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Doctor Who: Shining Darkness (Doctor Who: New Series Adventures #27)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  980 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews

For Donna Noble, the Andromeda galaxy is a long, long way from home. But even two and a half million light years from Earth, danger lurks around every corner...

A visit to an art gallery turns into a race across space to uncover the secret behind a shadowy organisation.

From the desert world of Karris to the interplanetary scrapyard of Junk, the Doctor and Donna discover

Kindle Edition, 258 pages
Published (first published September 4th 2008)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jan 22, 2009 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2009
Good story, Donna is the queen of everything in my eyes.

Breaks down into accepting others who may seem different to you, put through the story lens that machines with AI are being discriminated against, and about to be genocided by some who think only organics can be real people. Good story, fun characters, hard choices. The Doctor and Donna are a magnificent team, and the author treats them very well. He himself is gay, and it's easy to read into the misunderstanding the rest of the world has t
Kimberley doruyter
not the best dr who i've ever read but not the worst, i really like donna
Stuart Douglas
Jun 23, 2009 Stuart Douglas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shining Darkness is not quite as good as Mark Michalowski's previous NSA Wetworld but it's a close thing - and in any case Shining Darkness is still a good deal better than most of the soul-less and dull Doctor Who New Series Adventures which came before it. Michalowski's prose tends to stay this side of lyrical, but that's clearly deliberate and no bad thing given the target audience. He's also already proven to be one of the NSA writers who can actually do comedy, and this novel is no less lik ...more
This book was fun! I liked Donna in this book, a lot, especially the scene with the Ginger Goddess - that quite possibly was my favorite scene in the whole book! There were some parts I didn't care for as much, such as Donna's abrupt change in feelings/beliefs (view spoiler) - it just didn't seem believable. Why the sudden change? Either I missed something or it wasn't explained. Overall, this was an good story, but it just didn't grip ...more
Nov 06, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2016

If you are a fan of Doctor Who you will love this book.

If you are not a fan of Doctor Who then you should read this book so that you can come into the light.

p.s. All hail Donna Noble

Honestly, she's brilliant, my favourite companion of Doctor Who.
Stephen Osborne
This one was fluffy, and I guess I wasn't in the mood for fluffy. It sometimes seems like writers of the Doctor Who books say to themselves "Oh, here's my chance to do some Douglas Adams humor" and they add too much silliness. Yes, there can be silly in Doctor Who, but it's usually mixed in with serious and sad scenes as well. And then there was a scene where Donna just didn't act like Donna at all. Yes, it was to make a point, but it really didn't seem, to me, to fit her character. And I'll giv ...more
Nathaniel ΘΣ
Jun 03, 2011 Nathaniel ΘΣ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Doctor Who fans
This is a Doctor Who novel featuring the Doctor in his Tenth incarnation with Donna Noble as his companion. As I've probably said before, I'm not a fan of Donna in the slightest and so her presence is enough to put me off. However, I love Ten and I'm trying to finish all of the novels that feature him.

This is a typical Doctor Who storyline on many levels. Firstly, it is pure science fiction. It's set in the Andromeda Galaxy, there are aliens and spaceships and robots galore. Secondly, it takes
Jul 24, 2015 Jen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, read-2015

The core story here is a crushingly obvious "racism is bad" metaphor. And that's fine, it's not like we've never seen crushingly obvious morality plays in Doctor Who before, but there's just no complexity. The antagonists are anti-AI bigots of varying degrees of megalomania, and that's really it. There's no effort made to flesh out why they think what they're doing is right. I don't mind that on a Leverage episode, but I want more from a novel. Speaking of novels, there's only about enough plot

Aug 26, 2009 Kaion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, adventure
I'm not exactly well-versed in the Doctor Who books, so perhaps it's not saying much that Shining Darkness has the best standalone adventure of the three companion novels I've read.

I do have an awful lot of experience with fanfiction though, and so I recognize it's not easy serving split interests in having to a) do well by the established characters of Doctor and Donna by nodding to their character arcs and b) create a brand new world for them to explore, populated with people for them to help.
Lizabeth Tucker
A Doctor Who adventure, starring the 10th Doctor (David Tennant, for those who don't keep track) and companion Donna Noble. While visiting the Andromeda galaxy the Doctor and Donna run into a cult that is anti-mechanical (aka robots) after Donna is accidently snatched by them. The Doctor finds himself accompanying the cult's enemies in an effort to rescue Donna.

