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Beautiful Chaos by Gary Russell
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I love Doctor Who and was super excited when I found this book at the library. Unfortunately I ended up being completely disappointed in it. It didn’t take me very long to read, but I couldn’t wait to finish it. It was pretty boring. There were a few time it made me smile but other than that I just thought it was okay. If it wasn’t for those few times, I may have actually given it only one star. I never thought I would ever rate a Doctor Who book under three stars.

If you are like me and want to read every single Doctor Who book, than give this one a go. If that isn’t something you want to do, you might want to just skip this one. ( )
  TheTreeReader | Dec 28, 2017 |
This is a Doctor Who novel featuring the Tenth Doctor and Donna. Which automatically means I have complicated mixed feelings about it, since on the one hand, Donna was possibly one of my favorite characters in the history of the show, and, on the other, the way she was written out was so unforgivably awful on every level that it's hard not to get upset and angry about it all over again every time I think about her. Sigh.

But that's the fault of an entirely different Russell. So, evaluating this book just on its own merits... Well, the plot isn't anything special, being mostly an uninspired collection of over-familiar tropes from the show, although it does have a surprisingly emotionally affecting moment towards the end, and the main villain gets a few fun lines. And I do like Gary Russell's careful attempt to give real lives and personalities to all of the bit-player characters who get taken over or killed by the alien menace. Sometimes attempts to do that come across as manipulative or contrived, but he makes it feel like a genuine attempt not to lose sight of anyone's humanity.

The writing is readable, but not exactly of high literary quality or anything, which is probably mostly what you expect from a TV tie-in novel. And the astronomy that features in the plot is pretty terrible, although maybe that's mostly what you expect from Doctor Who. And in fairness to the author, he probably never anticipated that his inaccurate depiction of a radio telescope control room would be read by someone sitting in an actual radio telescope control room. So I'll try not to hold it against him too much, even if I did spend entirely too much of the novel wanting to scream things like, "One antenna DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN ARRAY!!" at him.

The book's main strength, really, is in its depiction of Donna and her family. Donna is her lovably strident self, her granddad is as irresistibly sweet as always, and I could hear their voices clearly in my head throughout. I also like the fact that, although Gary Russell captures Donna's mother's sour attitude perfectly, he also goes to some length to try to make her feel a little more complex and a little more sympathetic than the show itself ever did. ( )
2 vote bragan | Mar 30, 2016 |
Had a little bit of trouble getting into although I'm prepared to blame that on my ridiculous train ride. Very sad as most Doctor/Donna stories tend to be but I was happy to read more about their adventures and thrilled that this included Wilf. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
Had a little bit of trouble getting into although I'm prepared to blame that on my ridiculous train ride. Very sad as most Doctor/Donna stories tend to be but I was happy to read more about their adventures and thrilled that this included Wilf. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
Had a little bit of trouble getting into although I'm prepared to blame that on my ridiculous train ride. Very sad as most Doctor/Donna stories tend to be but I was happy to read more about their adventures and thrilled that this included Wilf. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
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For Russell and Julie, for letting me play in the sandbox...
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"Donna Noble is back home in London, catching up with her family and generally giving them all the gossip about her journeys. Her grandfather is especially overjoyed -- he's discovered a new star and had it named after him. He takes the Doctor, as his special guest, to the naming ceremony. But, the Doctor is suspicious about some of the other changes he can see in Earth's heavens. Particularly that bright star, right there. No not that one, that one, there, on the left-- The world's population is slowly being converted to a new path, a new way of thinking. Something is coming to Earth, an ancient force from the Dark Times. Something powerful, angry, and all-consuming"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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