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Review: Doctor Who: Deep Time January 9, 2016

Posted by sjroby in Book reviews, Doctor Who.
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Another Netgalley review of an advance ereading copy in exchange for a review.

Trevor Baxendale’s contribution to the three 12th Doctor novels featuring the mysterious threat of the Glamour is very different from Gary Russell’s quirky tale. In Deep Time, the Doctor and Clara Oswald join a dangerous mission into deep space. A privately-funded expedition is looking for two possibly linked artefacts: a spaceship lost decades ago and the last of the Phaeron Roads, a network of linked wormholes used by a long-gone civilization to travel through space.

Baxendale introduces the small crew; they tend to be familiar types, but he fleshes most of them out well enough. Different characters have different goals and there’s some conflict between them. The story follows the hunt through deep space, the mystery of the dead planet they encounter, the struggle to survive a world in which people can be flung back millennia into very different eras of the planet’s history — all of them less than hospitable, some deadly. Not everyone survives.

The story keeps up the suspense and mystery until near the end, when the plot threads come together and the Glamour connection comes into play. I’m not sure it feels entirely consistent with Gary Russell’s novel, but it works reasonably well. It’s one of the weaker aspects of the book, though. After an almost Alien-style extraterrestrial survival horror tale, he has to balance a slam-bang action ending with a fair amount of exposition and explanation. Still, a fast and suspenseful read overall, with some classic science fiction sense of wonder and good portrayals of the Doctor and Clara.

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