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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Doctor Who Book Reviews Round-Up

Continuing their 50th Anniversary celebrations, BBC Worldwide bring us a host of new novels and reference books surrounding Doctor Who- yet are they worth your time?
There's no doubt that BBC Worldwide are bringing us an absolute plethora of new merchandise releases to celebrate Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary alongside the new season, the 50th Anniversary Special, the 2013 Christmas Special and the various other programmes being used to celebrate the big event. Part of this wave of new offerings is an enhanced book range from the company, many of which released during our Spring hiatus.

Of course, these days our money is rarely free enough to spend on every single Who book, so with that in mind we've compiled together our reviews of all the latest releases to sort out the cream of the crop. Without further ado, then, let's dive into the latest Doctor Who eBooks, novels and reference books...
DOCTOR WHO: THE ROOTS OF EVIL (2.5/5)- This Fourth Doctor eBook from Phillip Reeve has a dull premise from the outset, simply involving the Time Lord and Leela visiting a mysterious alien forest and battling a dark menace once there. This is purely standard Douglas Adams-esque Doctor Who, and Reeve's uninspiring narration of events doesn't help matters. Only one for the hardcore Baker fan, then, and even then it's worth harshly considering that status before making the purchase.
DOCTOR WHO: THE OFFICIAL MISCELLANY (5/5)- On a far brighter note, this new reference book compiling together an infinite number of random facts and figures about Doctor Who has turned out to be a true surprise hit. From fact files regarding every companion of the last 50 years to a list of all the aliases the Doctor has taken to hide his true secret (John Smith is just the beginning!), there'll be something new to learn for every fan, making this an absolutely essential 50th Anniversary purchase.
DOCTOR WHO: THE DALEK GENERATION (3/5)- One of three new Eleventh Doctor Adventures novels released to coincide with the Spring anniversary season, The Dalek Generation takes place in between the events of The Angels Take Manhattan and The Snowmen, featuring the Time Lord left companionless and without an Impossible Girl to hunt down. The plot is essentially a rehash of the human-fooling Dalek conspiracies of days gone by, a real shame considering that the innovative writer Nicholas Briggs is on board. Nevertheless, it's a decent read, while by no means unmissable.
DOCTOR WHO: TIP OF THE TONGUE (3/5)- Another arguably missed opportunity, this Fifth Doctor eBook comes from the mind of none other than Patrick Ness. Whereas with his own novels such as The Knife of Never Letting Go and A Monster Calls the author was free to create brave new worlds, though, here it feels as if Ness has been constrained somewhat by a licensed world to adhere to, no matter how interesting the Davison era was. Ness' trademark intelligent writing resides beautifully in Tip of the Tongue, it is just a letdown for fans of his work that this never ventures above the 'average' bracket in its narrative.
DOCTOR WHO: PLAGUE OF THE CYBERMEN (2.5/5)- Perhaps it's coming off the back of Neil Gaiman's fresh reinvention of the Cybermen in Nightmare In Silver, but seeing them in their pseudo-Cybus guise again here via Justin Richards is rather underwhelming. Plague again seems far too focused on nostalgia rather than creating bold new images, instead electing to echo classic tales such as Tomb of the Cybermen and The Invasion to little great effect. Again, this is one for the hardcore fan, but they're better served with the Spring's other two Eleventh Doctor Adventures novels.

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