Well, this is the first of the Tenth Doctor that I've read and I am thrilled with this story. I'm not even sure where to start. Like mo
Sarah Crawford
Jan 15, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This features the 10th doctor, and his companion, Donna. They go to the Andromeda galaxy, and visit a museum. The Doctor and an exhibit are transported onto a spaceship, and Donna ends up on another spaceship trying to track down the first one.

It seems there is a group of humans who hate any kind of robot that seems to have an artificial intelligence, and they are out to build something that can put all the power in the hands of humans alone. There's also a group that is out to stop them.

Jim C
Aug 21, 2015 Jim C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My rating is 3.5 stars.

This book is based on the popular television series and has the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble as the main characters. In this one, the Doctor and Donna travel to the Andromeda Galaxy and find themselves right in the middle of a war brewing between organics and mechanicals.

The most important aspect of reading a media tie-in novel is if the characters are portrayed correctly. I believed the Doctor's portrayal was good and Donna's portrayal was excellent. The Doctor's portraya
Tracy Enright
This book is set in the David Tennant/Catherine Tate era and sees Donna and the Doctor getting caught up in the battle between organics and non-organics, or mechanical lifeforms. You don't need to be that familiar with the Doctor Who universe to read this book since this truly is a stand-alone novel, though a knowledge of the series and central characters will allow you to pick up on the in-jokes. The action ranges from an art gallery to a junk planet to a cave system and a space station as the ...more
Misty Walker
Jun 05, 2014 Misty Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If half stars were available I would have given the book 3 and a half stars, but since it was a Doctor Who (Tennant and Tate - my favorite combination!)I rounded up to four.

The plot was pretty much a hide and seek, cat and mouse game throughout the Andromeda galaxy. I think I would have found the story itself actually pretty interesting had The Doctor and Donna been together puzzling things out. I do understand why the author, Mark Michalowski had to write it the way he did, though. One ship ch
Sep 30, 2010 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wayland Smith
I've enjoyed the various Dr. Who and Torchwood novelizations, having read a fair amount of them by this point. This one was particularly good. The author, Mark Michalowski, is clearly a fan of the show, and that comes through. Within the book, there are references not only to events during the Doctor/Donna era on the show, but at least two to the Tom Baker era as well.

This one is about a fanatical group that is rabidly anti-robot (although they apparently prefer to be called "Mechanicals" the ro
Feb 14, 2015 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

This sneaky little book jumped way ahead in my TBR queue simply because I was too tired to crack the WWII book on the bus and, after reading a mere five pages, I was sucked in to the fun! Lucky me, too, since I did no research at all before picking it up. I just noticed somebody has been donating Doctor Who novels to my library and picked it solely based on the pairing (yes, I'm one of the few die-hard Donna fans I know. Maybe the only.).

Anyway, I suspect this has everything a Doctor Wh
Jan 09, 2011 M rated it liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
There were some funny parts, but I think the amount of meaningless philosophizing (propaganda) on the author's part was a bit obnoxious. The most ridiculous thing about it was the apparent belief that sentience can be measured on a scale. Who made the scale and what gave them the right? I've always thought it was stupid how Doctor Who seems to fight for 'robot rights.' It devalues the human soul, but I guess that's a symptom of the show's underlying debasement of Christianity.

Also, I thought th
May 26, 2014 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting Doctor Who book which actually has a moral dilemma which makes you think about how human something has to be before it is treated as such. This was particularly shown when Donna felt for a humanoid robot but had no problems about torturing a non-humanoid one.
There were many moments of humour which helped to lighten the mood of this otherwise rather deep story. In particular there was the moment where Donna begins to improvise and makes herself a ginger-goddess much to the
I listened to the audiobook and I have to say, the reader's performance was horrible. The woman who read it tried to give everyone a different voice but many times she forgot to drop a particular voice once a sentence or a paragraph ended. And the voices she used were so annoying, I gritted my teeth through!

