Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Doctor Who: The Good Doctor by Juno Dawson

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*No Major Spoilers*

On the planet of Lobos, the Doctor halts a violent war between the native Loba and human colonists. Job done, the TARDIS crew departs – only for Ryan to discover he’s left his phone behind. Again.

Upon returning, the Doctor finds that the TARDIS has slipped hundreds of years into the future and that something has gone badly wrong. The Loba are now slaves, serving human zealots who worship a godlike figure known as The Good Doctor.

It’s time for the Doctor to face up to the consequences of her last visit. With Lobos on the brink of catastrophe, will she be able to make things right?

I am a huge fan of Doctor Who I’ve watched both the “modern” and the “classic” series. I also enjoy the spinoff novels as well. Some stories can’t be told in an hour, so I look forward to the novels.

When it was first announced that the 13th Doctor was going to be a woman, I was against it from the start. I thought they were ruining 50+ years of tradition by making this drastic change.

When I started watching this newest Doctor, I was still against the change, but hopeful. I thought the 11th and 12th’s Doctor was getting too silly and losing plot threads left and right.

Overall, I am lukewarm towards this past season of Doctor Who. I felt the writing was hit-or-miss with some episodes, and some of the companions felt useless and like spare luggage at points.

So when the newest batch of novels was announced, I was excited to read The Good Doctor in particular. Graham is my favorite companion, and with him being featured on the cover, I thought he was going to be the only companion featured in this novel. Even though I was wrong, I was still hopeful about this story.

I didn’t realize the native Loba was a dog-like creature. Until the end of the first chapter, I thought they were cat-like. I haven’t read many sci-fi novels where the aliens were dog-like so this concept gets bonus points from me.

I felt like this is how a Doctor Who story should be told. No limit on run-time, and no rush to end the story. This novel was welcomed and restored my faith in the new writers for Doctor Who. The story was complete, whole, and didn’t seem to be rushed at the end.

‘On the horizon, looming over the entire town was a vast tower. It was almost the same shape as a block of flats, but, even in the gloom, Ryan could see it was painted dark blue. There were huge rectangular windows at the top of the stucture.

“Remind you of anything, Ryan?”

It was unmistakable.

It was meant to be the TARDIS.’ – The Good Doctor

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I like the message this novel sends a message about war. No matter who is in “the right” or in “the wrong” the roles get swapped over time. However, there is hope in times of chaos and war.

I would highly recommend this novel for lovers of Doctor Who, Science Fiction, Time Travel, and stories about wars. This novel will show some of the bad side effects of traveling through space and time, and I think you will enjoy the story as much as I did.

Read My Other Doctor Who Reviews Here!

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Press F5 to Load Game by LeVar Ravel

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*No Spoilers*

All the State House gossips go abuzz when an influential senator forms an alliance with Rep. Frannie Upwood, the capital’s most famous underachiever and the favorite butt of jokes. Why his sudden interest in such a lightweight politician?

It’s up to Lars Uxbridge, the senator’s disloyal staffer, to find out after he joins a network of political spies. What Lars discovers is a secret far beyond anything other state reps can muster. To get ahead in politics, Frannie’s got something better than snappy slogans, wealthy donors, and door-to-door volunteers.

She’s got a time machine.

Frannie shows that when you’re armed with time travel, you’re the star athlete in a game where the world is your playing field, you make your own rules, and you always beat the shot clock.

But as Frannie will learn, this game has opponents to contend with. Rivals who might not play fair. When the prizes are enormous power, money, and control of time itself, watch out for cheat moves and low blows…

This novel was offered to me through the BookSends ARC Program. This novel caught my attention because I thought the concept of mixing time travel and politics sounded interesting.

I was expecting a story like other time travel media, such as Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Doctor Who, and Back to the Future where the main characters have a vehicle that they use for their time traveling hijinks. This took a different spin on the whole time travel subgenre. Frannie uses a clunky bracelet-type contraption with the buttons “F8” and “F5”.

As Frannie explains, F8 is to make a “quicksave” and F5 is to “reload the previous save”. So if she wanted to she could get government secrets and not live through the consequences. As soon as she goes back to her previous save, her crimes will cease to exist.

If I had to put percentages to the content, it’s 80% politics and 20% time travel hijinks. If you are fans of political thrillers, this is the novel for you.

