- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 2 hours and 15 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: BBC Worldwide Limited
- Audible.com Release Date: March 17, 2011
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004SHL442
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Torchwood: Department X Audiobook – Unabridged
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Kai Owen is absolutely perfection as the narrator of the two stories. He's got everyone's voice down pat. "Ghost Train" was better than "Department X" if only because Kai Owen's Rhys is the center of action for a change.
Well, well, well. This is the first book by Mr. Goss that I didn't give an 'F'. Maybe he's getting better. Or perhaps I am getting more lenient?
The base plot of this story is that there's something up at an old department store in Cardiff and apparently this mystery has been Torchwood's oldest unsolved case... which I find really hard to believe since Torchwood was created around the 1870s and this department store mystery didn't come around until the early to mid 1900s. Sorry James Goss, didn't buy that one.
The characterization in this novel is fine (a change for Mr. Goss!). In a nutshell, Jack was cocky, Gwen was snoopy, Ianto was dry. There's Jack/Ianto scenes in this book so Jack/Ianto shippers will be happy. Rhys really isn't in this novel at all despite that Kai Owen narrates.
There's an enemy in this book, not really the monster-of-the-week, that apparently has been Torchwood's rival 'company' since the 1930s... that Torchwood has never heard about. Sorry again, Mr. Goss. I don't buy that.
The actual monster-of-the-week in this one is... confusing? It doesn't really make any sort of sense and isn't explained very well. When it ends and the monster is kind of defeated and there's post victory hugs you're left thinking... what?
So I'd recommend this one to other Torchwood fans. Others might like it more than I did.
Department X: 3/5
Meh. This one had its interesting moments and concepts- a rival organization out for a profit, for instance- but the plot was honestly only mildly interesting. There were a few character moments that I truly enjoyed, such as interactions between Gwen and Ianto or a hint at Jack's darker side- but ultimately this piece while solid is nothing special. Kai Owens, however, does a wonderful job of narration, as ever.
Ghost Train: 5/5
The outsider-looking-in perspective is by turns hilarious and touching. If the core of the bad guy's plot is nothing special, it's easily made up for with the witty writing and characterization. All of the characters here feel very real and manage to sound like themselves, which isn't something Torchwood spin offs always manage. In this story, however, it's executed brilliantly. There are also many winking mentions to past episodes of Doctor Who and Torchwood, which is sure to please fans. One of my favorite Torchwood stories ever, and leaves me with a whole new appreciation for Rhys.
And of course, there's a bit of nostlalgia as this is likely to be the last "current" expanded universe fiction to feature Ianto Jones, who will be missed.
I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the series. I have occassionally been disappointed with audios in the past (either due to poor story or poor reading), but this story was engrossing enough to listen to straight through.