When writing one of his early novels, Stephen King faced a problem regarding point of view: how could he make the reader aware of information they needed and still maintain the first person perspective of the rest of the book. Those who’ve read Christine will know that eventually he decided there was no option but to use third person narrative.
Simon Guerrier must have faced a similar situation when penning this story, which adopts the Companion Chronicle format. It’s a tale relayed by Jan Chappell as Cally, with assistance from a load of special effects and Paul Darrow as Avon. It needs that first-person narration, as the key beats of the story refer to Cally and Avon’s relationship, and her view of Avon’s motivations. However it does mean that certain plot points become very difficult to put across.
It’s good to hear Chappell back, and it’s very unusual to have a Blake’s 7 story that doesn’t feature at least a few moments of Vila and Avon bickering. It’s firmly set during Series B, with Gan’s death hanging over the crew, and Avon and Blake’s quest for Star One becoming increasingly important. The only minor problem is that to an extent it relies on some of the same “whose side is Avon on in a situation where there’s someone else who can help him achieve his goals” plotting that we recently had in Mark Wright and Cavan Scott’s B7 novel The Forgotten, but don’t let that put you off a enjoyable tale.
Verdict: An interesting pairing kicks off the box set well. 7/10