And so my first read for 2012 ends up being a Doctor Who novel.
I saw this on a stand at the library last week and grabbed it just as I was about to leave. It sat on the shelf with the other library books and I forgot about. I saw it there yesterday and thought I’d pick it up.
It’s been a hard couple of weeks for me, with my 7 year old with ADHD at home for the summer holidays and my CFS dragging me down. I don’t think I could read anything complicated if I tried. I’m slowly rereading Susan Dexter’s The Ring of Allaire, which I’m enjoying, but it’s usually only a few pages or a short chapter at a time.
Therefore a Doctor Who novel, the first for the 11th Doctor, which I knew was aimed at family audiences, seemed a perfect option.
This is, indeed the first novel for the 11th Doctor, and I suspect that very little (or possibly none) of Matt Smith’s interpretation of the role had been seen by the author at the time he was writing. He does his best, and there are moments where the Doctor does seem something like the Doctor, but he just doesn’t quite get it right. I don’t blame him for this – I’ve had 2 full seasons and 2 Christmas specials of Matt Smith’s Doctor and love him inside and out (which is why I grabbed this when I saw it in the first place).
The thing that jarred was mainly his portrayal of the Doctor self-consciously telling jokes and having them fall flat. Maybe that was an idea that fell by the wayside as the 11th Doctor developed, but it doesn’t feel right now. Otherwise, both the Doctor and Amy felt kind of generic. But as I said, I don’t think the author can really be blamed for that.
As for the story, it was a fun read. Not earth-shattering or mind-boggling, but that wasn’t what I was looking for. The idea of the poor people dying of asphyxiation in the park as it linked to the moon, combined with the astronaut appearing in the shopping mall trailing moon dust made for a great start. A solid, enjoyable story followed, leaving me glad of my impulse borrow from the library.
I’ve requested the next few 11th Doctor novels from the library and I plan (within borrowing limits) to keep them around for when a light read is required. I’ll also be interested to see if the characterisation of both the Doctor and Amy improve as they become more familiar to the authors. (Also, bring on Rory as a charcter in the novels, because I totally love him.)