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Books 86-88: Three Doctor Who E-Shorts

Book 86: Doctor Who: Summer Falls.
Author: Amelia Williams, 2013.
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction. TV Tie-in.
Other Details: e-book. 70 pages.

In the seaside village of Watchcombe, young Kate is determined to make the most of her last week of summer holiday. But when she discovers a mysterious painting entitled ‘The Lord of Winter’ in a charity shop, it leads her on an adventure she never could have planned. Kate soon realises the old seascape, painted long ago by an eccentric local artist, is actually a puzzle. And with the help of some bizarre new acquaintances – including a museum curator’s magical cat, a miserable neighbour, and a lonely boy – she plans on solving it. And then, one morning Kate wakes up to a world changed forever. For the Lord of Winter is coming – and Kate has a very important decision to make - synopsis from Goodreads.

This novella was featured in the Doctor Who episode 'The Bells of Saint John' and then released as an e-book after the transmission of the episode.

This was a delightful tale. Its style is very much of its stated period evoking memories of the seaside adventures found in novels such as Susan Cooper's 'Greenwitch' and Enid Blyton's stories. The author managed to not only tell a charming and exciting story but to capture an essential Amy Pondness in writing style so it wasn't hard to suspend disbelief and read into the story elements of Amelia's own story and the loss she experienced when she parted ways with her Doctor. Barnabas was wonderful as was his cat! So yes, a big thumbs up for this and I hope that it attracts more readers. It deserves it. This would make a fun CBBC special.

Book 87: A Big Hand For The Doctor (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts #1).
Author: Eoin Colfer, 2013.
Genre: Science Fiction. Time Travel. TV Tie-in.
Other Details: e-book. 41 pages.

London, 1900. The First Doctor is missing both his hand and his granddaughter, Susan. Faced with the search for Susan, a strange beam of soporific light, and a host of marauding Soul Pirates intent on harvesting human limbs, the Doctor is promised a dangerous journey into a land he may never forget. - synopsis from Goodreads.

Certainly a fun story though it didn't quite work. I felt that Eoin Colfer had a difficult task in that he was being asked to write for one of the most memorable Doctors for long-time fans and also make a short story interesting for New Who fans. Thus, I feel this was the reason for his inserting a number of modern pop culture references. Still why shouldn't this Doctor and Susan have travelled to the 21st Century? I also enjoyed spotting the Peter Pan references in this story of space pirates. It was a short and sweet treat to read on my Kindle on a Bank Holiday morning.

Book 88: The Nameless City (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts #2).
Author: Michael Scott, 2013.
Genre: Science Fiction. TV Tie-in. Time Travel. Lovecraftian themes.
Other Details: e-book. 48 pages.

When Jamie McCrimmon brings the Second Doctor a mysterious book, little does he realise the danger contained within its pages. The book transports the TARDIS to a terrifying glass city on a distant world, where the Archons are intent on getting revenge on the Time Lord for an ancient grudge. - synopsis from Goodreads.

I found this second in the series of e-shorts a marked improvement on the first story. Michael Scott seemed a lot more knowledgeable about his Doctor and therefore more confident with him as well as with companion Jamie McCrimmon. I'd been disappointed with Scott's 'Alchemyst' but now I'm thinking I may have misjudged him. H.P. Lovecraft's mythos is featured though it is presented in a way that isn't too disturbing for younger readers.

BBC and Puffin Books have commissioned this series of 11 e-shorts, one for each Doctor to be released monthly in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who on 23rd November 2013. Each is written by a well-known name in children's fiction and the identity and the title of the story is only released prior to its 23rd of the month publication date. It's a good marketing strategy.
Tags: british, etext, fantasy, sci-fi, television, time travel
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