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.