I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Review: Doctor Who: Festival of Death + Giveaway

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , , ,
Doctor Who: Festival of Death
by Jonathan Morris
#4 of The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collection

Plot Summary:

The Beautiful Death is the ultimate theme-park ride: a sightseeing tour of the afterlife.  But something has gone wrong, and when the Fourth Doctor arrives in the aftermath of the disaster, he is congratulated for saving the population from destruction - something he hasn't actually done yet.  He has no choice but to travel back in time and discover how he became a hero. And then he finds out.

He did it by sacrificing his life.

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.


As it says in the Introduction of the book, this story was written before Doctor Who got so complex, with multiple timelines and explorations of what it means to be a time traveler.  And I thought that since I'm used to the shenanigans of Steven Moffat, this book would probably be pretty tame.  Wrong.  While it seems old hat now to have the Doctor realize he is going to die doing something, this story takes that chilling realization and spins out a very complex sequence of events.  The plot moves back and forth between characters and incidents that build on each other as the pieces of the puzzle are gradually revealed.  The pure technical skill in an author having to piece such a complex story together is admirable, and having the story come together so perfectly in the end is kind of awe-inspiring.  There were so many little scenes that were dropped, seemingly tangentially, and later brought into the story and explained completely.  Reading this book was pure enjoyment.

Aside from the technical crafting of the story, the characters that make up G-lock are varied, eccentric, and humorous.  It seemed like a melting pot of all the kinds of characters the Doctor is used to coming up against, from pompous, self-important leaders to dutiful, not very bright policemen, selfish, arrogant villians, and kindly, innocent humans and aliens who are very brave.  The characters make up a huge part of the charm of this story and the realistic way in which they are all thrown together gives a great backdrop for the Doctor and Romana to interact with.  The author also captured the dry, sardonic humor of the Doctor, and the patient, efficient voice of Romana so well, that it felt like this story should have been filmed.

The novel also has a tongue-in-cheek humor about it, in the vein of Douglas Adams that made it delightful to read, and there are some great laugh-out-loud moments.  While the many shifts between characters and incidents can make this story somewhat difficult to keep up with at times, I found the whole reading experience to be so much fun, and absolutely worth it!

I received this book from the publisher or author for a fair and honest review.  I was not compensated for this review.

Who-ology Trivia!
OTHER TIME LORD ABILITIES (besides regeneration)

        • Susan shows evidence of telepathy in The Sensorites.
        • The Time Lords in The War Games are able to inflict extreme pain with just the power of their minds.
        • The Master shares the Doctor's mimicry talents.  He is able to perfectly impersonate the Brigadier in The Time Monster.
        • Morbius shields his mind from the psychic probing of the Sisterhood of Karn (Pyramids of Mars)
        • Romana feigns death by stopping both her hearts. (Destiny of the Daleks)
        • Professor Chronotis manipulates the beating of his twin hearts in time to Gallifreyan Morse. (Shada)
        • The Master merges his decaying Time Lord body with that of another life form. (The Keeper of Traken).
(p. 81)

~ Giveaway ~

With many thanks to the publisher, BBC Books 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)


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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share this post: Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This Share on Google Plus Share on Tumblr
Scroll Up


  1. I LOVE Doctor Who but haven't read any of the books yet. Sounds like this one has a great story AND great writing!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

    1. The Doctor Who books are great to read and this is probably one of my favorites! Thank you for stopping by!