Doctor Who: Dark Horizons HC Hardcover – 5 Jul 2012
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well-written, amusing and Colgan perfectly captures Matt Smith's on-screen delivery in the dialogue., A terrific tale with some surprising twists and turns - more please! 8/10, a great story, told with flair and action to keep the fans glued to the pages.
The Doctor encounters a ruthless alien force on a remote Scottish island - from the bestselling BBC Books Doctor Who fiction rangeSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
JT Colgan (in reality, top romantic comedy author, Jenny Colgan) has written what is one of the most exciting 11th Doctor adventures to date (and I told her so last night, via Twitter!) In Dark Horizons, she captures Matt Smith's portrayal of the Doctor perfectly, introduces us to some wonderful new characters (Henrik being a particular favourite), and even allows us a glimpse (from a distance) of a holidaying 4th Doctor, Sarah Jane and K9! Add to that quite possibly the most exciting TARDIS sequence you'll ever read (I won't say where it takes place - spoilers, and all that) and you've got a timey-wimey historical romp that will keep you gripped, page after page.
Very highly recommended!
Much of her narrative dwells on human relationships, such as that between a widowed chieftain and his rebellious teenage son, and the one that develops between the feisty princess Freydis and the farm-boy-turned-Viking Henrik. However, balancing these interludes are the threat of a fiery extraterrestrial menace and some exciting TARDIS antics both on and beneath the waves. Colgan keeps the reader engaged by switching the action from a Viking longboat to a Scottish island to another Viking ship to a particularly exciting encounter on the seabed.
The tone of the novel is roughly the same as that of the modern television series. There are some gruesome deaths and references to sexuality, but nothing "adult" in an X-rated sort of way, so this book is suitable for all ages. It's not tremendously challenging or earth-shattering, but the author throws in some cool historical details that should interest the "Horrible Histories" generation and older readers alike, such as references to the Lewis Chessmen and the fact that the Vikings had no single, simple word for the colour blue.
The Eleventh Doctor is well characterised as an ancient yet youthful being, child-like and looking for fun, but burdened by responsibility. In a particularly beautiful moment (on page 221), Colgan puts her finger on the reason why the Time Lord lies: "The Doctor paused. He hated lying to children. But not as much as he hated scaring them.Read more ›
It isn't as much of a departure from the familiar as some of the other books have been- it's more or less on the same level as the BBC Books standard range, with possibly a slightly more adult leaning, but definitely accessible to younger teens. There's very mild horror, but nothing worse than you've seen in the TV series.
It's a nicely evocative windswept Viking story, not dwelling too much on the traditional 'horned helmets' images (yes, I know they didn't) and instead portraying a strong image of primitive isolated people struggling to survive in wild Northern landscapes. There's also a thick sense of humour running through things, for example in the brief addition of farm boy Henrik as a 'companion' in the conventional Who sense, one who is rather underwhelmed by the Doctor's un-seaworthy TARDIS.
The story overall doesn't break any particularly new ground- we've seen pretty much all the constituent parts of it in other Who stories- but it rattles along very nicely and entertainingly, with a couple of neat twists that keep you reading.
So while there's nothing revolutionary here, this is nevertheless an excellent addition to the 'slightly more grown up' side of the Who range.
Really beautiful reading by 'Madame Vastra' (if you like stories read by cast members, I also recommend; "Hunter's Moon", "Devil In The Smoke" and "Angel's Kiss"). Neve McIntosh's voice almost reminds me of Harriet Walter, in its tunefulness and youth.
But if you like a good yarn, do give it a whirl - I reckon you'll like it. Recommended.
As the author herself described to this very blog, Colgan's approaches Vikings through the mystery of the Lewis Chess men, who created them and their purpose. The Doctor bumps into these beautifully carved objects whilst travelling alone and searching for someone to have a game with. He pitches up in primitive Scotland in the middle of a Viking attack, which is quickly overcome with flames, a St Elmos Fire which almost destroys both attackers and attackees, generated by an alien force that typically the Time Lord finds utterly beautiful but can't be reasoned with (not unlike some of his companions).
In other words, it's a kind of celebrity historical with an important artefact in place of Alexander Graham Bell or some such, though the chess set really is more of a jumping of point. The real interest is in Freydis, a kidnapped princess and one of the islanders, her captor Henrik, who're the Doctor's temporary companions, providing an analogue of Amy and Rory's rapport, she with the acerbic temper, he the streak of nobility.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Vikings! Very original setting for a Doctor Who adventure, with good noting of the different cultures even of the different societies of the time. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Mr. M. Jones
Brilliant storyline. Great fun to read. It was very hard to put down once I had started reading but then Dr Who has never failed to thrill & delight me.
I loved it. Great characters, nice plot and a real worthiness to the doctor's struggle.
It's a while since I've read a Doctor Who book, but this is one of my favourites.
I bought this book as a present for my farther so I can't say what its actually about, however all the Doctor Who books I've ever
read have been great reads and my farther... Read more
In `Dark Horizons' the Doctor finds himself in the Dark Ages, stranded on a northern shore without a companion, looking for someone to play a game of chess with. Read morePublished on 6 Oct. 2013 by Jody - "A Spoonful of Happy Endings"
The Doctor finds himself transported to a northern shore island. Its habitants are not only threatened by Viking attacks but also by an unexplainable fire source. Read morePublished on 19 Sept. 2013 by Heidi