformative life-cycle on the human scale that was in "Full Circle." In "Speed of Flight," we get a full birth-death-rebirth cycle, organic material constantly recycled. Leonard provides a fairly logical reason for this, and I am not giving away too much to say that it is artificially created, since that seems fairly obvious from early in the novel. The question for all this would be why, and therein lies another interesting idea. So, why can't I give this novel a higher rating? There are a couple of problems with the mechanics of the world he has created. The gravity is supposed to be similar to the Moon's. Leonard seems to remember this only when it is convenient for him to do so; otherwise, our TARDIS crew act as if everything were Earth-normal. The early part of the novel that involves getting Jo and Mike into the TARDIS is rather contrived and clearly designed only for the function just mentioned. The ending is unnecessarily ambiguous about who killed whom and whether certain people really died or not. If they had died and been resurrected, which is strongly hinted at, then that poses a whole new set of problems that the novel just does not deal with. So, I like the concepts that are built into this world, but don't think the plot holds together as well as it should.

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