Series: Doctor Who New Series Adventures #51
Published by BBC Books on April 11th, 2013
Genres: Media Tie-In, Science Fiction, Time Travel
It is the day after John F. Kennedy’s assassination and the faces of the dead are everywhere. PC Reg Cranfield sees his recently deceased father in the mists along Totter’s Lane. Reporter Mae Callon sees her late grandmother in a coffee stain on her desk. FBI Special Agent Warren Skeet finds his long-dead partner staring back at him from raindrops on a window pane. Then the faces begin to talk, and scream… and push through into our world. As the alien Shroud begins to feast on the grief of a world in mourning, can the Doctor dig deep enough into his own sorrow to save mankind?
If you happen to follow me on Twitter, you would know by now that Doctor Who has taken over my life pretty much. So when I saw the beautiful New Series Adventures books in Waterstones in London back in March, it took all my self-control not to buy them. Alas, since then, the obsession has only grown, especially with my love of Whoufflé, and I could not stop myself any longer. I had no idea what to expect with a media tie-in book like this, but MAN was it enjoyable and captured the essence of the TV series perfectly.
What becomes apparent right off the bat is that Tommy Donbavand has such a great understanding of the Eleventh Doctor and Clara as characters. They sound completely genuine, which I suppose I was a bit nervous about (since Clara especially hadn’t really been seen for long by the time this book was published). Especially the dialogue was top notch, and I found myself giggling like an idiot throughout most of the book. It was just Matt Smith. Totally.
The adventure in this book was also quintessentially DW. The Shroud are such a creepy freaking alien race, it pretty much gave me the shivers – as all good Doctor Who villains should. It even ended on a note reminiscent of the most famous episode ever, Blink, in that I’m going to have a bit of trouble not thinking I see the Shroud all around me. Creepy goodness!
I thought it was especially cool that elements of the series really came back in this book, like mentions of old characters, especially at the end, with memories of the Doctor saying goodbye to various companions over the years. It was not only cool, but that last scene was so emotional and beautiful. Also, I’m just going to put this out there, but there was a Mr. Williams, a veterinarian, in the US in the 1920s. Just. You know.
The only negative thing I have to note is that the ending is a bit confusing. I know Doctor Who is not exactly known for its thorough (and believable) explanations of science fiction elements, but the wormhole situation was poorly explained and felt a bit rushed to get the climax over with. But that ultimately didn’t keep me from enjoying the book any less.
AND. As to the Whoufflé. There could have been more, but I totally understand that this is not fanfiction, haha. I love the dynamic between the two characters anyway, and Donbavand captured that perfectly. The subtle hints are good enough for me now and had me fangirling anyway.
His words were drowned out by a piercing scream from the corridor outside. He flashed a grin at Clara. ‘They’re playing our song, dear.’
Clara held out her hand. ‘Care to do the corridor quickstep?’ Doctor Who: Shroud of Sorrow by Tommy Donbavand
‘Want to know what this friend is thinking right now?’
‘What?’ asked the Doctor. ‘Is it that you’d like to be taller? Because I think you should be taller. When I hug you, I can feel your breath on my chest. It’s weird.’ Doctor Who: Shroud of Sorrow by Tommy Donbavand
That is all.