Once again, I found myself intrigued by the title of one of the new BBC eleventh Doctor books. Just what exactly was this Night of the Humans by David Llewellyn all about? One thing’s for sure it was another enjoyable read.

night of the humans coverThe story takes place on a pile of space garbage that has grown so large that it developed its own gravity field and has continued to add more refuse as well as passing ships to its mass. Sometime in the distant past, a spaceship was pulled into its gravity field and crashed landed. The descendants of that crash have devolved over time into an almost unique species. They are barely recognizable as humans and they worship the company logo on the side of the ship as their god. The logo just happens to be the face of a clown named Gobo.

The Doctor and Amy arrive on this makeshift planet when the TARDIS gets caught in the same attraction that has trapped many other ships. At first it seems they are going to be assaulted by a group of aliens, but it turns out that they are the ones that the Doctor needs to rescue from the devolved humans. Unfortunately the Doctor is captured by the hostile humans and must figure out a way to keep from being thrown into a lake of acid. Meanwhile, Amy has made friends with the aliens who have come to this planetoid to plant a bomb to blow it up. Seems a comet is heading straight for the mass of garbage and when it hits, the explosion will endanger all the other planets in the system.

The comet is due to hit very soon, and immediately, the Doctor and Amy are put under a time crunch. So, comet coming, bomb exploding, savage humans marauding, think that’s enough danger? Well how about throwing in a swamp full of vicious giant slug creatures? Then maybe toss in a wildcard like Dirk Slipstream. Hero? Villain? Which one is he?

Now I really hate to sound like a broken record, but I really liked this story. I know I’ve said the same about every Doctor Who book I’ve read, but it is true here as well. Interesting characters and plot kept me engrossed throughout this book. The Doctor and Amy were both characterized very well. They came across as the same characters you see in the series. Without going too much into detail, both of them have meaningful and emotional moments in this book that expand on some of what we’ve learned of them on the show.

I also enjoyed the alien Sittuun characters and the perspective they have on the human race. It’s a nice twist that the aliens are the good guys and the so-called humans are the bad guys. One of the young Situun even appears to have a crush on Amy. Would she go for an almost featureless face with no nose and beady little black eyes? I don’t know, but it would be fun to see this species translated into a visual medium.

The only real knock I have against this book and perhaps the whole eleventh Doctor line is the cover designs. They just appear to be too dark and unclear. It could be a fault with the printing coming out darker than they expected, but that generally happens because of a failure with the design and designer. What we get here is a bit of a muddy mess rather than a crisp clear printing as on most of the tenth Doctor books.

Story wise, however, I can’t complain, and I look forward to reading more in this series like Night of the Humans.