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Silhouette by Justin Richards
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8715138,736 (3.83)6



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Read this review and many others on my blog October Tune!

I have loved Doctor Who for several years now, and when I found out there were novels with complete new stories written about the Doctor and his companions, I knew I had to read them all (or well, at least a couple of them). My first Doctor Who book was The Stone Rose, and it made me fall in love with these stories. Recently, three new books were released, all featuring the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and his companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman). I didn't know which one I really wanted, but I ended up going for Silhouette because I just loved the cover so much - and it features the Paternoster gang (aka Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint and Strax)!

Silhouette is about strange murders happening in Victorian London. The Doctor and Clara end up there after they follow a strange energy spike, and find Vastra, Jenny and Strax investigating these murders. Personally, I am not a huge fan of Victorian London, but I do love the Paternoster gang so I really enjoyed reading about them in this book.

I have to say, I found this book a bit predictable; I had known who had been behind the murders from the beginning already. That was probably because they weren't really secretive about it, or because they did their best to look odd and guilty. Anyway, when I looked past the predictableness, I found the story very enjoyable. There were scenes with Strax that I found absolutely hilarious (he is really one of my favouite characters), including the quote at the top of this review. Strax isn't very good at seeing the difference between males and females, so I guess he just called everyone 'boy'.

I enjoyed reading about the Twelfth Doctor and Clara, because I really love the new season and the new Doctor, even though he can be a bit of an ass sometimes. I didn't enjoy the villain that much though, he was just another typical alien (spoiler, perhaps?) who wants to destroy the earth in a very 'brilliant' way and he thinks NO ONE can stop him and yeah well we all know how that ended for all the other aliens who think no one could stop them. But yeah, after fifty years, nothing is really original anymore.

There were some action scenes, one including Clara being attacked by 'homicidal wood-pulp assassins' as Strax called them. I really would have loved to see this in an episode, but of course, it would have been changed a bit because the show hardly ever shows people bleeding (and Clara was definitely bleeding after being attacked by those things); so that wouldn't really have worked. I guess the authors of these Doctor Who books do their best to make these stories sound as gruesome as they can, because they aren't allowed to do that for the actual episodes (it's still a family show after all).

In the end, I really enjoyed Silhouette, even though it was a bit predictable and the villain wasn't that exciting. I really loved the Paternoster gang, the Doctor and Clara; I loved the other characters and the carnival. (And I am going to say it again, when will I find a Doctor Who book that is NOT so good? When?!)

My opinion on this book in one gif:

( )
  october.tune | Nov 15, 2017 |
I was excited to see some Doctor Who books available on Blogging for Books, and was intrigued by the Carnival setting of Silhouette.

I have only seen the first episode of the Peter Capaldi season, but I think it was enough to give me a good feel for the characters. A weak area of Silhouette is that it depends a little too much on the reader already knowing who Madame Vastra and Jenny are and doesn't explain their true relationship with each other. Madame Vastra also doesn't seem to have much personality here, I would have liked to see her do a little more. Strax was very well done, and easily steals his scenes. The Doctor seems very like what I remember from the show, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes crotchety, very much not interested in being detained (that's a funny scene, but no spoilers!). Clara too seems true to form, though strangely missing from the cover.

The Carnival of Curiosities is an intriguing backdrop to the mystery to be solved, and I enjoyed how the performers talents were utilized. To say a lot more would be too much and make it less enjoyable I think. I was in the mood for a Doctor Who story, and this did fit the bill. I think those not already into the show might find it a little flat, but fans will easily be able to fill in the gaps with their knowledge of the show and characters.

I give it a 4/5 based on Strax's character and the Victorian carnival setting. ( )
  shaunesay | Jun 21, 2017 |
A Doctor Who novel featuring the Twelfth Doctor and Clara, along with Vastra, Jenny, and Strax. Or... well, OK, it sort of features the Twelfth Doctor. This was published in September of 2014, mere weeks after he made his first proper TV appearance, which means this book must have been written with almost nothing to base its characterization of this incarnation on. And boy, does it show. Aside from some superficial descriptions, this version isn't recognizable as Capaldi's Doctor at all, but is just some sort of generically Doctorish figure with strong hints of Matt Smith. It's incredibly distracting, and entirely unnecessary, as there is absolutely no reason this story could not have been written for the Eleventh Doctor instead. It's impossible to see the attempt to write the new version so quickly as anything other than a marketing decision made at the expense of the story, which just makes it all the more irritating.

Not that the story itself is that exciting, anyway. It starts out mildly intriguing, in a somewhat old school-feeling sort of way, but just got less and less interesting as it went on. And even in Doctor Who there's a limit to how much "Now I will tell you all my evil plans at length for no reason, then order you to be killed and conveniently walk away!" you can pull off, and this book decidedly exceeds it.

I will give Justin Richards one thing, though: he does a great Strax. The guy's dialog is spot-on in all its glorious, bloodthirsty hilariousness, and actually made me laugh out loud once or twice, providing some nice bright spots in an otherwise pretty meh book. ( )
1 vote bragan | Jul 30, 2016 |
Sigue leyendo para encontrar la reseña en español

The plot starts with a very interesting situation. A man has been found murdered -and it's clearly a murder and not a suicide, as it would not be possible for him to stab himself in the back- in a locked room. The last thing he did was starting a letter for Vastra, but he never managed to write more than just her name.

