Doctor Who Books

archer's picture

archer - Posted on 20 June 2009

for anyone who wants to talk about or rate any of the Doctor Who books, here is your chance. this is also for the Big Finnish stories as well.

Neeva's picture

New Series Adventures (D10)

The Nightmare of Black Island by Mike Tucker


Fans of Doctor Who will have already encountered each story element of this book from previous stories, both in the new series and in the old. That said, I like these things and haven't encountered them in a couple of years - so, it's all good.

A plenitude of monsters, abandoned spooky places, nutters with driftwood collections (and guard ducks), and a culmination of events that could lead to the end of life on Earth as we know it.

You can also make a drinking game out of it - taking a drink every time you read the word "cables", and make it a double each time you read "thick cables". Mike Tucker is a visual thinker, and it comes across with plenty of set dressing (the man loves him some cables).

The dialog and characterization of The Doctor and Rose were well done, and welcome lite fare. Not too many surprises in here, a story built of cliches, but still a fun time that I am happy to have enjoyed.

I give it 3.75 TARDIS groans out of 5

Xoanon says knock you out.
Neeva's picture

Eighth Doctor Adventures

The Blue Angel started out well enough, clear from early on that it was going to be convoluted and non-linear. That is fine and good as long as it comes together at some point and provides a clear picture. It didn't.

There are several diverging stories in the book, all involving characters I like (I was drawn to picking up Blue Angel to complete the span of the series that features Compassion - and thought that I could hardly go wrong with Iris included as well). None of them was resolved in a satisfactory or clear way.
It is as if Paul Magrs and Jeremy Hoad managed to talk the series editor of the EDAs into treating the book as a prank.
Story aside - it was technically written well, language and imagery wise - it was like a dream that kept getting interrupted and was never allowed to make sense.
An incredibly miss-managed opportunity to use a fully realized cast of characters satirizing the Star Trek series was neglected and tossed aside.
I think I can honestly say that not a single question posed in the book is answered. All motivation to continue reading it for resolution ends with a final chapter that asks the reader twenty contradictory questions which are never answered.
I read it in 4 attentive sittings, but clearly I must have missed something because some readers respond well to the book.
After sitting on this for a little while, a few possible answers have occurred to me, in a dreamlike fashion. The treat of being sucked into this additional thinking, and its potential rewards, shouldn't go unmentioned. The book is a strange egg, but I stand by the thrust of my review: It isn't for everyone.

2.5 Zygon suckers out of 5

Xoanon says knock you out.
Neeva's picture

Past Doctor Adventures

First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan

It had been a little while since I'd read a first doctor PDA, and within the first 3 chapters I was vowing to make sure I have all the others in my collection. Bulis does a fantastic job of capturing the spirit of the era, and each of the TARDIS crew members comes across as dead on. Barbara and Susan are put through the ringer, and you can easily picture the mussed hair, and smudged cheek shots typical of the beleaguered heroins. Ian reactive and stoic at the same time, and the Doctor alternately useless and key to the resolution It was a magical time.
I liked the story a lot - mainly an illustration of the religious and powerful fighting over cosmetic aspects of the culture while the scientists and engineers do the only work that matters to the survival of the people (while ignoring, to their detriment, some of the potential outcomes of their growing technological advances).
It isn't an easy book to describe/review without giving away plot surprises - suffice it to say, there are a lot of twists (maybe one or two too many, as some seem to either come from, or go into, blind alleys). Delightfully - a reason for the dimensional instability resulting in the adventure that follows (Planet of the Giants) is given, as well as a 'promise' to revisit the scene in the afterward.
An 'episodic feel' is chosen rather than the most well constructed story with a distinctive beginning, middle and end. I liked this about it, for the way it reflects the stories of the first TARDIS crew.
It may not be "The Witch Hunters", but it is a very good read that I recommend to anyone who is a fan of this period of the series.

4 Krynoid seeds out of 5

Xoanon says knock you out.
Neeva's picture

Eight Doctor Adventures (w/ Fitz, Angi)

There are a spell of eighth Doctor books where the intention of each of the writers seems to have been to smash the Doctor Who cliches and try something entirely new for the range. This installation flies in the face of that trend and gives you a story that piques all the right nostalgic familiarities while making it big budget in such a way that I doubt you could ever see it on screen.
Sabbath actually spends time with the Doctor, and we learn more about him than we have since Adventuress of Henrietta Street. Fitz and Anji do a good deal of first person narration - which I always welcome from them. The setting is fantastic - and the 'monsters' of the piece are among the most frightening I've known in the DWU.

4 console click out of 5

Xoanon says knock you out.
Neeva's picture

Eighth Doctor Adventures

Some folks give this book a hard time - and it is a slight step out of the ordinary for the EDAs. More of a speculative fiction novel than science fiction (except for the last 25 pages) - the TARDIS crew enter a London theocracy where torture and lack of due process are the rule in a society made to fear terrorists at every turn. If that doesn't sound like timely and familiar commentary to you - maybe you haven't been paying attention to western politics circa 2000-'08.
Fitz spends the book being beaten up.

3.5 Bessie chases out of 5

Xoanon says knock you out.
Neeva's picture

New Series Adventures (D10, Martha)

A big fan of M. Michalowski's other Doctor Who novels, I plunked down my 13 bucks and wrung my grubby palms in anticipation. I had some reservations regarding the NSA's as I had heard they were written for younger readers than the previous lines of Doctor Who novels (though this is disputed by some). If this instillation is typical - my fears were founded, and I should have resisted the book (at least until a used copy found its way to me).
Without giving too much away, the book features cute fuzzy otter beings that are sometimes sweet to human settlers and sometimes threatening. I'm tempted to say that is the long and short of the whole piece, but there were some interesting 'settlers under siege' moments, and a slightly more complex plot than 'sometimes otters... they don't like you so much'.
If you like your Doctor Who with a little more sci-fi substance, character and plot, save yourself the mild disappointment and head straight for Relative Dimentias (one of my all-time favorite Doctor Who novels, and written by Michalowski).

3 cloister bell gongs out of 5

Xoanon says knock you out.

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