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The Silent Stars Go by by Dan Abnett
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Since 2011, I've had an annual tradition of reading a Doctor Who Christmas book in December. Having exhausted the Christmas-themed Short Trips, I'm now onto The Silent Stars Go by, a novel featuring the eleventh Doctor, Amy, and Rory up against the Ice Warriors. It's not very Christmassy, to be honest, but it is pretty cold-- Abnett does a good job evoking the freezing cold. It's also quite fun: Abnett nails the character voices perfectly, and I even liked the Ice Warriors.
  Stevil2001 | Dec 28, 2013 |
See more reviews at The Best Books Ever!

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, BBC Books has reissued/redesigned/reawesomed a series of eleven books -- one for, you guessed it, each Doctor. The Silent Stars Go By follows our current Doctor, Amy, and Rory, as they try to get back to Leadworth for Christmas. As usual, though, their TARDIS trip is more than a bit... off.

Instead of present day England, the trio winds up in the far, far, far future on a planet colonized by Morphans, people who are distant descendants of humans as we know them. It wouldn't be a Doctor Who story if trouble didn't almost immediately ensue, of course, and that happens when Rory goes back to the TARDIS to get something and the trio gets split up. Most of the first half of the book involves a lot of running and hiding and trying to explain why they have suddenly shown up on this planet; the back half involves a lot of running and hiding and fighting alien monsters, and then finally solving the mystery. In other words, just another day in the life of the Doctor and his companions.

The author really nails the voices of Amy, Rory, and the Doctor. I could hear their voices in my head when I was reading the dialogue. There's one particular dramatic monologue by the Doctor that I could practically envision Matt Smith acting out, it was just that spot on with his voice, speech patterns, etc. There are also lots of recurring jokes and humorous moments in the story, both in the banter between the characters, and in some rather witty verbal misunderstandings from the Morphans.

There were some parts where the book dragged a little, particularly in the sections which only focused on the Morphans. And like any Who story, the final conclusion and how the Doctor works out the problem felt rushed and a little convoluted, but if you're a Who fan, you're probably used to that. I don't think you need much prior knowledge about the show to read this book and understand it, but the book's real strengths -- the dialogue and relationship between Amy, Rory, and the Doctor -- have more meaning if you're familiar with the characters already. There is some violence of the scary-alien-monster kind, but otherwise, this is a very clean read. ( )
1 vote goorgoahead | Dec 4, 2013 |
50th Anniversary Collection. 11th Doctor, Amy & Rory. Ice Warriors.
  hapaxes | Sep 16, 2013 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1869976.html

Latest Doctor Who book from the prolific Abnett, this one with a bit of a Christmassy theme (the chapter titles, like the title of the novel, are all lines from carols), but bringing back the Ice Warriors (who as far as I can tell haven't been in a Who novel since 1998) interfering with a generations-long terraforming project, whose human crew have lost most of the details of their assignment over the centuries. Lots of references both to Who continuity and to the classic generation starship stories of Harry Harrison and Brian Aldiss, with perhaps a nod to Riddley Walker as well, and some great flashes of humour on the way. This year's main sequence of Eleventh Doctor / Amy / Rory hardcovers have generally been a cut above the norm and this one continues the pattern. ( )
1 vote nwhyte | Dec 31, 2011 |
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The Doctor, Amy and Rory find a society breaking apart under the strain. Tensions are mounting, old rivalries are coming to the fore, people are dying - And then the Doctor's old enemies the Ice Warriors make their move. With the cold-hearted threat of invasion, the real battle for survival begins. Or does it?… (more)

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