Read by Torchwood star John Barrowman Another Life is adapted from the novel by Peter Anghelides.
As with the other two titles in the range (Slow Decay, Border Princes) this audiobook version spans three CDs and has a running length of more than three and a half hours.
Novels and audiobooks should always take a series format further than a TV budget allows and here Anghelides grasps the opportunity with both hands to tell a story which has the Torchwood team investigating a series of killings in a Cardiff threatened by flooding.
Unlike the previously reviewed Slow Decay Another Life doesn’t suffer from obvious padding, if anything there’s so much going on it can be hard to keep up especially given Barrowman’s breathless and quick paced reading which at times threatens to overwhelm the listener. Several times I had to pause the CD to give myself time to take in plot developments.
Anghelides makes good use of The Hub in the final third of the story and vividly describes scenes and characters in big, bold paragraphs which really draw the listener in.
On the downside the use of possessed humans is a plot device which already seems overused in the quite small Torchwood canon and the show’s format renders meaningless any attempt to convince the listener that any of the regulars are dead.
Of course this is true of most ongoing franchises but to spend the final minutes of the adventure having Gwen question whether Jack might be dead seems oddly formularic for such an otherwise bold story.
Torchwood: Another Life, Slow Decay and Border Princes were released on 2nd April by BBC Audiobooks.