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on 16 January 2014
I'm not sure if there is a theme to this latest series of Doctor Who ebooks but they've been nice surprises so far in that the first offered a new Fourth Doctor story a little more than a week or so after Tom Baker's return surprise appearance in the programme and this one is a new Eleventh Doctor story a couple of weeks after Matt Smith's last television episode.

The novella starts quite atmospherically and at times there is a real sense of dread. The Doctor and Clara spend much of the first half of the story floundering around avoiding the dangers of an unknown and undocumented planet. Nowadays it feels nice for a change for the Doctor not to know where the Tardis has arrived and see him work out where he is and what is happening alongside his companion. Whilst the reader too is unaware of what is going on the story is quite enjoyable and intriguing. Unfortunately once the situation is revealed the `revelation' feels a little anti-climatic and the story starts to tail off. Much of the latter stages seem a little too whimsical and fantastical. The story jumps a little too quickly from the threat increasing stage to the threat has been vanquished.

The crazy, silly side of the Eleventh Doctor is captured really well by the author but this is really the only side that really comes over in the story. The Doctor could do with being portrayed as a bit more contemptuous towards or sickened by the main antagonist.

Clara is very well characterised though. Her bold brashness is clearly apparent as is her sort of control over the Doctor. Probably the best element of this novella is the way this control slowly deteriorates as more danger is thrown at her and that she only regains her usual determination when she encounters a distraught `child' that brings out her strengths as a governess and a nanny.

Etienne isn't much of a memorable villain. What he has done is clearly appalling but he lacks the calibre to be a worthwhile opponent for the Doctor. The moment he enters the story it is obvious he stands no chance facing the Doctor and Clara. As a threat he really doesn't rate and I really can't see how he could possibly take on the Nestene Consciousness. The mention of the Nestene feels just like a reference for the sake of making a reference.
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VINE VOICEon 29 January 2014
The last few months have certainly been a rollercoaster ride for Doctor Who fans. The Name of the Doctor! The Night of the Doctor! The Day of the Doctor! The Time of the Doctor! Splendid stuff, all of it. Not to mention a veritable plethora of audios, books, etc. (The Veritable Plethora of the Doctor, you might say.) It’s a great time to be a fan.

Except – except for that one little matter. Come in, No. 11, your time is up. And much as I’m looking forward to Peter Capaldi’s tenure in the TARDIS (there’s no doubt in my mind he’s going to be brilliant), I’m really, really going to miss Matt Smith. Because, you know what, Doctor? You were my Doctor.

Thankfully he’s not gone, not entirely, because there are still adventures out there we haven’t previously heard about, and one of these has now been recounted, as part of the new Time Trips series, by Jenny Colgan. The series kicked off in style last month with A L Kennedy’s Fourth Doctor story, The Death Pit, and I’m glad to say continues in equal-but-different style with Into the Nowhere.

This e-book features the Eleventh Doctor and Clara, and a planet which doesn’t seem to exist. It’s not in any of the literature. (There’s a lovely Douglas Adams reference here, which made me very happy – and a nod to Harry Potter later, too. I do like the idea that these universes co-exist.) But anyway, there it is, and of course they have to go there and find out more, and it’s… really not a very nice place, actually, though the reason why is not what you might expect.

Jenny Colgan – author of numerous romantic comedies, and one previous Doctor Who novel, the acclaimed Dark Horizons (well, I acclaimed it. I’m pretty sure other people did, too.) – writes beautifully here. This is dark and scary stuff, and it’s very very good. This planet with no name is a frightening place and the reader feels that, every step of the way. But as good, if not better, than this is the characterisation of the Doctor and Clara, which is insightful and believable.

I’ll admit that I have struggled to really warm to Clara as a companion, largely because the – to my mind –rather uneven series 7b never totally gave me a grasp of who she was, apart from cute and pretty and with a nice line in sarky repartee. I didn’t feel much depth of personality came across, somehow, and hence it was hard to care what happened to her. I think she’s growing on me, though, and Jenny Colgan – by giving us insight into Clara’s inner feelings, post-Name of the Doctor, about what has happened to her and how it feels and what it all means – has helped to give her genuine depth. The Doctor is also very well characterised in all his lightness and his darkness.

I don’t want to spoil the story for those who haven’t read it, so I’ll only say that things take an unexpected turn. It’s cleverly done, with some rather surprising imagery, and also very sad at one point in particular – but the end is satisfying and left me thinking.

Highly, highly recommended and I look forward to more Doctor Who stories from Jenny Colgan.
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on 16 July 2014
This was an awesome imagining that really let me feel like the eleventh Doctor and Clara could continue traveling together forever! I know the writer has to be a HUGE fan to be able to wrote the characters so well and come up with a completely new adventure unlike anything ever seen in the actual series :) I really enjoyed it and would love to read more adventures by her with any of the doctor and companions! Really a gem for true Whovians!

***This book is suitable for mature young adult through adult Whovians
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on 30 December 2014
Doctor Who: Into the Nowhere (Time Trips) is part of the "Time Trips" series of novellas, and it is my very first Doctor Who read.

Admittedly, being Italian, I did not grow up with this TV series, and, although I have watched the occasional episode, it has never truly appealed to me - I think it had something to do with the production itself.

I do however love science fiction and I am very glad to have picked up this title, as I enjoyed every line. I felt that the story was very well constructed and that the characters rang true to the on-screen personas I remembered (I am however aware that fans of the show have expressed mixed opinions).

