Review: Doctor Who – The Shakespeare Notebooks by Justin Richards


2 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

I really wanted to like this book. I really did. It has such promise – after all, any Doctor Who fan knows that the Doctor has met many a historical figure on his travels. In fact, those are often my favourite episodes of the show – not the ones where he travels to the future, but where he goes back in time and we get to see recognisable figures from history.

I do believe, however, that this book will be a much more enjoyable read in hardback or paperback format. I read the eARC, which I highly doubt did it justice. Judging by the illustrations, which of course were in black and white for me, the book is very nicely presented. What I did like was how it didn’t just focus on the ‘new’ Doctor, but all of his other faces, and brought in companions old and new as well. Those who remember the times of Jamie and Zoe, as well as newer fans of Amy and Rory, will be happy.

Unfortunately, I think this book suffers from having a rather niche audience. Sure, it will appeal to Doctor Who fans, but ironically the Shakespeare element of it won’t work for all. Ultimately to me, it felt a little like an attempt to cash in on the ever-popular ‘crossover’ book, mixing characters from different fandoms (if you can refer to Shakespeare as such!).

As much as I love Doctor Who, and as much as I like to read anything about it that I can get my hands on, this sadly did not work for me. It feels more like the sort of book an ultimate fan would buy to complete their collection – it’s not one I can see myself reading again, unlike the adventure story series about the Doctor.


Review: The Chronicles of Narmo by Caitlin Moran


3 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

Having first read Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman a few years ago, I was definitely intrigued to read something that she had written at the age of only sixteen. Her previous writing showed that she is one incredibly funny woman, and as The Chronicles of Narmo shows, she was also an incredibly funny teenager.

A semi-autobiographical look at the life of the ‘Narmo’ family, there isn’t much of a plot to the story – just that Morag’s mother decides to take her and her siblings out of school and educate them at home, which leads to much tomfoolery and many shenanigans. There is no clear plotline and it is more like a series of events patched together, but that didn’t really matter when I considered the writing. I just cannot believe that Caitlin was only fifteen/sixteen when she wrote this – the descriptions are vivid, wonderful, odd and just so unique. Take this one for example:

“Bill smiled a smile last seen on a piranha with toothache that has just eaten the last dentist in the Amazon.” The Chronicles of Narmo, 32%

I just can’t imagine writing like Caitlin did at the age of sixteen as I am now, in my twenties. She has clearly always had a great talent. This is the kind of book that you can’t really compare to many others due to the author’s age at the time, and it is really very astounding all things considered – I mean just look at the quote from Terry Pratchett on the front cover! Her view on the world and her environment are, for a teenager, actually incredibly mature, and she is not afraid to really make fun of herself.

If you’re a fan of Caitlin Moran, definitely give this one a try for more of her wonderful wit and humour.