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Doctor Who: Shining Darkness Hardcover – 4 Sep 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846075572
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846075575
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 15.1 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 308,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"a solid plot and a perilous scavenger hunt help us to care about the Doctor and his friends. So too does narrator Debbie Chazen... Her regional accent resonates in human and robot characters alike, but she gets the inflections of David Tennant (the Doctor) and Catherine Tate (Donna) just right." (Nick Smith www.denofgeek.com) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Book Description

The Doctor and Donna must avert an intergalactic battle between humans and machines - from the bestselling BBC Books series of Doctor Who novels

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Green VINE VOICE on 24 Dec. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Barcode: 9781846075575

`Shining Darkness' presents Doctor Who at it's most `sci-fi', right from the start plunging us into a galaxy far removed from our own. The central theme of this book revolves around robots - or `mechanicals' as they are also known in this book - presenting on one hand the obvious typical sci-fi techy stuff involving them, while equally developing a strong moral message which becomes the backbone to this story.

With the Doctor and Donna separated early on, we follow two groups - one of them strongly anti-machines, the other group opposed to them trying to uncover their sinister plan and stop them. It's not long before we are swept off into a frantic planet-hopping scramble as the classic `collecting all the pieces of an artefact' storyline is expanded into an epic scale.

With it's various planets and spaceship chases/battles, this book has the feel of a Hollywood action thriller, a full on space opera that moves along at a fantastic pace. One thing that is so good about the Doctor Who novels is that they are free from the budget constraints of the TV show and this is no better demonstrated than here, especially in the epic finale.

The Doctor and Donna are excellently characterised, free from the overuse of personality cliché's copied from TV series that sometimes afflicts the New Series Adventures books. That said, this book isn't entirely free of cliché's as the `comedy robot duo' archetype crops up halfway through the book. The majority of the book's various protagonists are interesting and well-developed though and all in all, everything in this book comes together fantastically - definitely worth a read if you are a Who fan.
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Format: Hardcover
Mark Michalowski's second original Doctor Who novel for BBC books is also the second to feature the most recent TV pairing of The Tenth Doctor and loudmouthed temp from Chiswick, Donna Noble.

Michalowski injects new life into well-worn sci-fi themes such as: Man versus machine, the sentience of robots, and the deification of unwitting humans who arrive unexpectedly on alien worlds.

The story suffers initially from the cramming-in of too many characters, and consequently the first few chapters are somewhat muddled. Fortunately, as the book progresses the tale becomes sparer and more focused, resulting in a darkly humorous adventure which sees the time-traveller and his companion quickly separated, and individually become involved with two factions who both seek to uncover the secrets behind the eponymous `Cult of Shining Darkness'.

There are moments of Douglas Adams-esque whimsy throughout the book, most notably in the facetious depiction of the fickle `Jaftee' who treat gods like fashions, and Donna's hilarious self-styling as `The Ginger Goddess'; a cunning ruse to escape The Jaftee - and one which promptly backfires.

I have found the pairing of The Doctor and Donna to be the one that works best on TV and in the novels it is just the same. The trick of separating the pair early on works well, just as in the previous novel in the range: `The Doctor Trap'. The book also works well on many levels and could be enjoyed by both young and old; diehard fan and casual reader. This is the key to the success of the parent series Doctor Who as well as its spin-off `The Sarah-Jane Adventures'; as long as the writers continue to bear this in mind and write accordingly, the possibilities are endless...

The audiobook, read by Debbie Chazen (Foon Van Hoff in 2007 Christmas special 'Voyage of the Damned'), retains much of the novel's charm - despite being abridged - but still works better as a book than a CD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 22 May 2015
Format: Paperback
In an effort to avoid running into trouble, which seems to follow them around, the Doctor has taken Donna two and a half million light years to an art gallery. Well, not just an art gallery. In a galaxy that Donna cannot begin to come to terms with, and while innocently looking at an exhibit in the gallery, she is transmatted away. And the Doctor must not only find her, but the exhibit that has been stolen along with her. All while trying to avoid getting into trouble with the ethics of organic versus machinekind politics and culture. So, business as usual then.

This is a great Tenth Doctor novel. The Doctor, as he would have been played by David Tennant, is perfectly written in this novel. I’ve found a lot of the Tenth Doctor novels have captured Tennant’s characterisation very well; he seems to be very well novelised, which is a great thing. Donna, as played by Catherine Tate, is also very well written in this novel. Her strongly individual twenty-first century Earth attitude is a great foil for the Doctor, and together they are more than a match for any trouble they find in this galaxy or any other. There is quite a lot of the story where they are separated, and both Donna and the Doctor are very well able to carry the narrative by their own actions. But the bond between them is ever present, and the narrative unfolds very successfully to a joint effort to put the world to rights. Definitely recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bryan McCormack on 17 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is probably the best of the Dr Who novels to feature Donna. Her character is captured brilliantly and you can hear Catherine T saying the lines. Highlight has to be the Pythonesque/Hitchikery section in the middle of the book where Donna is mistaken for The Ginger Goddess. Laugh out loud funny. And the overall story`s good one too, concerning the usual notions of artificial intelligence/conscience but in a fresh & entertaining way. Buy it!
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