I really enjoyed Jenny Colgan's writing style, her mysterious world and its inhabitants were incredibly vivid, full of humanity and insight.

I look forward to exploring Doctor Who's universe further, as well as reading other works by this author.

[ARC received via Netgalley]
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on 30 January 2014
When the Doctor and Clara land on a planet neither the Doctor nor the Tardis recognize, it doesn’t take long for the Doctor to want to start exploring. But the more of the planet they see, the further into danger they seem to be. As they try to navigate traps that seem to be alive, they start finding messages, and Clara’s fear grows. Can the Doctor help her through her fears, and does he know more than he is letting on?

I would classify myself as a fan of Doctor Who, but I have never read any Doctor Who books before. I didn’t really know what to expect when I started reading Into the Nowhere but finished knowing I will definitely be seeking out more Doctor Who books to read.

As it is a narrative, there is more explanation of thoughts and feelings than in a television episode, yet the action keeps the story fast-paced and exciting. It didn’t feel all that different from watching an episode, which gave me my Doctor Who adrenaline fix that honestly I wasn’t expecting a book to be able to offer. My main issue was that, while obviously a reading speed is slower than watching, this particular book felt a little short; it was as if the author had rushed through it and missed a lot of potential in the process. As I said, this was the first Doctor Who book I’ve read, but I’m hoping that they don’t all leave me with this feeling of being cheated of a full story.

Most of the book seemed to be in Clara’s point of view, and it gave me a completely different view of the character. In Into the Nowhere, Clara’s fear is stated many times, and a large part of me felt this wasn’t the Clara I knew. I also wish that the author had focused on creating the feeling of fear, rather than telling the reader about it, as being told pulled me out of the world, meaning I wasn’t completely invested in it.

Overall, the book excited me to the possibilities of Doctor Who stories. The fact that, even though it is a different media, it can still create a world of intrigue and raised emotions is something I always look with Doctor Who, and for the most part the book delivered on this. However, I do hope this isn’t the best of what is available, as it seemed to be slightly off in the deliverance, meaning that I, as a reader, had to work harder to stay in the world, when that is something that I feel reader’s should feel without noticing until they finish a book.

This book wasn’t all bad, as I stated earlier, a pleasant surprise was that it gave me the Doctor Who fix I wasn’t expecting. Of course it may be my unfamiliarity with Doctor Who books that makes me unsure of this story in particular, but I will definitely be reading more, and hope they are all able to include the excitement and intrigue that Into the Nowhere did.
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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on 22 January 2014
As a long time fan of Doctor Who I am ashamed to admit I've read very few DW books (although I did enjoy Patrick Ness' Fifth Doctor story, Tip of the Tongue recently). If they're all as good as Into the Nowhere (part of the Time Trips series) then I've been foolishly denying myself and have some serious catching up to do.
This is a beautifully described story which manages to be chilling at one moment then touching the next. The Eleventh Doctor and Clara come across a mysterious planet without a name and with no information about it. At first The Doctor is reluctant to land but of course his curiosity is piqued and soon they discover a desolate land populated by skeletons and littered with death traps. Having skeletons as the planet's inhabitants was, I thought, a masterstroke and very Who. I often think that Who monsters are scariest when they're ordinary and recognisable. Skeletons are naturally frightening but walking skeletons who live on a planet where there is danger everywhere and who have a particularly gruesome way of communicating are even more bone-chilling (do you see what I did there?!) As for our heroes, I could hear the voices of the Doctor and Clara while I was reading, the Doctor was typically mad man with a box enthusiastic yet had that darker and less forgiving side and if anything I preferred book Clara and would like to see more of her in the show.
I just wish it had been a bit longer, if I have any criticism it would be it felt a little uneven, the last part felt perhaps a little too rushed and whilst the villain was suitably evil I would have liked his character to have been explored further. This is mostly me being spoilt though, I want more!
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on 21 January 2014
One of the most difficult things for any author tackling characters that have been inhabited, memorably, by actors is capturing that alchemy between story and performer on the page.

This is particularly true of Doctor Who, especially when writing an incarnation so fresh in the audience's mind.

That Jenny Colgan succeeds here in writing not only a excellently creepy and poignant story, but one that feels as though Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman acted it out for her as she wrote is a testament to both her talent and her love for the show.

The story specifics don't belong in a review. They belong in your brain, fresh, like a brand new 11th Doctor episode on a Saturday night.

Which is what this is. And should be treasured as such.
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*I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Randon House UK, Ebury Publishing and Jenny Colgan*

The Eleventh Doctor and Clara arrive on a planet that doesn't exist but they soon discover how dangerous it is.

There were parts of this story that I liked (seeing more of the Eleventh Doctor with Clara and certain points of the plot) and parts that I didn't (certain points of the plot and I didn't find the story as engaging towards the end) but overall this was an alright read.
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on 24 January 2014
I enjoyed reading this. The characters were captured perfectly and I loved the references to other episodes of Doctor Who and pop culture. The only letdown for me is that I would have liked a bit more background/information about how the Doctor knew what the final danger was before he actually came face to face with it. Overall, a vivid story that could have easily been an episode on the TV. Looking forward to reading some more books in the Doctor Who Time Trips series.
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on 12 May 2014
Having never read a Dr Who novel before I was not expecting much. I like the tv show but didn't think books based on the characters would be a good read .
I was very wrong indeed , Jenny Colgan grabs you and takes you on an adventure on a dead planet with many hidden secrets. I could not put the book down as it was so entertaining.
If you are a Dr Who fan this is a great book , If not this is a great book .
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