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Audio Book Review

Book Cover



Author: Steven Saville
Read by: Naoko Mori
BBC Audio
RRP: £12.99
ISBN: 978 1 405 67820 9
Available 04 February 2008

What begins as a seemingly random set of accidents all have one thing in common: Captain Jack Harkness of Torchwood - which leads him to be incarcerated and facing some difficult questions that he cannot answer. With Jack out of the way the rest of the team try and work out why people, with only a seemly tenuous connection are being killed. It is an investigation that will cost the team dearly…

Hidden by Steven Saville is a new, original and exclusive Torchwood audio book from the BBC. This is Saville’s first for this series, though he has previously written for Doctor Who, Warhammer and Slaine.

This two and a half hour, two discs, audio book is read by Naoko Mori who plays Toshiko Sato in the television show. She narrates the story well and oddly enough does a good imitation of Gwen. Everyone seems to do a good imitation of Gwen in this audio series, I guess it’s because they spend so much time in Cardiff shooting the show that most of the cast appear to have a good ear for a Welsh accent.

Hidden is a dark tale of alchemy, strange artefacts and a quest for immortality, an immortality which Jack already possesses. There are a number of things which I liked about the story. Firstly, from listening to it, it sounds like it was specifically written for an audio audience. There’s nothing you can put your finger on, but the construction of the sentences, their rhythm and structure seem ideal for the spoken word. Added to this the relatively short chapters - twenty in all - and you get the feeling that this is designed to be listened to in short spurts on the way to work.

Secondly, given that Saville is not restricted by standing sets, he has moved some of the action away from Cardiff, something which hopefully other authors will consider.

I wont spoil what is really happening, in fact the story is so well written that the ending comes as somewhat of a surprise. I thought I had the story pinned down at the end of the first disc, only to discover that Saville had wrong footed me, a nice event for a listener as it keeps the surprise fresh.

So, another worthy addition to the original Torchwood stories. Well worth a listen.


Charles Packer

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