Most of the pieces in this collection deal with growing up with the Doctor (or Captain Jack, who features a whole lot in the first part of the book)....moreMost of the pieces in this collection deal with growing up with the Doctor (or Captain Jack, who features a whole lot in the first part of the book). There's nothing wrong with writing an essay as your personal life story, but when they make up the majority of your book they all tend to become very similar after a while, variations on the same riff. I would've liked more variety, both in content and in form.
I especially liked "A kiss from Romana" and "Hey Mickey, you're so fine". The latter is a very good take on the character of the same name; while he's hardly my favourite, this piece did make me reconsider Mickey a lot, also considering some of the writing/editorial choices made behind the camera. (less)
3.5 stars really, for two reasons that really amount to one.
The essays themselves vary from the exceptionally good to the simple but important insight...more3.5 stars really, for two reasons that really amount to one.
The essays themselves vary from the exceptionally good to the simple but important insight into the mind of the author as a writer, or a fan, or a person. It is an enormous job to wade through a long-lived blog, especially from a prolific author as Valente, to select a limited number of items that not only stand up by themselves, but together also offer a solid representation of her complete work both in theme and depth.
Now for the negative note: the book is riddled with typos, and the graphic design is basic even for an essay collection. Since most of the material in this book is available for free offline (only 3 articles do not come from her blog or a guest post) this collection is mostly retreading on old ground if you've been following Cat online for a while, and for 15$ I would have at least expected a little more editorial work to polish it all up.(less)
As with any collection from different authors, it's a mixed bunch of good and bad stories with a couple great ones.
1st: I haven't read any of Eoin Col...moreAs with any collection from different authors, it's a mixed bunch of good and bad stories with a couple great ones.
1st: I haven't read any of Eoin Colfer's series, but the work he writes in other franchises (like HHGG) reads like some awful teenager's fanfiction. Bad characterization and a terrible story.
2nd: Better characterization, though the story is mostly a Lovecraftian pastiche.
3rd and 4th : Good characterization and good stories!
5th: A nice story, but very Doctor-lite for an anniversary collection; I might have appreciated it more on its own.
6th: I know this story isn't popular (just like its Doctor, heh) but I liked it all, from the story to the characters to Peri's first person PoV. Pairing off Sixie with the Rani is getting a little bit tired though, like 3/5 and the Master.
7th: This Doctor is hardly my favourite, but this story just felt wrong; the chessmaster who's always two steps ahead of everyone really comes off as a petulant child in this one.
8th: Bland. True, there's not much TV canon to go on for this Doctor, but one could take a hint or two from the audios for characterization.
9th: Good idea, bad execution.
10th: Best story of the bunch, with nods to the Land of Fiction, and a Martha Jones that feels like a competent character rather than just pining for the Doctor.
11th: A great story from Gaiman, but incredibly visual with its treatment of time; oddly enough, I think it would have worked better as an actual TV episode.(less)
This book is a late novelization of a six-parter story that Douglas Adams wrote for Doctor Who, but which never...moreThree stars veering towards a fourth.
This book is a late novelization of a six-parter story that Douglas Adams wrote for Doctor Who, but which never got fully filmed because of a strike. Since then Shada has had a troubled history and nearly as many incarnations as the Doctor: bits of it were used in The five Doctors, Adams himself recycled some of his own ideas in Dirk Gently, then a VHS was released with the filmed bits and narration, then it was re-cast as an audiobook with the Eight Doctor, and now the novel as well.
This is not a bad book at all and, in fact, Gareth Roberts is extremely good at channelling his inner Adams throughout the book, so much that one would be hard put to tell apart his bits of the story from Adams' (take notes, Eoin Colfer, this is how it's done). He is maybe a bit too good, in that at times Shada reads more like a Hitchhiker's book with the Doctor in it rather than a Doctor Who story proper.
The whole thing is unfortunately brought down by the basic structure of a late '70s six parter, which means that every once every 60 pages or so there will be a cliffhanger, the resolution of which never veers too much away from "and with a jump he was free". The plot itself is thus burdened by several repetitions, a repeating of scenes from different points of view, a lot of running back and forth, and a dozen descriptions of the Doctor too many. Yes, it's faithful to the original, but a 2012 retelling might have benefited from a few trimmings, even at the expense of a few scenes.
It still remains a very enjoyable read, and possibly the best version of Shada released so far.(less)
**spoiler alert** Quite a good story, with an interesting fleshing out of a culture from the classic series, clever opponents and the splendid origami...more**spoiler alert** Quite a good story, with an interesting fleshing out of a culture from the classic series, clever opponents and the splendid origami warriors.
My only gripe is that the Charlie in this story is not actually Charlie but the pretender Mila; Six and Charlie only have 7 audios together and in most of them they are separated most of the time. Wasting one story -oddly, one where they're together most of the time- on a fake character seems an enormous waste. (less)
Proof that not all of the original season 23 needed to be resurrected, "Mission to Magnus" is a jumbled mess with too many ingredients and too little...moreProof that not all of the original season 23 needed to be resurrected, "Mission to Magnus" is a jumbled mess with too many ingredients and too little plot. The starting point was good - psychic amazons trying to acquire time travel and ruling over boys that cannot survive on the surface - but it soon gets lost among the antics of Sil, the return of the Ice Warriors as generic baddies rather than a noble culture, and the usual tune of running in corridors and being caught/escaping.
And we meet a Time lord bully the Doctor's still afraid of since they went to school together. REALLY. What were they thinking?(less)