Review: Bernice Summerfield: Legion: The Slender-Fingered Cats of Bubastis

by Xanna Eve Chown

Big Finish, out now

While doing a favour for an old friend of Professor Summerfield, searching for his missing niece, Benny, Ruth and Jack discover some interesting new ways of carrying out archaeological digs…

This new novel seems to fit after the events of the Legion trilogy, with Benny able to call on some of Irving Braxatiel’s resources when a former colleague begs for her help. It focuses on the core trio, without really impinging on the ongoing plotlines on Legion itself.

Just as the audios have been going back to the main elements of the range – archaeology, quick-thinking, and witty comments – so this book is a throwback to the light-hearted novels that began the New Adventures twenty years ago, although we’re not quite at the “pantomime cat coming alive” level! There are some intriguing ideas thrown out (the Future Library in particular, which could have formed the basis for an entire series of adventures), and the little quotations that sit between the chapters form a neat little commentary on unreliable narration and the vagaries of historical texts.

Although Jack occasionally comes across as rather too similar to his namesake in another Doctor Who spin-off, the lead characters are written well – the dialogue in particular captures the repartee between them.

Verdict: Lightweight but enjoyable addition to the range.  7/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order The Slender-Fingered Cats of Bubastis from Big Finish

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