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3.9 out of 5 stars
Doctor Who: The Way Through the Woods
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Doctor Who novel. Telling an all new story never before presented in any other medium. Featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory. Set at an unspecified point somewhere in their second season.

It runs for two hundred and forty pages. It's divided into a prologue and thirteen chapters. As with all this range, it's suitable for all ages. And the main characters are perfectly recreated on the printed page, with dialogue you can imagine them saying on tv.

The opening shows us an ordinary part of present day Britain. With houses on the edge of woods. Woods that nobody goes into. Because as everyone knows, and has always known, if you get lost in them, you don't come out.

When urban legends of the woodland turn out to be true, and people vanish, the Doctor and friends are on the case. Will anyone manage to find their way out?

With a decently created setting, with a location and characters that feel very present day and thus convincing, this gets off to a good start with a chapter that describes one character going missing.

It then does things a little differently by going non linear with the narrative for a while. Scenes set in 1917 - involving one familiar face - and then scenes in the present day. At various times. This keeps the pace going very nicely, and the mystery involving, and the pages turn very fast.

Ultimately, though, plot wise, it doesn't do anything much different from what many Doctor Who works of this kind have done before. And the Doctor is rather absent from events for a lot of it, only popping up occasionally in the middle. However credit where credit is due as what may appear to be a cheap plot device at one point turns out to be anything but.

And yet it does keep you reading to see how things will turn out, and manages to provide a good lot of resolution and closure for all storylines and characters involved.

Not the strongest in this range, but an above average read and worth four stars.
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on 14 April 2013
'As long as people have lived here, they've gone out of their way to avoid the woods...'

Two teenage girls disappear into an ancient wood, a foreboding and malevolent presence both now and in the past. The modern motorway bends to avoid it, as did the old Roman road. In 1917 the Doctor and Amy are desperate to find out what's happened to Rory, who's vanished too.

But something is waiting for them in the woods. Something that's been there for thousands of years. Something that is now waking up.

A thrilling, all-new adventure featuring the Doctor, Amy and Rory, as played by Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill in the spectacular hit Doctor Who series from BBC Television.
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on 4 September 2013
I did quite enjoy this. I think it was let down a bit by having so little of the Doctor in it. He only had a few scenes in prison for the first two thirds if the book. But it felt like it could have been an episode. There was good use of the world war 1 setting, a nice mystery and a great plot and resolution.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Una McCormack's The Way Through the Woods unburies that old storytelling yore of the dark woods that seemingly swallows people whole, for all those who enter the woods will never be seen again... It's a device that I myself have utilised in my own short stories. So, on first appearances, The Way Through the Woods appears quite hackneyed. Although men and women from the town of Foxton have vanished in the woods over the centuries, Una McCormack just concentrates on a few women who have disappeared in this manner, and to be honest, on first reading, I lost track of which woman was which, and wasn't all that involved in the narrative. In addition to this, the story pivots around an abandoned and broken down spaceship, a motif that's really been done to death in Steven Moffat's Doctor Who. So, it seemed to me (on first impressions) that The Way Through the Woods was rather a let-down when compared to Una McCormack's Doctor Who debut, The King's Dragon, which was quite good. Doctor Who: The King's Dragon

Such was the quality of her Gallifreyan debut however, that I decided to give The Way Through the Woods a thorough re-read, and I'm very glad I did. For one thing, Una's characterisation of Rory is spot on (the Doctor and Amy not quite so, but nearly), and for another, her references to the 2005 series of Doctor Who were very good (I particularly liked her cogent explanation of the fact that Rory both is and isn't the Auton Roman centurion who guarded Amy while she was trapped in the Pandorica). There's also a nice scene later on when an image of a Roman soldier causes Rory to blush (although he's not quite sure why, as he's lost his memories), as this is something will appeal to adult readers. The Way Through the Woods is also very educational; for instance, I'd never heard of the nickname `Conchie' before reading this book (short for `conscientious objector'), and I'd previously thought that the pub closing hour introduced during World War I was 11pm (Una points outs that it was actually the far more restrictive 9.30pm). The theme of the First World War also runs through the narrative in a much more subtle way than in did in it did in the 2007 episode of Doctor Who called The Family of Blood.Doctor Who - Series 3 Vol. 3 At first, I also thought the naming of the alien as a `Werefox' to be quite old hat, and redolent of the overabundance of anthropomorphic creatures that have faced the Doctor in the recent past. However, I then read Una McCormack's acknowledgement at the end of the book to Fairport Convention "for recording Reynardine". Since `Reyn' is the name of the aforementioned Werefox, I had to look this up, and discovered that there are actually ancient tales of a Werefox called Reynardine that steals away maidens to his castle in British folklore. This explains why so many women feature in this book - which, of course, is not a fault - the fact that I lost track of who was who was down to my not paying adequate attention when I first read The Way Through the Woods. So, if Una McCormack is guilty of anything with regards to this book, it's that she's perhaps a bit too subtle, and too modest to point out just how clever she's been in this very good book.
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