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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Torchwood Book Ever
Alright, so before I read this book I searched through the reviews. Needless to say, they were all very much wrong. This book is.. Amazing. So let's digest it.

1. Coupling: Very canon. We all know Jack loves and has sexual tension with Gwen, and this writer does not ignore it as do other Torchwood writers tend to do, but instead reveled in it and helped make it...
Published 14 months ago by Ranger

versus
31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Complete waste of money if you enjoy Torchwood!
The storyline itself sounded interesting at first, but it is really hard to get through the obvious attempts of the writer who seems to be cheering for a Gwen/Jack pairing or who may have slightly homophobic tendencies. On top of that, it ended up being rather predictable in which you knew that things were going to work out a certain way. Normally that wouldn't bother me,...
Published on January 31, 2010 by Jaybird023


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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Complete waste of money if you enjoy Torchwood!, January 31, 2010
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This review is from: The Undertaker's Gift (Torchwood #14) (Hardcover)
The storyline itself sounded interesting at first, but it is really hard to get through the obvious attempts of the writer who seems to be cheering for a Gwen/Jack pairing or who may have slightly homophobic tendencies. On top of that, it ended up being rather predictable in which you knew that things were going to work out a certain way. Normally that wouldn't bother me, but for a book I should have finished in 1 day, it took me nearly a week to read it because I had to keep putting it down whenever Jack's character went off in some weird tangent and didn't act like himself (which happened every three or four pages!).

I have liked nearly every Torchwood book that I've read (12 of 15), but this one seemed way too out of character on everyone. Jack spends half his time pining after Gwen and the other half completely ignoring Ianto or disproving of his actions. Then when Ianto ends up getting hurt, he shows no concern for him at all! I tried several times to get into the storyline, because it really would have been a good one otherwise, but every other page there seems to be some reference to Jack acting like a complete jerk. Nearly all the other Torchwood books have some form of normal interaction between the characters, but for a book that was supposed to take place just before COE, this one seemed to fail miserably in that aspect. I would not recommend this book if you like the characters or cannon couples. The writer seems to have a fascination with Jack and Gwen being together and ignoring the fact that Ianto would not put up with the way Jack treats him in this book. Also, I have to add, that you really should avoid this book unless you want to struggle against the urge to throw it across the room when Jack's having a sex dream about Gwen!

To top it all off, Jack actually gives two people the OPTION of being retconned in the end. He's normally avid about doing the right thing for Torchwood. He wouldn't give them an option just because they became a happy little hetro couple in that time frame, as we've seen on the show. What's important is keeping the secret. In this, he just walks away after setting the pills on the table in front of them and telling them exactly what they do. Therefor giving them the option of doing whatever they want with it. Just imagine what would happen if some scientist got a hold of it because this couple decided to make some money off of it!

Honestly, the portrayal of Jack in this book made me have to keep closing it to look at the cover and make sure I was actually reading a book about Torchwood. If it hadn't have had a picture of John Barrowman on the cover I would have thought it was some weird book about 3 overtly obnoxious people who only mildly resembled the characters we all love so much.

What a waste of money...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WTF Jack was like the boyfriend you hate, February 2, 2011
This review is from: The Undertaker's Gift (Torchwood #14) (Hardcover)
I haven't even made it half way through the book and already skipping pages. Jack is such a douche bag to Ianto in this book which, even if RTD decides he wanted Jack to go after Gwen, Jack would never treat Ianto like that. Not only that but Ianto would NEVER ever take that crap from Jack either. Jack either blantantly ignores Ianto or makes belittling comments that are harsh and rude to anyone boyfriend or not. The plot may have been interesting but the whole dynamic between the characters was so unrealistic it ruined the integruity of the book in itself. Don't be like me and ignore the reviews just because you were so taken by Trevor's "Prisoner of the Daleks." This book will have you closing its cover in disgust and aggrevation at Jack's absurd behavior. I'm not even sure I want to finish it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Captain Jack "OOC" Harkness..., May 9, 2010
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This review is from: The Undertaker's Gift (Torchwood #14) (Hardcover)
I liked Something In The Water (Torchwood) so another story by Trevor Baxendale was OK to me. But for some reason things just didn't click. As many people have already pointed out Jack wasn't Jack. And as he is the Hero, the major character, the Big Cheese of the story, if you mess him up you mess up everything. Watch out, more spoilers.
One of the dark realities about being in Torchwood is sometimes doing things that need to be done, even if they are not just or right. Helping people to forget is one of those dark, depressing facts of being a part of Torchwood. Retcon was part of the Torchwood tool kit, right up there with the SUV, big guns, and good coffee. People don't decide if they want to forget or not. Choices have very little to do with the events that twist and twirl around the universe that is Torchwood. That is why it is so dark and sad and realistic.
And there is a Vortex Dweller. Really? I thought living beings could not live in the Time Vortex - well, it may depend on which Doctor you listen to. But that's like having God show up with a mop to clean everything up. As one of the other reviewers has already pointed out also. This isn't bad writing, but it is lazy writing.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misses the mark by a rather large distance, February 11, 2010
This review is from: The Undertaker's Gift (Torchwood #14) (Hardcover)
The characterizations are dramatically off from the show. Jack is not recognizable in this book. The plot and writing are okay, nothing great, but the feel is all wrong. This doesn't add anything to Torchwood.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Jhaeman's Review, April 20, 2010
By 
Jeremy (Toronto, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Undertaker's Gift (Torchwood #14) (Hardcover)
The Undertaker's Gift is the 14th book in the Torchwood novel line, and although I really like writer Trevor Baxendale, I think the line is being formulaic: as far as I can tell, it seems that every book must take place wholly in Cardiff, must include all the main characters from the t.v. show, cannot develop original supporting characters across multiple books, and must include an alien menace who can be defeated at the end. Even the comic strip from Torchwood Magazine, as bad as it usually is, at least has had stories set in Scotland, in an airplane, and in strange dimensions accessed through the Rift. Torchwood audio plays have been set in Switzerland and India. The bottom line is that anything that can be done to freshen up the formula would be much appreciated.

