I am a self-proclaimed Whovian, along with my father. Therefore, an entire half of one of my bookcase’s shelves is dedicated to the Timelord, his many faces and the array of companions he tends to acquire. Is it really a surprise that one of these books is turning up in a review?
Whilst many people think these BBC books are for children, believe me when I say they’re not. ‘Adult’ themes, such as death, are commonly talked about, and often at least one person dies in a horrible way. This book was no different.
Having recently fallen in love with X-Men – First Class especially – I have begun to have more of an interest in the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis and JFK – and that’s where this book starts.
It is the day after John F. Kennedy’s assassination and the faces of the dead are everywhere. PC Reg Cranfield sees his recently deceased father in the mists along Totter’s Lane. Reporter Mae Callon sees her late grandmother in a coffee stain on her desk. FBI Special Agent Warren Skeet finds his long-dead partner staring back at him from raindrops on a window pane. Then the faces begin to talk, and scream… and push through into our world. As the alien Shroud begins to feast on the grief of a world in mourning, can the Doctor dig deep enough into his own sorrow to save mankind? (Synopsis from Goodreads)
The prologue had me immediately terrified (didn’t help that I was reading late at night and am a scaredy cat anyway). But it was a good terrified (if there is such a thing), and I continued to read.
I liked how Donbavand introduced another planet during the book – I’m kinda tired of stories about Earth in Doctor Who, and human companions (I say that, but there are many that focus on alien planets). Still, I liked this new planet and felt that it added to the plot. It could easily have done it without it, but there you go.
There’s a bit of a twist on the main alien, the Shroud, which I also liked – especially as it threw up more obstacles and didn’t just change your idea of it (eg making you sympathise with it) or something like that. You know, it actually had an affect on the story.
The Doctor was all right – wacky as always. Clara was all right, too, although I wish Donbavand had written about her dead mother (which was shown in the TV show) instead of an uncle we have never heard of. I was expecting it all the way through, and was disappointed when it didn’t come.
However, I would still recommend this book. You don’t even have to know a lot about Doctor Who to read it (although I guess it helps) – it could just be seen as a sci-fi novel. So yes, have a go – you may enjoy it, but let’s hope the Shroud don’t really come to Earth, eh?