on 10 May 2014
I'm afraid I found this bitterly disappointing. On the plus side I think the underlying story had potential. But the writing was poor, littered in the first few pages with numerous grammatical errors (was it even proofread, never mind edited?), and with a terrible plodding style. The characterisation of the Tenth Doctor was also poor, but that wasn't nearly as big a problem for me as the quality of the writing which made it often almost unreadable. Best avoided I'm afraid.
on 10 May 2014
This is a fairly pleasant, but not particularly exciting or inspiring, story. It places the Doctor in what is essentially a fairy tale environment. There’s a princess in peril, an evil stepmother/witch, a typical prince character and such elements that might be expected from a children’s fairy story. As such it follows a reasonably predictable plot pattern. There are also times when it feels as if the story may have been constructed first and the Doctor then retrofitted in later to make it a Doctor Who story. It also means most of the characters are basically the stereotypes to be found in many fairy tales.
Quite often in the various Doctor Who ebooks that have been coming out over the last eighteen months or so the Tenth Doctor’s characterisation seems to focus more on his manic, excitable aspects. Even though this is a more subdued Tenth Doctor we still don’t see really much of the other personality nuances David Tennant bought to the role. The portrayal is quite superficial. Interactions between characters, including the love story angle, are also somewhat sterile, which is surprising from a romance author.
A lot of the content seems to be parodying Cinderella. There is also clearly an Irish influence on the story; not entirely surprising considering the author. The planet on which the story is set is named after the famous Rock of Cashel, seat of ancient Irish kings, and the bog men are clearly derived from the withered remains found preserved in peat bogs.
I’m not sure why exactly the story is entitled ‘The Bog Warrior’. It might be named after Mossy but it doesn’t really seem an apt title for him and he’s the only bog man that is given any individuality. Although the bog men are essential to the story the focus is far more on the various royal figures and their internal dispute.
As part of a children’s short story collection along the lines of the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson this story would probably work. It doesn’t function so well as a Doctor Who story.
on 2 June 2014
The idea behind the Time Trips range was to provide a number of successful and established authors the opportunity to play in The Doctor Who sandbox. While authors were invited to contribute, they were under no obligation to do so and those that did have all apparently expressed their love of the series and were delighted at the chance.
Which doesn't explain The Bog Warrior.
Consciously based on Cinderella (I presume), a handful of potentially good ideas are squandered on a weak plot with next to no charactisation. Apparently an adventure for the Tenth Doctor, he is written so thinly that minor cosmetic changes could make it almost any Doctor, Ian Chesterton or Rory (amongst others). In fact, it would probably have benefitted from being a solo adventure for Sarah Jane or Clara!
The supporting characters fare little better: while they are generally described fairly well, there are no real characters, their only interesting aspect being the choice of names.
The plot has also been left to run as simply as possible, with the unforgivable deceit that while the Doctor confirms his suspicions regarding the apparent witchcraft, no attempt is made AT ALL to provide any other explanation. Worse, it feels as though the Doctor has been added to an existing story, with this omission revealing a poor attempt to acknowledge his opinions (see The Daemons or other Third Doctor stories) with regard to magic etc, in a fairy tale story clearly aimed at pre-teens.
That the story is so simple is the one saving grace, as unlike some of the others in this range, it doesn't need to rush. If only this advantage had been used to strengthen everything else.
In the end, this is a weak story with weak characters and is probably only saved from being worse by being the shortest Time Trip so far. It feels as though Ahern has little understanding of either Doctor Who or the target audience. One only for the completists.
Full disclosure: Akin to Amazon Vine, the publisher provided a free eARC (Advance Review Copy) in exhange for this independent and unbiased review.
on 20 May 2014
Thank you to the publishers and NetGallery for providing me with a copy
I love many many things and one of those things is Doctor Who, I loved it when I was young and when it was rebooted with Christopher Ecclestone at the helm of the blue box, I fell in love with it all over again. So when I noticed that this book was available for review I jumped at the chance.
Doctor Who Time Trips is a series of shorts stories each written by a different author who handles a different Doctor, The Bog Warrior has been written by Cecelia Ahern better known for books such as PS I Love You.
It had all the hallmarks of being a good book but I am afraid to say I just didn't like it at all, I tried and you know what I always feel bad if I don't like a book considering time and effort that goes in to them but sorry this did not hit the spot.
This story was about the Tenth Doctor, now if I am a getting my calculations right, that was the amazing David Tennant, who brought tons of energy as well as mystery to the role, this incarnation of him in the book was just deadly flat, I felt no spark from him at all, yes I know it's a book but it should have the character of the Doctor jumping out of the page at me not just lie there and make you do all the work.
I did start to lose interest in the story but it seems to be a sort of Cinderella tale based on a planet where the Prince Zircon has to chose a bride from the bog people but the path of true love never runs smooth and he wants to marry Princess Ash whose parents where done away with by the Queen.
I really tried but this book just did not hit the mark at all, I am sorry but the Doctor was dreary and unexciting and we all know he is nothing like that.
Doctor Who: The Bog Warrior is awarded 1 out of 5