Married. Mother. Student. Full-time job. 33 years old. Doctor Who fanatic. Not necessarily in that order.
The Doctor takes Rose to her first alien planet where they are immediately captured, separated, and imprisoned on different planets. As Rose fights to get back to the Doctor, the Doctor uncovers an alien plot to... oh, I don't want to spoil it. The idea is interesting and we see some familiar baddies, but the execution just didn't work for me. Because the Doctor and Rose are separated, what we essentially have are two different stories and almost no interaction between the two main characters. Another problem is the story drags on far too long. Three times I thought the story was wrapping up, only to see that I had several hours of book left to go. Normally, this would be a good thing, but not here. I should have loved this, but I didn't.
That said, I also didn't hate it. The author did a great job of keeping both the Doctor and Rose in-character. We see Rose cope and rebel in a hellish environment and we see glimpses of the Ninth Doctor's soft, compassionate side (always a nice juxtaposition with his normally prickly and hardened demeanor). I also enjoyed some of the original characters in this story. And, as always, Camille Coduri knocks it out of the ballpark as the narrator. I would recommend this story to fans of the Ninth Doctor and those who really enjoy Season 1 bad guys.
The world Blythe creates in this novel is completely believable and I found his original characters realistic. While this novel isn't particularly scary, I did find the depictions of the Autons actually horrific, something that was not possible to really convey in the live-action show. This book has a strong storyline, good characters, just a hint of timey-wimeyness, and Georgia Moffett nails the characters' voices. It is good, clean, Doctor Who fun!
I love watching Doctor Who, but I haven't enjoyed the Eleventh Doctor as much as I had hoped I would. I think part of the problem is the show isn't quite as character-driven as it once was. But I think that's why I enjoyed this book so much. It fills in a lot of the gaps I feel the show has left, character-wise. The Doctor and Amy banter with each other and you finally get the sense that they really are best friends. You can see their relationship grow within the book and I really enjoyed that.
The story is also a very good one. Little revelations are had throughout so you're never quite sure exactly what's happening until the very end. I also really enjoyed how the language shifts depending on the point of view the story is being told from. The language is old-fashioned when told from the Morphans' point of view and more casual when told from Amy's or Rory's. I especially enjoyed listening to Amy's inner monologue and counting the number of times the word "stupid" came up.
Michael Maloney's narration was also very good, although the voice he uses for the Doctor seems off to me and ended up sounding unintentionally silly.
I absolutely adored this book, partly because of the story, but chiefly because of David Tennant's wonderful reading voice. For the prose bits he uses his native Scottish accent (which, Scottish accents are beautiful). Then for the seen-on-TV characters, he captures everyone's vocal cadences and styles: Jackie, Rose, Mickey, and the Doctor all sound like themselves. Well, I guess being able to sound like the Doctor is a given. And then he creates distinctly seperate voices for the book-only characters. Especially, the one he adopts for the thing behind all the events (come on, you know there's a thing!) is sheer genius. Original, funny, alien - and perfect! And it was his own idea to voice it like that - nothing in the book implies it spoke unusually, and the author herself was (pleasantly) surprised. It was so mesmerizing, I kept forgetting that every particle of the being's voice and personality was coming out of Tennant, and there wasn't really another being talking.
Story-wise, his timing is spot on, which is especially great for the comic bits (I'm an introvert, yet I couldn't NOT go into public convulsions of laughter at the Doctor's reactions when things went unexpectedly wrong for him). I'm making it sound like it's all comedy, but the overall story is quite serious: someone's running around Rome magically killing people, the Doctor keeps failing to save Rose, there's a gladiator battle of sorts and a bloodthirsty Roman goddess, and of course the Earth is in danger of destruction again. So, you see, it's all around wonderful! I'd meant this to be my last book from Audible, but now I can't leave, because I have to get every other Doctor Who book Mr. Tennant's narrated - even though they're all abridged and I've heretofore avoided abridged books like the very plague - *and* I'm working on getting all the Cressida Cowell ones, too. He was fantastic to watch as the Doctor on TV, but gosh, he's spectacularly good just to *listen* to, too! Cheers!