by Amelia Williams
Plot Summary:“When summer falls, the Lord of Winter will arise…”
In the seaside village of Watchcombe, young Kate is determined to make the most of her last week of summer holiday. But when she discovers a mysterious painting entitled ‘The Lord of Winter’ in a charity shop, it leads her on an adventure she never could have planned. Kate soon realises the old seacape, painted long ago by an eccentric local artist, is actually a puzzle. And with the help of some bizarre new acquaintances – including a museum curator’s magical cat, a miserable neighbour, and a lonely boy – she plans on solving it.
And then, one morning Kate wakes up to a world changed forever. For the Lord of Winter is coming – and Kate has a very important decision to make.
Review:This book appears briefly in the episode "The Bells of St. John" (season 7 part 2) of Doctor Who and is ostensibly written by previous companion Amy Pond. I do love this new trend to feature books in the Doctor Who episodes and have them actually exist! It reads like a children's adventure tale, but also like a Doctor Who adventure with the helpful "Curator" appearing to help the children as the Lord of Winter comes. Kate is an unusually determined and focused girl who doesn't have a lot of faith in grown-ups, and when she wakes up in a wintry landscape with no adults around, she has to step up and figure out how to thwart the Lord of Winter. This story is very exciting and fast-paced and while Kate bears some similarities to Amy Pond's spunkiness in my mind, Kate is a great character on her own. I was disappointed that Kate's friend, Armand, doesn't do too much in this story - his inclusion in the story seemed unnecessary, but if this is going to be a sort of series of books, then maybe he'll have more of a part to play later on.
The suspense of the Lord of Winter's arrival was very creepy and well done, and made this book well worth the read. Especially the twist in the end which I did not see coming. The nods to Amy Pond's original life in the future (brief mention of a cell phone like invention, and the very Doctor-like Curator) was very entertaining for me, and it seemed like the story worked on two levels for me - the narrative, and the glimpse into Amy's life. The story is a great, quick and suspenseful read and I hope to read more of Kate's adventures!
And I'm just wondering aloud here - Matt Smith was asked for a clue about the 50th Anniversary special, and he said "paintings." This book deals with a painting.... I wonder if this story has some clues...