Doctor Who: Plague of the Cybermen by Justin Richards (2 out of 5)
I’ve been gone from here for over a week. Without going into a ton of detail, life has been a real bitch the past week, and I had to take a break. Sometimes, no matter how many books you read or blogs you write, the muse leaves you, or you’re just so gutted you cannot sit in front of your computer and make something constructive happen. This has been me the past week. Add recovering from a procedure myself, and we have a hiatus. I’ve read a few books in the past week; those reviews are forthcoming. I was stuck on this book for over a week; Doctor Who novels are not long, and they are not typically suck. I did not care at all for this one. I’ve never had a problem with a Justin Richards novel until now. A quick look over at the Shamazon and the Goodreads and I see I’m not the only one who didn’t love this.
This is another Eleventh Doctor novel. In our television screens, played by the enigmatic Matt Smith. I will give Justin Richards this- he wrote the Doctor, as portrayed by Smith, perfectly in this book. I could visualize the facial expressions, the gestures, all of it. That’s one of the positives. There weren’t many, sadly. The Doctor arrives in Klimtenburg in the 19th century, to find that the small town has been overcome by a plague. At least, that’s what the residents believe and tell him. After the Doctor and his accomplice in this novel, a villager named Olga (no companion in this one) begin to dig around (literally, bodies of those taken by the wasting disease, from underground), he realizes this is no ordinary plague. Those pesky Cybermen are behind this! Now here’s where it gets garbled- the first 60 pages of the book have you hooked, and then once the revelation sets into the Doctor of what’s really going on and who’s behind this, then it gets dodgy. There’s no surprise for the reader, because it tells you in the title that those metal bastards are somehow involved. The plot starts to disintegrate (like the bodies) quickly, and you’re left holding the remains of what could have been a great novel. Part of my problem is that the Cybermen in this case, as Richards writes them, seem to come off as more intelligent that they are. This should have been more fast-paced than it was. I do have to say that the character of Klaus (KLAUS!) annoyed me to no end, and I really did enjoy Olga as an accomplice to the Doctor in this novel (why didn’t they bring her into the canon?). Also, there were some inconsistencies with the sonic screwdriver compared to what we see in the series. And it’s just so SLOW paced. For this book, let me take a page out of the book of the Cybermen: DELETE this one from your To-Be-Read lists. There are better Justin Richards Doctor Who novels to check out. (The Deviant Strain, The Resurrection Casket). I would recommend those over this one.