Doctor Who: The Silent Stars Go By by Dan Abnett (4 out of 5)


I’m still working my way through all the Doctor Who novels. There are hundreds. This is maybe my eighth, maybe ninth (novel, not Doctor) that I’ve finished. Some are incredible, some are very good, and others not so good. This one, I’m happy to report, was a fun and captivating read from start to finish. I love how Abnett perfectly captured the spirit of Matt Smith’s Doctor, not to mention his lovable companions Amy Pond & Rory Williams. There isn’t a moment of let up in this one, either, and that made it so easy to zip through. The fact that I picked it up and started reading it around Christmas and it’s a Christmas oriented novel is even more ironic.

This time around our good Doctor is trying to get the Ponds home in time for Christmas, but the Doctor’s sense of misdirection puts them on a trajectory into another world they weren’t expecting. They land smack dab in the middle of a town that’s experiencing the worst winter ever. Rory goes back to the Tardis to grab a heavier coat, and in doing so, gets separated from Amy and the Doctor. He then finds himself on the receiving end of an attack by a gigantic green monster with pincher claws that seems to be on his tail. He flees for safety. He ends up in a safe place (for the time being) and meets up with a girl who’s missing from the town they just landed in. The story she tells is pretty incredible, and Rory realizes they have to get to safety and find the Doctor and Amy. The Doctor and Amy find themselves before town committee members (The “Elect”) whom are very suspicious of their origins and appearance in the wilderness town where a number of residents have disappeared recently. They do their damndest to break on through to the laws of common sense, only to be told to buzz off. The sister of the missing girl that Rory is hiding with from the Jolly Green Pincher Claw thing joins forces with them as she explains what’s going on. The good Doctor realizes the more he witnesses that he’s seen this before (Spoiler: The Ice Warriors, an earlier Doctor Who enemy). I was delighted as I had NO idea these cold-hearted devils existed in the Whoverse. Not a bunch of homies you would want to run into out in your hood. There’s a twist that I didn’t see coming about 70% of the way through the book, but it was damn brilliant. Overall, a fast-paced romp through arctic winter in the wilderness that none of us would ever want to encounter, then add to it these creepy and frightening monsters ambling about looking for fresh meat, and you have a winning entry in the Doctor Who novels.

Why not a five star review then? Simple. The good Doctor in this book is a bit too ADHD for me. Amy and Rory are their usual amiable selves, down to brushes with death every other chapter, but the Doc seems to be a bit too preoccupied with trying to figure out what’s going on, that it almost seems like he’s missing the obvious right in front of him. Other novels I’ve read thus far, he’s Snap, Crackle, & Pop fairly quick. Not in this one. So that was a bit annoying. But once you get past that, it’s a great little book. I had no idea of the Ice Warriors, so now I must go back and investigate earlier Who for story arcs. Give this one a spin. Good stuff.

~ by generationgbooks on December 28, 2015.

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