Doctor Who - The Stone Rose (New Series Adventure 7) Hardcover – 13 Apr 2006
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Mickey is startled to find a statue of Rose in a museum - a statue that is 2,000 years old. The Doctor realises that this means the TARDIS will shortly take them to Ancient Rome, but when it does, he and Rose soon have more on their minds than sculpture. While the Doctor searches for a missing boy, Rose befriends a girl who claims to know the future - a girl whose predictions are surprisingly accurate. But then the Doctor stumbles on the hideous truth behind the statue of Rose - and Rose herself learns that you have to be very careful what you wish for...This work features the Doctor and Rose as played by David Tennant and Billie Piper in the acclaimed hit series from BBC Television.
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It is an intriguing start that soon sees Rose and the Doctor propelled off to Rome in the second century. It makes it a good choice for this History Collection. Many of the books re-released for the series have been set in the twentieth century. This novel offers a period which is much further away in time and culture. Even so, we have seen the Doctor make several forays into the ancient Roman world. So this is not unfamiliar territory. The author has picked a period of Roman history that is relatively calm, during the middle of the age of ‘the five good emperors’. With no major political or military upheavals going on it is a fairly peaceful time which allows the Doctor and Rose to blend into Roman society and make their investigations. The Doctor even ditches his usual look for a traditional Roman tunic that lacks the pockets of his usual outfits.
A lot of the novel is taken up with the mystery of the statue. Rose and the Doctor ingratiate themselves into Roman society and have a lot of fun along the way. Much of this captures the early period of the Tenth Doctor. There is a lot to be enjoyed in the comparison between Rose’s and Vanessa’s misconceptions about Roman history and culture. It is a nice contrast that it is all amusing for Rose but utterly serious for Vanessa.
There is good characterisation of the Doctor and Rose. The novel successfully captures the dynamic of their relationship even though the book was written before their first series together. However, Mickey’s character and his relationship with the new Doctor is a little off.
There’s a fair amount of talk throughout about magic, prophecy and premonition not being real but when the explanation for what is happening is revealed it does seem very much like magic. The ‘scientific’ explanation for events is woefully inadequate. It is a struggle to believe that something could be genetically engineered to be able to perform magic. This also has an effect on the resolution of the plot. There might be some clever, well thought out, ‘timey wimey’ stuff but fundamentally is still relies on wishing things alright. Such a conclusion is a bit unsatisfying and too ‘fairy tale’ in essence.
but that doesn't mean those who do can't enjoy them as well.
the range is now in it's fourth year and a doctor who book has been included in the range every year.
this one involves the doctor arriving at a sports training facility to find there have been several mysterious deaths there. he befriends some of the students at the place and they find that it has been taken over by sontarans, aliens familiar to anyone who saw the 2008 season of the show on tv. the sontarans put the doctor and the students through some dangerous tests. can they survive? and what is the sontarans true purpose in being there?
This is definitely a book you can get into quickly and the prose is clear enough such that you won't find it a difficult read. story wise it's not bad. the supporting characters do have a reasonable amount of depth to them, and the plot does develop nicely. There are a few decent revelations to come along the way.
Nothing special, but if you want a good quick read, or a good quick doctor who story, or both, then it's well worth getting.
The Doctor is the Doctor, the Sontarans are the Sontarans and the supporting cast are just that - there for support and someone for the Doctor to talk to and show off his cleverness and knowledge.
There is no real depth to the story - in fact the swimming pool mentioned in the text probably has more depth - but the short chapters mean you can read a chapter, go away for half an hour, come back and read another chapter and keep the same pace throughout the day, reading the final chapter just before turning out the light at bedtime. Alternatively, the book can be read to children at bedtime and so send them off into the dreamland worlds of Doctor Who - just make sure they know there is a sofa near by for them to hide behind, if need be!
All in all, a book well worth the money, and a fun read to boot!
Now, where did I put that sonic screwdriver...