Review

Review: Doctor Who – Keeping Up With The Joneses (Time Trips #3) by Nick Harkaway

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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 didn’t actually take too many notes whilst writing this one – firstly because it’s such a short book, and secondly because I just couldn’t really think of much to talk about… needless to say, this will be a short review.

Serves me right for not reading the blurb of this one properly: I saw a Doctor Who book with the word ‘Jones’ in the title, and assumed it was about Martha. Unfortunately not, although this is a Tenth Doctor adventure. Our favourite Time Lord is companion-less on this particular adventure, as he has been with the other Time Trips stories so far. However, unlike the previous Time Trips, this one features a familiar character: the Lady Christina de Souza. If you don’t recognise the name, she was featured in the episode ‘Planet of the Dead’, where a double decker bus somehow got transported from London to the desert planet of San Helios.

Whilst it contained some ‘typical’ Ten moments (he finds brushing his teeth fun, I can definitely imagine that for Ten), this book just felt really… weird, even for Doctor Who. It felt like there was no real consistency to it, flitting from one bit to the next and it never really gripped me. I read it in one sitting, and I actually struggled to finish it because, quite honestly, I was bored.

I don’t know if it was the advanced copy I had, or if this is pretty much the finalised version, but some of the sentences felt really mangled. The structure was very odd, and that made it really hard to picture things.

Sadly, although I’ve enjoyed all the Doctor Who books I’ve read so far, this one was quite a let down. I would say read it if you’re a hardcore fan (for completionist purposes!), but if you’re just looking to read some of the DW books then there are plenty more enjoyable ones out there.

Review

Review: Doctor Who – Into the Nowhere (Time Trips #2) by Jenny T. Colgan

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3 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

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

From the very first paragraph of this book, I immediately knew it was more skillfully written than previous Doctor Who reads – at least in terms of the description. The story wasn’t quite as fun as some of the books aimed at younger audiences. Jenny T. Colgan captures the personalities and mannerisms of the Eleventh Doctor and Clara really well, and I could easily picture each scene in my head with Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman acting them out – Clara with her no-nonsense ways, and Eleven acting like a child and showing off occasionally (or more than occasionally…).

The setting was a ‘typical’ Doctor Who planet – mysterious, a little bit creepy and naturally very intriguing to the Doctor. The forest that the two travel through felt like the one from Disney’s version of Snow White, with trees seemingly coming to life and reaching out for our protagonists. The Doctor Who books can get away with some more grisly images and moments than the TV series, and this one certainly does.

There were, however, a couple of things that bugged me. I know that Doctor Who as a TV show contains pop culture references, for example the Doctor has referenced the Harry Potter series before, but for such a short book (forty-nine pages) this contained a few too many pop culture references. The villain of the story, a nerdy computer geek, felt like a major cliche – and also completely ruined the scary image of the planet.

Overall, despite a few clunky and overlong sentences and a couple of other points, this was a fun read. I mean, it is Doctor Who after all…

And I just want to share this status update I posted to Goodreads…