I was expecting to meet just the first Doctor, Ben, and Polly, and the aliens they were going to have to deal with but instead I’m in the head of ten soldiers in training, dealing with their own personal issues before stumbling upon the ten most wanted criminals of the planet. That’s a total of 20 characters on top of our main people, and it was a quite overwhelming to have to understand the connection of them all. To make things more complex, the author had to transform the text into a Choose Your Own Adventure format when everyone had to wear the websets and turn on the neural network, a telephatic way of communicating with each other. In text form, it reads as a viewpoint of each person of the same scenario. You have the option of reading in a linear fashion, or like the Choose Your Own format, you have to jump to the pages of the characters you want to follow. I was stubborn enough to read it the usual linear way. It was a relief when the network was turned off, and that’s when all of the aspects of the story fell into place and made much more sense. It was only towards the end of the novel when the first Doctor finally had a moment to shine as their main savior despite his feeble physical appearance (see book cover above).
The stone cherubs reminded me of a fatter version of the creepy Steven Moffat creations, the Weeping Angels in the TV series. There were droids and a labyrinthian cave where Polly had to drop stones ala Gretel to mark her way. It was one big riot for the group to come together and even break apart, but it all worked out in the end. I was surprised at the gore and sexual innuendo of the novel, because the Doctors and the episodes I know of (9-11) had quite wholesome seasons. I guess the author felt the liberty to write about a few adult themes, I dunno. I take my shock as a natural reaction to being a newbie Whovian, and for sure there are tons of what I need to learn from the Doctor Who history because it’s older than me.
2 Doctors down, 9 more Doctor Who novels to go!