Being Human: Review: The Road / Chasers / Bad Blood

In The Road, the group help a ghost come to terms with her past; Chasers deals with matters of life and death as George is asked to be a surrogate father; and Bad Blood sees a friend of Annie weave a spell over Mitchell…

Think of these novels as an alternate “episode two-and-a-half” of the second season of Being Human. Set after Nina has left werewolf George and the ghostly Annie has stopped being visible to anyone who isn’t one of the supernaturals, but before vampire Mitchell’s anti-blood drive, they are closely interwoven, with plot elements from the second and third books introduced in The Road before playing out later.

All three authors get the voices of the main characters right, with Goss even risking including chapters told in their own words (although who’s asking them the questions they’re answering isn’t explained). That doesn’t mean the styles are interchangeable: there are some quite deep discussions in the middle of Chasers that would feel wrong in either of the outer books, but which suit the tone of that novel, as a debate about George’s fitness to be a father widens into something much more fundamental.

They’re quick reads as well, maintaining the show’s combination of pathos, drama and black comedy. Hopefully some of the new characters will either cross over into the TV series or return for later books – former hospital Human Resources Janice Prescott in particular. They don’t shy away from the horror element intrinsic to the show, although it’s notable that we don’t see George on a vulpine rampage – probably because the second season has been at pains to show George and Nina going through their monthly cycle as part of the ongoing Professor Jaggat plotline. (There is a brief reference to Jaggat, although there’s no sign of either the professor or the bible-spouting Kemp, in line with the BBC policy that nothing important can happen in tie-in books.)

While this means that they’re enjoyable reads for fans of the show, in common with many of their contemporary BBC tie-in novels (particularly the Doctor Who and Torchwood ranges), no real quarter is given for people who haven’t been watching the series. You’d have a hard job picking these up cold as horror novels, and although it’s good to have a serial feel to the three books, were you to start with Bad Blood, it would make little sense.

Verdict: A good extra fix for Being Human fans.

The Road: 7/10; Chasers: 8/10; Bad Blood 7/10

Paul Simpson

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