From the title, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a novelisation of a pseudo-fantasy girls' cartoon, featuring characters such as 'Moonbeam' 'Starshine' and 'Springflower'. You'd be wrong of course. It does, however, feature a bunch of hippy environmentalist humans and aliens, attempting to prevent a corporation with a stereotypical lack of scruples from mining a unique ore (Dreamstone) on a planetary moon.
Said protesters are introduced to Sam, as she is rescued by one of their number. Surprisingly, Sam questions their motives, rather than just blindly following them because they have what seems to be a noble cause (from her point of view.) An attempt is made to debate the issues of the pro/anti mining movements, with the workers in particular making several references to wives, kids and mouths to feed.
There are some excellent moments, such as Sam's first encounter with the Dreamstone aliens in a tunnel, and the destruction of the base's dome.
The Doctor gets involved after about fifty pages, as he turns up looking for Sam. They come across one another a couple of times, but they're never given enough chance to chat, as a big event separates them each time. The relationship between them is one of the best things about the novel - Sam worries that the Doctor will feel she's let him down, and is guilty about leaving him, whereas the Doctor wonders if Sam might have grown up and gone off to do her own thing.
Captain Cleomides makes for an interesting character, as you're never quite sure what she's going to do next. She seems to be on the Doctor's side, but she has a self-preservationist streak that sometimes causes other people problems. She follows orders to the letter, which irritates the Doctor.
Anton La Serre is a dream artist whose profession has become almost obsolete with the discovery of Dreamstone. He's trying to find out if he can prevent it being saleable, and is given a decent chunk of history from which to derive his motivations. He's a bit chalk and cheese, since for the first half of the book, he's an enjoyable character to read about. Later on, he goes a bit nuts and becomes mildly annoying.
The final revelation about the Dreamstone was semi-obvious from about a quarter of the way through the book. However, the exact nature of the revelation is not as easily guessable as you might first think. i.e. You'll be in the right ballpark, but you're probably not hitting the correct ball.
Ultimately, Dreamstone Moon becomes increasingly repetitive, with Sam and Anton finding themselves in umpteen zillion situations in which they might; a) run out of air; b) be sucked into a vacuum; or c) be killed by the Dreamstone's creature manifestations. This spoilt the novel for me, as it quickly became a predictable (if enjoyable) romp that was lacking in vital tension.
Review by Tom Hey
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