Title: Shining Darkness
Author: Mark Michalowski
Series: Doctor Who
Summary: The Doctor and Donna become accidentally involved in a war between machine-lovers and robot-haters when Donna is kidnapped. The Doctor must figure out how to get her back, while simultaneously preventing a galactic war.
This is a fun book. I don’t generally buy Doctor Who books because, for their size, they are quite expensive (mostly because they’re in hardback rather than paperback– $12 for essentially a paperback), but I’m missing the show at the moment, so I picked it up while wandering through the store. The dialogue between the robot tractor and Donna in the prologue made me buy the book. The author has written Donna absolutely spot-on, especially when she becomes the “Ginger Goddess.”
The plot reminded me nicely of an episode of classic Who, with the companion being separated from the Doctor and them both having parallel adventures with two different sides of the same conflict, until they meet at the end. As we see both camps from the view of the Doctor and Donna, we’re not quite sure who is on the side of right, until we get more of the pieces.
The characters are nicely realized, if a bit flat in places. Michalowski writes his mechanicals most interestingly, obviously influenced by Douglas Adams (we get a few obligatory Hitchhiker references, as well). Possibly the most interesting character for me is the robot called Mother. Hidden depths, that one.
Overall: a nice substitute for the lack of new episodes, particularly if you enjoyed Donna.
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