“A good game amuses us. Even better ones create characters we can believe in, with compelling goals and treacherous obsticles. The best games of all integrate these factors with an interactive challenge for our brains and reflexes. A mix powerful enough to transplant us into a whole new world where we can role-play to our heart’s content. The kind of thing that used to be the stuff of dreams” – Frannie Upwood

I felt like the ending was rushed. When the “big reveal” happened, I felt like the ending got ridiculous. It read like the author just started throwing things at the reader in hope of sounding “plot-twisty”. I felt like I was cheated out of a good conclusion, and I wish the ending could’ve been better.

However, I felt like the characters were well developed and I could relate to them on various levels. Lars and Frannie’s relationship throughout this novel is intriguing. Lars stumbling upon Frannie’s big secret, and whether Frannie is just over-trusting or whether she knows more than she’s letting on.

All in all, I would highly recommend this novel for lovers of political thrillers, time travel, and science fiction in general.

Buy “Press F5 to Load Game” HERE

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Invictus by Ryan Graudin

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*No Major Spoilers*

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with the knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

This Young Adult novel travels from Ancient Rome to a futuristic Earth where time travel is possible. I was intrigued by the plot of this story. I am familiar with Doctor Who so time travel is a genre I enjoy.

As a fan of Doctor Who when someone is born “out of time” that spells trouble. The laws of nature do not bend to our will. And when something is out of line, nature will correct itself no matter the circumstances.

I felt like the romance between Far and Priya, the ship’s doctor was natural. She and Far had a friendship before the Invictus first launched. Far would short-circuit medical droids because of his unnatural date of birth. So Priya would arrive and troubleshoot the problem, and that’s how they first met.

The other romance between Far’s cousin Imogen and the ship’s engineer Gram felt forced and awkward. They are polar opposites. Gram felt like an android from the many sci-fi movies. Stiff, robotic, genius as he plays Tetris and has a collection of solved Rubick’s Cubes. Imogen is bright, dying her hair a new neon color every day. She’s the ship’s historian, and she loves to have fun and party hard.

So for unnecessary romances, I only found one of them unnecessary. I wish they could have remained good friends and grow in that way.

This novel is fairly well-paced. Action-packed, and keeps you on your toes by trying to figure out what’s going on with the mystery of the unusual girl Elliot and her secrets she was keeping from the Invictus crew.

This novel is 400+ pages. If you prefer shorter novels, then you’re out of luck with this one. However, if you enjoy audiobooks, the flow of the novel made the over 400 pages go quickly.

Overall, I thought this novel was good. It was action-packed with plenty of time travel and world building. My only downside was the one unnecessary romance, and a few nitpicks. Other than that, I felt like this was a good, well written, Young Adult novel for any age to enjoy.

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Doctor Who: The Monsters Inside by Stephen Cole

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*Many Spoilers Ahead*

The Doctor and his companion, Rose Tyler, land on an alien planet where the ancient pyramids are being built. Before they can even leave the TARDIS, they are captured and arrested for trespassing. However, things as always are suspicious, and it’s up to Rose and the Doctor to fix things and save the universe.

***SPOILERS START***

I am a fan of Doctor Who, I’ve watched the rebooted version up to season 7, and I’ve watched the Classic episodes. I have read several of the novelizations and audiobooks. I’m not sure if I was expecting too much from this, or if it was just executed poorly. The villains, the Blathereen, even though they are the rival family of the Slitheen, still was predictable. Any Doctor Who fan would know where this story was going and fast.

Their plot was to take over the Justice planet system, and build a transportable wormhole so they can destroy other planets and sell the scraps for profit. A similar plot was used in season 1 of the Doctor Who 2005 reboot.

I enjoyed this novel, I love the 9th Doctor. Christopher Eccleston did a “fantastic” job as a reintroduction to the Doctor character. He is grizzled and battered after the Time War, so he is darker and edgier than his earlier previous incarnations.

The novelizations are usually a way to tell a Doctor Who story that might be difficult to tell on TV. Some call it glorified fanfiction. So to see this predictable of a plot disappointed me.

I would recommend this if you’re starting with the Doctor Who novels. It has familiar characters and villains that have appeared on Doctor Who before. The Slitheen and the Blathereen are very similar in goals and motives. So the slight name-change doesn’t make much of a difference.

Learn more about the Slitheen here

The Author’s Twitter

Buy it here on Amazon (not sponsored)

Read My Other Doctor Who Reviews Here!