Monday, September 15, 2014

Doctor Who: Silhouette


I married a Doctor Who fan and as our children have gotten older, his love for Doctor Who has naturally overflowed to them.  Watching Doctor Who with our teens has been a great way to stay connected.  I only recently discovered that there were Doctor Who books featuring the various Doctors. When a book featuring the twelfth Doctor episodes came up for review, I thought I'd give one a try for myself.

Considering some the content in the episodes, we have waited until late middle school to introduce our kids to the BBC TV shows.  I was therefore expecting the books to be on a high school or higher reading level.  I would say the reading level was advanced elementary or middle school level.  I liked that the book had the flavor of the Doctor and the characters I was familiar with, but didn't delve into gory details of violence.

The Doctor and Clara are involved in an intriguing case that centers on a Carnival of Curiosities. One particular show of shadow puppets seems to be at the center of the mystery.  Originally stopping off to investigate an energy spike, the pair stumble across some suspicious murders.  They soon bring in the help of some friends and a game of cat and mouse ensues.

Although I would not put this book in the category of great literature, I do feel that it would interest a reluctant reader who had an interest in Doctor Who.  I applaud the BBC for creating a tie in to their popular show with books that offer unique adventures with familiar characters.  

Two minor disappointments in this particular edition had to do with editing and durability. By editing problems, I am not referring to the different spellings used in  USA vs. UK.  I'm talking about missing words within a sentence. There were enough of these instances through the book that some readers may be turned off. Given that the book is not all that long (243 pages), it's unfortunate that the book went to print with typos.

My second disappointment was the durability of the materials used. When I picked the book up and first cracked open the cover, I admit to feeling letdown that the pages were rather thin and newsprint like. I would have assumed that it was therefore a bargain price and was a bit taken aback by the $9.99 tag on something that I wasn't sure would survive multiple readings (after one reading, the front cover is already severely curling).  I think this could be a very popular series for libraries to carry but I'm not sure the binding and paper choice will withstand the wear and tear of the average middle school population.

Book content I would give a 5 out of 5. I felt that the book fleshed out a number of details and helped fill in all the things the eye might miss in just watching an episode.  Plus it's much easier to reread dialogue you didn't quite catch than to try to replay the episode.  If your shelf space is limited (or you want a copy you can't destroy), I highly recommend purchasing the e-book version.

I think the book can be enjoyed by any science fiction reader--whether or not they are familiar with Doctor Who.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Doctor Who: Silhouette from Blogging for Books for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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