A Doctor Who novel. Featuring the Tenth Doctor and his companion Donna. It tells an all new story never before presented in any other medium.
It runs for two hundred and forty eight pages, and is divided into fourteen chapters plus a prologue.
It's suitable for readers of all ages.
And the two main characters are perfectly recreated on the printed page, giving you no trouble in imagining the actors who played them saying their dialogue as presented here.
The story sees the TARDIS arrive in India in 1947. With the British empire about to go home, civil unrest is tearing the place apart. Some of the remaining British shelter on their family estates. Others befriend locals. Others try to make a difference by working in medicine.
But there are also strange ghost like creatures to be seen. That roam the streets and that spirit people away.
The Doctor and Donna, plus various British and Indian people, are caught up in the middle of things. As is Gandhi himself. Can the Doctor find what's really going on here, and keep history on track?
This does have the usual aliens on earth plot style of many of this range. But even that part is quite original, and does manage to have a bit more to it than might meet the eye.
The novel does though offer a myriad of delights that make that part of it almost incidental. The setting and the history are fascinating. Gandhi is perfectly described and interacts with other characters exceptionally well. And he offers the Doctor and the reader a lot of moral food for thought.
The latter does make this a far above average entry in the range. Whilst the alien plotline isn't quite as good and just prevents this from being a five star piece of work, it's a very good book and well worth a read.
I've been a massive fan of Doctor Who for almost thirty years now and have enjoyed many of the myriad of novels since the original series ended though definitely not all. Of the novels following the new series I sincerely believe this to be the best I've come across. I cannot give it 5 stars as like all the new series novels it's a bit too simplistic but it definitely rates a high 4.
A good adventure, placed within a historical context. The action isn't as intense or menacing as in other books in the series but the pace of the story and its sensitive portrayal of the politics and cultures in India in the mid-twentieth century make the adventure something of an education. The characters are likeable (even one of the monsters!) and the writing fun and atmospheric.