As I said at the beginning, I like Baxendale's work--he has a nice way of integrating supporting characters into the story and a penchant for bloodthirsty gore that I find quite fun. He also slips in details, some drawn from established continuity (an appearance by Detective Swanson, mentioning the trip to CERN from The Lost Souls radio play) and others introduced for the first time (Jack as having fought in the trenches in World War I and on the battlefield in World War II; hints that the Time Agency may have been reponsible for the sinking of Atlantis).

(SPOILERS)

The Undertaker's Gift features two related threats: 49th Century lawyers named Hokrala who want to sue Jack for messing up Earth in the 21st Century; and a group of aliens nicknamed Pallbearers (because of their penchant for hanging out in graveyards and general creepy appearance) who believe that Jack has misused the Rift and that therefore humanity should be destroyed. The ending, unfortunately, is very much in a deus ex machina vein: Cardiff is pummelled by earthquakes and all manner of catastrophe, but a "Vortex Dweller" alien "resets" everything so no last harming takes place. All in all, rather disappointing stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Also the wrong cover., December 15, 2012
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This review is from: The Undertaker's Gift (Torchwood #14) (Hardcover)
Same problem as with "Consequences". No one seems to have the advertised cover for this book, which is a problem since it was ordered as a gift. Hopefully that problem will soon be corrected, so I can reorder it. I do like the story though. Good progression of the characters.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Torchwood Book Ever, October 24, 2013
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This review is from: The Undertaker's Gift (Torchwood #14) (Hardcover)
Alright, so before I read this book I searched through the reviews. Needless to say, they were all very much wrong. This book is.. Amazing. So let's digest it.

1. Coupling: Very canon. We all know Jack loves and has sexual tension with Gwen, and this writer does not ignore it as do other Torchwood writers tend to do, but instead reveled in it and helped make it a central theme to the plot. Now if you are a Janto fan, I can see why you wouldn't like it. But I'm a huge Janto fan and I didn't care that much. After all, Jack is very loving towards Ianto and takes care of him. All the "he doesn't care about Ianto" stuff is B.S. Jack does care, and is very worried about him, BUT he needs Ianto and so forces him to work while obviously sick. Which is probably very canon. In the end, Gwen can only think about Rhys and Jack cares only for Ianto.

2. Plot. Wow. Jesus. Bit confusing at first but about 100 pages in it grips you by the shoulders and.. Wham! It's perfect. The last 100 pages will make you sit, riveted and unable to look up as the going gets good. It's so Torchwood, so wonderful.

3. Ianto/Jack issue. There's a lot of issue with how Jack treats Ianto. Let me tell y'all straight, Jack treats Ianto how we would expect him to. Ianto is sick, yes but Jack doesn't BLAME him, not at all! He is genuinely concerned for Ianto but at the same time is also needing to stop the end of the world, and unfortunately Ianto has to help. Is that really OOC? No! It's just what we'd expect of them.

4. Character OOC: Not OOC at all. Gwen was Gwen. Ianto was Ianto. Jack was Jack.

tl;dr: Amazing book. 5/5. Ignore the reviewers. Buy this book and read it. It's beautiful and wonderful and you will love it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it, November 3, 2012
This was a good book. Maybe not the best and much darker than I was expecting but still very good
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story, January 29, 2012
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This review is from: The Undertaker's Gift (Torchwood #14) (Hardcover)
Baxendale has hit another home run. The story was extremely well written with excellent characterization, and had enough twists and turns to keep my interest even when I really did have other things to do besides read. Jack's desperation to keep his team together near the end seemed genuine. Jack and Ianto's relationship was sweet, and I really enjoyed the scenes they had in the Hub together. The last of the book made me smile. I have no idea why this book has so many bad reviews, but I'm glad I discarded them and read it with an open mind. I'd invite other "Torchwood" fans to do the same.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good TW story., September 11, 2010
By 
GUSR19 "JimE" (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Undertaker's Gift (Torchwood #14) (Hardcover)
OK, it doesn't have Tosh and Owen, which is a negative for me, but the team does well without them and the story is a strong one.
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The Undertaker's Gift (Torchwood #14)
The Undertaker's Gift (Torchwood #14) by Trevor Baxendale (Hardcover - January 5, 2010)
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