started out awesome. totally feels like a true doctor who episode. story got a bit bland at the end (to me personally, but an overall good read/listen. I think of it as an ok doctor who episode. enjoyable.
I would only recommend this book to Whovians, and then only Whovians that are willing to listen to David Tennant's exceptional audio performance as the book's narrator for 2.5 hours. His narration is exhilarating, but the story itself is only just okay.
Rayner's done a great job capturing the feel of a Doctor Who TV episode. Her portrayal of the characters is accurate: Rose sounds like Rose, the Tenth Doctor sounds like himself, and so on. The story itself, though? It's not very compelling. I was hoping for something along the lines of the Pompeii/Vesuvius/"Volcano Day" episode from the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble era, but this can't even shake a stick at that! We're taken back to ancient Rome in the narrative--and the Doctor makes a grand appearance in what eventually became the Coliseum--but I didn't get the sense of actually being transported backwards in time as much as I got a rather bland, typical science fiction narrative that does little to carry the powerful characterizations forward.
(And for you Whovians out there, because this book was written before the Pompeii episode, there are some discrepancies between what we learn with the Doctor in Pompeii that aren't represented in this book. That's the fault of Time, not Rayner. For instance, the TARDIS translates Latin phrases directly without making it sounds like Celtic to the Roman natives. If you've seen the episode, you know what I'm talking about!).
David Tennant's narration was the reason I bought this book. He performs the main narration in his native Scottish accent, then switches to his Tenth Doctor voice when the Doctor speaks in the narrative. ("Hello! I'm the Doctor, this is Rose"). He also manages to nail the accents of Rose Tyler, her mum Jackie, and sort-of boyfriend Mickey, too. He portrays the accents of the other incidental characters very movingly and convincingly, too, in perfect Tennant style.
Listen to this book to enjoy David Tennant's voice, but don't expect a whole lot from the story itself.
I love how David Tennant gives the characters different voices (especially Jackie) - it makes it easier to keep track of who says what. I really liked the museum bit as it was full of fun and character. Overall, it was an entertaining story. A bit hard to keep track of some of the time travel/explanation later on, but overall enjoyable.
Tennant is such a good, lively narrator and this story is so in the style of Ten's era of Doctor Who that this audiobook is just a delight to listen to.
Excellent narration by David Tennant. Story had a bit too many things going on at once for one book, I thought, and the pot was fairly easy to deduce, but overall enjoyable.