Review: The Undertaker’s Gift

The Undertaker's Gift
The Undertaker’s Gift by Trevor Baxendale
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As a fan of the television series, it’s hard for me to judge this book solely on its own merit. So I’m not even going to try. If you are debating about whether you’re going to read this book, you’ve probably already watched the series. This book exists for expanded universe material and nothing else.

For me, this book defines average reading material. There’s nothing in it that particularly strikes me as great, but there wasn’t anything to make me want to pull my hair out either. The plot is what you would expect from Torchwood, complete with a reset button that the series overuses. Except for when you want them to use the reset button, that’s when they forget about its existence. The added non-Torchwood characters were rather bland. I never cared about what happened to them, and they monopolized about half of the book space. The only thing this book has going for it is that it’s not bad, which isn’t saying much considering it’s a tie-in novel.

The thing I really took away from this book, however, is how little Jack deserved Ianto. The book seemed to revel in this notion, or it was just trying to make us think Jack and Ianto were ill-suited for each other. Yet all I could see was Jack being an undeserving jackass who I was starting to despise by the end of the book. Run off on them again, Jack, nobody cares! Both of them are better off without you.

Basically, Ianto was dying and Jack was too obsessed to care. To be honest, it was worse than that. It was more like “You’re dying anyway, so do you mind terribly if I use you as canon-fodder while I go rescue perfect, irreplaceable, gorgeous Gwen?” Meanwhile, poor Ianto is half-dead and so in love with Jack that he just decides to go along with it. Hence, Jack never deserved Ianto. At least in this incarnation.

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