The investigation was interesting and the murder method and the alien plot very original and creative, but some parts were a bit predictable. Also, I think that separating the team worked great on one hand, as it allowed to expand the investigation and develop the characters a bit, but it also made a few things redundant. It reminded me a bit of the Agatha Christie episode. An alien murder plot, but still essentially a murder mystery, which is something that I like.

The most negative point of this novel is that out of the three 12th Doctor novels that have been released so far, this is the one where he is most out of character (I'll post the reviews of the other two soon). He looked more like the 11th Doctor rather than the 12th. This is forgivable, as I don't know how much information the author had before he started writing the novel (for those that don't watch the series, the first season about the 12th Doctor started at the end of August). It's not only the Doctor though. Other than Strax, all the characters seemed more or less generic, including the original ones. It doesn't make it difficult to follow the plot though, because it is very well developed.

Not the best Doctor Who novel, but certainly not a waste of time for any fan. One last thing though, there is very little description of the non-original characters, so you do need to know the show to really enjoy this book.


El argumento empieza con una situación interesante. Han encontrado a un hombre asesinado -y es claramente un asesinato y no un suicidio, ya que no hubiera sido posible que se apuñalara por la espalda- en una habitación cerrada. Lo último que hizo fue empezar a escribirle una carta a Vastra, pero no consiguió escribir más que su nombre.

La investigación es interesante y el modo en el que el alien asesina a la gente y el argumento son muy originales y creativos, pero había partes un poco predecibles. Además, me pareció que separar al equipo funcionó muy bien por una parte, ya que permitió expandir la investigación y desarrollar un poco a los personajes, pero al mismo tiempo convirtió algunas cosas en redundantes. Me recordó un poco al episodio de Agatha Christie. Un asesinato alienígena, pero esencialmente un misterio criminal, que es algo que me gusta.

El punto más negativo de esta novela es que de las tres novelas del Duodécimo Doctor que han sido publicadas hasta la fecha, ésta es en la que está peor caracterizado (escribiré las reseñas de las otras dos próximamente). Se parece más al Undécimo Doctor más que al Duodécimo. Es algo perdonable, porque no sé cuánta información tenía el autor antes de empezar a escribir esta novela (para aquellos que no ven la serie, la primera temporada del Duodécimo Doctor empezó a finales de agosto). Sin embargo, no se trata sólo del Doctor. Aparte de Strax, todos los personajes son más o menos genéricos, incluyendo los originales, pero no es algo que dificulte seguir el argumento, ya que eso sí que está muy bien desarrollado.

No es la mejor novela de Doctor Who, pero no es una pérdida de tiempo para ningún fan. Sólo decir una última cosa, y es que los personajes no originales no están demasiado descritos, así que hace falta conocer la serie para disfrutar verdaderamente del libro. ( )
  Hellen0 | Jun 22, 2016 |

Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

I requested some Doctor Who novels because of the new series of Doctor Who, now featuring the 12th Doctor. I've to admit I still need to watch it, but I missed the first one, and want to catch up before I start watching the newer episodes. If you want to catch up on more Doctor Who books, you can read my reviews for Touched by an Angel (Weeping Angels), The Engines of War ("Ex-ter-mi-nate!") and The Crawling Terror (Giant Insects).

After The Crawling Terror Silhouette is the second novel I've read featuring the 12th Doctor. Although I haven't seen the new series yet, it felt like this was a good portrayal of him. There are some remarks about his older 'age' and appearance from Clara, who is her unlikeable self. Together they travel to Victorian England to investigate an energy peak. At a carnival they walk into Madame Vastra & Jenny investigating the mysterious murder of a man who's last action was to call for Madame Vastra. Strax is also in this novel, and as he's one of my favourite side characters in Doctor Who I was glad to see he's got something like his own story in this novel. But there's still another man walking around the Carnival who's not quite of this world.

It also features origami birds and the mysterious Silhouette, so it's not hard to imagine this story is almost overstuffed for its 250 pages. However, it doesn't feel this way. And at the end everything closes in a nice way and it fits together very well. I liked it as a nice and quick, easy read and would recommend it to Whovians. You'll most likely enjoy this story just like I did. ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080414088X, Paperback)

"Vastra and Strax and Jenny? Oh no, we don't need to bother them. Trust me." 
Marlowe Hapworth is found dead in his locked study, killed by an unknown assailant. This is a case for the Great Detective, Madame Vastra. 

Rick Bellamy, bare-knuckle boxer, has the life drawn out of him by a figure dressed as an undertaker. This angers Strax the Sontaran. 

The Carnival of Curiosities, a collection of bizarre and fascinating sideshows and performers. This is where Jenny Flint looks for answers.      

How are these things connected? And what does Orestes Milton, rich industrialist, have to do with it all? This is where the Doctor and Clara come in. The Doctor and his friends find themselves thrust into a world where nothing and no one are what they seem. Can they unravel the truth before the most dangerous weapon ever developed is unleashed on London?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:19 -0400)

The Doctor and his friends find themselves thrust into the middle of a murder mystery involving detective Madame Vastra, a collection of bizarre and fascinating sideshows and performers, Jenny Flint, and rich industrialist Orestes Milton. Can they unravel the truth before the most dangerous weapon ever developed is unleashed on London?… (more)

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