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Doctor Who: Unnatural History

(Eighth Doctor Adventures #23)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The Doctor regenerated in San Francisco at the turn of the millennium. When he returns there a few years later, it seems the catastrophic events that nearly sent the whole of Earth into cosmic oblivion have taken their toll. San Francisco was the anchor point, and a breach between dimensions has sprung up. All sorts of weird and wonderful creatures have turned up -- griffi ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 1st, 288 pages
Published June 7th 1999 by BBC Worldwide Publishing (first published June 1st 1999)
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  242 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Oct 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Whilst trying to tie up continuity from both The TV Movie and earlier books in the series, Unnatural History does feel slightly convoluted at times.

I practically liked the ‘Dark Sam’ storyline, it was interesting to see how different her life would have been if she hadn’t met The Doctor.
Alex Sarll
Annoying that this comes up as 'by Jonathan Blum' - it may be mere alphabetical order, but Kate Orman is the attraction here, the one with the pedigree. A brilliantly messy account of why the Doctor is so brilliantly messy, this ties up the loose ends from the semi-coherent Paul McGann TV movie, while also making a plausible case that it's precisely the loose ends and plot holes which make Doctor Who so compelling. If only the new series had similarly learned that, while a given sentence may be ...more
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"He wants to pin down the butterfly and list it in his book. You gotta be just exactly what he knows you are. Nothing more. They all want you to behave. But you don’t have to."

A Faction Paradox novel exactly the way Faction Paradox should be written. Deliciously meta in ways even "Alien Bodies" didn't dare, and warping its own narrative with all the panache that "The Book Of The War" would later claw its way into. The style is incredible — Jon Blum and Kate Orman are always incredible — and on t
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
Sam Sam Sam Sam Sam! As the Doctor would say. I've always loved Sam Jones, and while it was heartbreaking to watch the more messed up versions of her in this book, I loved that we finally got something of an answer to the mystery of her dual (or more) timelines. (Also loved that, from what I can tell, blonde!Sam isn't any more or less 'fake' or 'alternate' than any other version, as I'd feared we were going to hear.) The Unnaturalist was scary (those collapsing boxes! those pin things agggh!), F ...more
Nicholas Whyte
Apr 08, 2009 rated it liked it

This year's Who has taken a lot of liberties with Amy and her personal timeine - more than I can remember being taken with any previous TV companion, apart from some of the things that happened to Sarah Jane Smith in the SJA - so it's interesting to read an earlier example of this approach, with Sam Jones, the Doctor's companion for most of the 22 previous EDAs, suddenly transformed into a dark-haired version of herself who never left London. Meanwhile in
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: doctor-who-8da
LOVE IT. Love it. They made me care so much about all the Sams; it's heart-wrenching. (view spoiler)

I think Blum and Orman might be my favorite 8DA writers so far. I highlighted some idea or phrasing I loved about every five pages.
Daniel Kukwa
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
It's my least favourite of the Blum/Orman 8th Doctor novels.. No matter how hard they work, Sam isn't a character that lights much of a fire in the "Doctor Who" universe, and the paradox of two Sams isn't exactly the San Francisco-shattering event the authors hope it would be. But again, a lesser Blum/Orman work is lightyears ahead of the work of other Who writers, and their command of the 8th Doctor & Fitz (the main reason one can still enjoy this novel) is peerless. A bit less than the sum ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a rollercoaster this one is. As I will say that this book does jump around a lot and with this book being Part of the Faction Paradox Arc,.. eh not so great, I mostly like the plot line with the Dark Hair Sam and the Dimension Tear along with Creatures from other dimensions just roam in San Francisco, what really makes me giving this book four stars is that this Book will give you the middle finger and say Fuck You and the Doctor Who continuities.
Cara M
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Is the new Sam better than the old Sam?
Why is the Wild Hunt in San Francisco?
How many powerful and mysterious entities have a player in the game?
Is it better not to know?
Julie Baker
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent Doctor Who story
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
This one was fantastic--all talking unicorns aside.

The villain was super creepy, the mini villain was creepy, the minor characters were interesting, and main characters were well-written. The plot was a bit slow at times, but excusably so.
I'll admit that I spent several days just running around and telling everyone who would listen (and some who wouldn't) about the Doctor's dad. Very exciting.
The attempt to mend the canon inconsistency caused by the 1996 movie was admirable, but not quite ade
Adam Highway
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who, sci-fi
It's good. It really is.

It's just not as good as it should be.

Introducing Faction Paradox *properly*, some good Time Lord mythology, self reference, great story for Fitz, real love for the Doctor, a genuinely threatening and creepy nemesis, real feel for the locale .... it has everything.

But I still found it lacking something - I can't put my finger on it, quite, but I wanted more from this.
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Doctor has lost Sam, and finds a dark haired version that has never met him. Something is causing paradoxes in San Francisco, is it coincidence that that was were the Doctor regenerated. There's also a collector of strange beings collecting unicorns.

This is a great paradox story. If you thought the Clara idea was good, then wait until you read this, how a companion can be changed by having time lines messed up. Great characters, amazing plot and so engrossing. A very good read.
Dec 20, 2011 marked it as dnf
Shelves: 2011, reread
I find I just don't care after all, even though I'm sure I liked it when I read it when it came out. I've got things I want to read more, so I'm DNFing this one. I shall go and read the summary of the rest of it on the TARDIS Library instead.
Lori S.
More background and set up for the Faction Paradox. A bit confusing, but interesting nonetheless.
Simon Curtis
Mar 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
Excellent. Of the early EDAs, Blum and Orman are up there with the best.
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 8
A little murky in places but I do like what happened with Sams story
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Paul Griggs
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Mar 02, 2016
Doctor Vendetta
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Dec 11, 2016
Fenrous Wolf
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Jan 30, 2018
Terry Gayles
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Dec 05, 2016
rated it it was ok
Jun 12, 2011
Dom Kelly
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Nov 13, 2011
Jarrod Miller
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Sep 24, 2012
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Feb 15, 2015
Matthew Grierson
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Aug 11, 2015
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Apr 29, 2014
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Jonathan Blum is the author of several Doctor Who novels and Big Finish audios. He currently lives in Australia with his wife Kate Orman.

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