Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)'s Reviews > Fear of the Dark

Fear of the Dark by Trevor Baxendale
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bookshelves: doctor_who_50th, sci-fi_fantasy, tv_tie-in

*Special Content only on my blog, Strange and Random Happenstance during I ♥ ♥ The Doctor (October-December 2013)

The Doctor and his companions, Tegan and Nyssa, are aboard the TARDIS when a malign influence infiltrates Nyssa's dreams. The fact that there is something that could breech the protections of the TARDIS worries The Doctor and he decides they must track this evil to its source. Arriving on the small moon of the benighted Akoshemon, the travelers stumble upon a mining operation masquerading as an archaeological dig. Stoker and her men are hoping to get a jump on the mining Consortium that is pushing honest pirates out of work. Thanks to a hot tip this planet could be Stoker's biggest payday ever, making her and her team millionaires if the Lexium deposits turn out to be as wealthy as supposed. Yet one of her team, Vega Jaal, who comes from a sensitive race of miners, feels that something dangerous is lurking in the depths of the moon and that they should abandon their mission. Nyssa and The Doctor also feel the danger, but there appears to be no way to convince Stoker of the danger.

Then the first death happens. Then they find the door. There is a subterranean lab that appears to have been used for studying suspended animation. But the next two deaths force one of Stoker's team, Bunny, to go behind her back and issue a distress beacon. Of course the only chance of rescue they have is from the Consortium, the very last people Stoker wants to see. They could override her claim on the Lexium find. Yet when they do arrive, it's the Captain that has a bigger effect on Stoker. It's her lost love, Lawrence. As the death toll mounts and the dangers increase, there appears to be a darkness, "the" darkness, that is manipulating events and people to it's own end. Could the destruction that reigned down on Akoshemon happen to the rest of the universe if The Doctor doesn't succeed?

Fear of the Dark is dark in name and dark in nature. This book is so dark that if you're looking for a good time with The Doctor, well, stay well clear. Now this isn't a criticism of the book, far from it, the story and the emotions that play throughout are interesting, terrifying, gut wrenching, and tearful. This book is packed with an emotional punch. Yet like how Houdini died (he didn't have time to prepare for the blows) if you aren't prepared for the depths this book will take you to, well, it will be a rough ride. It mines the depths of human despair, suffering, and loss. I kid you not that death upon death is in your
future if you pick this book up. The fact that Baxendale made you care for each character before then killing them shows what a good job he did, that sadistic bastard. At one point I was hopeful that someone other then our core three whose fates weren't in Baxendale's hands would survive... but no. There is no hope. There is no chance of survival. The Doctor's success might save the entire galaxy... but not those he meets on this desolate moon. No chance. No chance at all. Why, you might be asking am I telling you this? Because it was the false hope being ripped out from under me that undid me the most, emotionally. You need to prepare yourself for this book. So you are now hopefully prepared.

As for the 5th Doctor... I've always had such a warm spot for him, and Baxendale captures him and his companions perfectly. What's even more perfect is that this is after Adric's death. Yes Adric, I do hate you so, I'm smiling as I think about your death. Blue star my ass. Ok, back to The Doctor and his companions that are still living... for some reason I must have blocked out Time-Flight (which I'm sure my friend Paul would complement me on) because I didn't realize that Tegan was away from the TARDIS for a year before rejoining The Doctor and Nyssa. Which does play into the story kind of significantly. Which makes me wonder, yet again, who would read these books but die hard fans? I mean, yes, the story does a nice job of kind of explaining what was going on with Tegan and what happened, but even I was a little confused. Now someone who'd never seen any of this series? Well, they'd be lost. But on the plus side, they wouldn't be hearing Tegan's voice in their head during her dialogue in the book, which isn't as annoying by the way as hearing Peri's voice in your head, just fyi. While I'm still dwelling on The Doctor I would like to also compliment Baxendale on creating a book that has not just captured THIS Doctor, but a basic Doctor core. I could just as easily see this story staring 11 and the Ponds.

As for things I really liked, well, Baxendale takes us straight into the action. There is no lenghty set-up. We see The Doctor working among Stoker's team and get flashbacks to how they all met much later on. I can't tell you how refreshing this was. Usually it's tons of time going about explaining that it's just "Doctor" and that he just dropped by and everyone is suspicious until they finally see he's there to help. Instead, bam, he's there, he's helping, he's trusted. Short track to success, switch things up. Two big thumbs up. Of course, the fact that each of the three sections of the book could have used severe editing and seriously, they typos were appalling... plus the depressive nature of the book, well, it did cost the book a star. But way to bring your "A" game Baxendale. And now... for the monster. The writers of Lost should have taken note, this is how you make an unsubstantial monster terrifying. Seriously, The Dark would have that smoke monster pissing himself. Of course, no monster is perfect and his little substantial minion kind of took away a bit of the mystique of this malign nothingness... but no book is perfect, but this is a huge step up from the previous book. Faith restored in this series... onto 6 and Peri...

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Reading Progress

February 4, 2013 – Shelved
February 4, 2013 – Shelved as: doctor_who_50th
June 18, 2013 – Shelved as: blog_need_to_read
October 18, 2013 – Started Reading
October 28, 2013 –
0.0% "Holy hell this was dark, pun not intended but admitted too."
October 28, 2013 – Shelved as: sci-fi_fantasy
October 28, 2013 – Shelved as: tv_tie-in
October 28, 2013 – Finished Reading

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