The story itself dealt with prejudice against mechanicals that was likened to racism here. There was some action but mostly it was a dissection of this social issue. Not exactly my cuppa. Tho
Siskoid Albert
Mark Michalowski's Shining Darkness, a New Series Doctor Who novel starring the 10th Doctor and Donna, is a comedy in the style of Douglas Adams (well, a bit more restrained than that). The story has the duo separated for most of the book, one with radicals who hate robot-kind, and the other with those who want to stop them. There are silly robots aplenty, and a particularly fun sequence with Donna as the Ginger Goddess (the Ginger Agenda has also infected the books!), and while's there's comedy ...more
Kristina Carr
Jan 10, 2011 Kristina Carr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful story. Mark Michalowski captures both Donna and the Doctor perfectly. It is so easy to hear Catherine Tate and David Tennant's voices in your head as you read.

The story is very thought provoking. The extremist views of both the promechanicals and the pro-organics are a parallel of real life racism and the surrounding issues. And Donna's internal battle with what is right and what is not is easily passed on to the reader.

Lovely referenced to the episodes of the show and to previous no
Jun 25, 2014 Mars rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Doctor and Donna were so OTT at times that it felt like I was reading a parody instead of an official novel. And because they were OTT, it sometimes came off as OOC, too. The other characters, meanwhile, are painfully boring and standard issue. The plot is your usual running-around-and-saving-the-universe Doctor Who story but it's still readable.

Everything about this was average: writing style, characterization, you name it. Read this for the sole purpose of knowing how Donna became an actua
Oct 12, 2013 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I did enjoy the metaphors about humans tendency to fear what they don't understand and prejudice, a lot of it seemed a little cliche and drawn out to me. A lot at the end just seems like pointless time killers to take up pages. Also, "mother," the massive, mute, robot with red eyes and a gentle, caring, heart, reminds me a lot of bumblebee in transformers. A lot of the robot characters remind me of transformers, actually. But mother could be a dead ringer, right down to the muteness and pr ...more
Jan 16, 2009 Kiri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I needed something fluffy. This is fitting the bill nicely. It's a good one.

Finished. It was a VERY good one. Just as I had decided to be done with the Doctor Who novels, along comes this beauty to change my mind. Michalowski does a WONDERFUL job with the characters, delightful plot with some real twists and turns and fun! And it addresses an issue that I care about a great deal - the danger of hating (and/or fearing) those who are different from oneself; the importance of acceptance and the dan
Mar 01, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Who-fans
This book was like watching an episode of Doctor Who (which of course is the point). The Doctor and Donna were spot on, and the plot was great. However, my favorite part was the scenes with the "primitive" Jaftee, who collect religions like others collect stamps. This was a completely unique twist and came into play when the baddies were retrieving the "sacred artifact" that they left in these peoples care. Throw in Donna declaring herself "The Ginger Goddess," and you have a legendary scene.

Jan 15, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 4th or 5th Doctor Who novel I have read. This is definitely one of the stranger ones -- even in the Who universe. Donna is my absolute favorite companion EVER, and David Tennant is my favorite incarnation of the Doctor. Even so, the strangeness of this story was a little over the top. It was obviously social commentary on issues like racism -- what with the potential genocide of "machine intelligences" and all -- but it came across more preachy than entertaining. Still a fun read, bu ...more
I really find Debbie Chazen's narration hard to listen to - despite her skill at conveying Donna and The Doctor. The underlying themes in the story were fine - sentient robots struggling for equal respect from 'organics'. Donna's horror at finding herself caught out assuming sentience in a robot because of its more human form but dismissing another, in fact sentient, because it did not look like her was particularly good. But I struggled to engage with this, didn't really grasp who was who, and ...more
Nate Rawdon
The relationship between Donna and the Doctor is captured perfectly from the beginning, and there are several witty lines that respectively reflect on the personality of Donna. The story-line is good, and you often find yourself reading more than you had planned to. The language used is appropriate and is easily understood, without being childish. The characters are good, though you do not grow exceptionally connected to many other characters aside from the leading two.
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Mark Michalowski (born 1963 in Chesterfield) is the editor of Shout!, "Yorkshire's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender paper", as well as being an author best known for his work writing spin-offs based on the BBC Television series Doctor Who. He currently lives and works in Leeds.
More about Mark Michalowski...

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