by Gary Russell
#10 of The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collection
Plot Summary:Wilfred Mott is very happy: his granddaughter, Donna is back home, catching up with family and gossiping about her journeys, and he has just discovered a new star and had it named after him. He takes the Tenth Doctor with him to the naming ceremony. But the Doctor soon discovers something else new, and worryingly bright, in the heavens - something that is heading for Earth. It's an ancient force from the Dark Times. And it is very, very angry...
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who this year, BBC Books will be reissuing eleven classic Doctor Who novels – one for each Doctor – from across their fiction range. Repackaged with new introductions, bold new covers, and 50th anniversary branding, they are not only a collectable set for fans, but a brilliant introduction to the depth and range of the Doctor Who list.
Review:The story is framed by the ending of Season 4 and Donna's memory loss, but most of it actually takes place soon after "The Sontaran Stratagem." This novel touchingly focuses on the Doctor's friendship with Donna and the relationships between Donna and her mother and grandfather. While Donna's mum, Sylvia comes off pretty tetchy and unsympathetic in the TV show most times, this story gives her more heart and background, especially with the death of Donna's dad. I really enjoyed reading more about the Noble family and how they are not perfect, but they do love each other and support each other even if one doesn't actually believe in what the other is doing. I think the highlight of this book is the family aspect, especially because it draws the Doctor into it and it's always interesting to see him out of his element.
The evil from the Dark Times is a much updated (upgraded?) version of a villain from the Classic series (first seen in an adventure with the Fourth Doctor) and because the villain uses our new technologically savvy world as the means to take over the planet, the danger feels very real, and is used to good effect. But the evil is so very powerful, that the Doctor's solution felt a little rushed over and confusing and it was easiest to just take the Doctor's plan for granted that it worked. It's really not that big of a deal, because the story is so engaging from the start, and the focus on character development - with the Noble family, and the side characters that Gary Russell so deftly paints in a few scenes - made this such a fun adventure. I am also really impressed by how well Gary captured Donna's sarcastic teasing, Wilf's general adorableness and the beauty and pathos in Wilf's love interest, Netty. And it is lovely that this book provides closure (now somewhat unnecessarily) to Donna's ending in Season 4.
I received this book from the publisher or author for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review.
THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR'S RULES FOR COMPANIONS
Rule 1: 'The Doctor lies.'
Rule 7: 'Never run when you are scared.'
Rule 27: 'Never knowingly be serious.'
Rule 408: 'Time is not the boss of you.'
~ Giveaway ~
With many thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours, I am offering a choice of ONE of FOUR of the Doctor Who books I'm reviewing for the Book Tour. So with the Rafflecopter giveaway, the winner can pick EITHER
Beautiful Chaos by Gary Russell,
Festival of Death by Jonathan Morris,
Players by Terrance Dicks, or
Who-ology by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright (the official book of miscellany, celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who)
THIS GIVEAWAY IS INTERNATIONAL!
Please enter through the Rafflecopter form below. The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond with a mailing address before another winner is chosen. The mailing address will be forwarded to the publisher who will send the winner their copy. The contest runs until June 28th Midnight.