Tags: audiobooks

wtf abigail

Review for the Doctor Who (audio)book "The Clockwise Man" (AKA "Girl in the Fireplace Lite")

I know that I usually put this stuff under SOME kind of a cut, but this time ... I just can't. I just kind of need to shout this from the e-rooftop.

* Historical episode
* European royalty
* Clockwork killers
* Creepy harlequin masks
* Getting stuck (briefly) on the slow path
* Jokes about "winding you up" etc

The big differences being ... ya know ... the characters are kind of IN CHARACTER, and even the monsters get some rather awesome characterization.



Moffat, have you honestly ever had an original thought in your head?

There's really nothing more that I can say without some major keysmashing at Moffat, who had nothing to do with this interesting little book. I enjoyed it. Lots of characters. Lots of battles. A bit swervy, and a little bit slow at times, but it was an intriguing story with what I think was a pretty awesome and uplifting ending. I can easily envision this story taking place in early season 1, after Aliens of London/World War Three. The Doctor and Rose are in that chummy new place, where they enjoy each others company but where his raw need for her (see Dalek) isn't so evident yet. I think I would have enjoyed this as an episode, and I think it has enough plot to even have been a two-parter.

And it proves, yet again, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Moffat is a (insert favorite descriptor here).
amy green with hair flowing

Non-spoilery review for the Doctor Who (audio)book "Borrowed Time"

Another non-spoilery review, since most people won't have read/listened to this =)

[Spoiler (click to open)]

I enjoyed Borrowed Time for the most part (even though lol, rereading this review, it might not seem like it. I think that the utter awesomesauce-ness of The Silent Stars Go By kinda spoiled other Whoniverse books for me). The plot was a bit more ... heavy-handed? teeming with attempted metaphorical relevance to today's society? ... and I'm still not sure whether that amused me or annoyed me.

Characterization-wise, I think this one fell a bit short. It was hard to figure out where exactly it would be slotted in to the Eleventh Doctor era. Amy and Rory are married (which would indicate s6), but Rory's characterization seemed rather self-conscious in a way that was far more reminiscent of early s5 than of even late s5, let alone s6.

But the characterization of Amy is where things really deteriorated for me. Without giving away spoilers, something rather important to the story completely hinges on Amy doing something INCREDIBLY stupid and completely out of character for any time traveller. (Like, seriously, I think even Adam Mitchell from Dalek/The Long Game would be standing there frowning, all like "Um ... you sure you want to do that, bb? Seems a bit daft, ngl." Anyone on my Flist is probably aware of my innate dislike for Amy - but still. Way OOC. (So OOC, I'm suprised Moffat didn't jump on this yet as a plot point for her -- KIDDING!!! Sorta).

Anyways. It was entertaining despite the handwaving. Sometimes twisty, sometimes predictable. Certainly no The Silent Stars Go By, but I still enjoyed it.

Non-spoilery review for the Doctor Who (audio)book "The Silent Stars Go By"

Still putting it under a spoiler-cut though, although I don't address plot points because I know most of you guys won't have read this - rather, I focus on what made this audiobook awesome -- the characterization! =)

[Spoiler (click to open)]
I listened to the audiobook, which takes place at an unidentified time after Amy and Rory's wedding. I have a long commute and it's ~5 hours long so why not!

What I really liked - no, LOVED - about this audiobook was the characterization of Amy's relationship with Eleven. I think the show has really wanted us to take it for a given that Amy and Eleven share some sort of a close friendship, based on little comments she makes about 'knowing him' - like in The Doctor's Wife, when she tells him to be careful, or in The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe when Eleven gets an inexplicably emotional tear when he sees her again. However, canonically, in the TV series, I honestly don't ~feel~ any indication of a close relationship at all. It should come as no surprise to you guys that I chock this up to Moffat's seeming disinterest with filling in characterization subtext with the same kinds of important little "applegrass moments" that RTD did with Ten. So the overall effect of Amy and Eleven to me comes off more like a weak association, rather than a strong bond.

But the audiobook does this beautifully!

Eleven and Amy banter!! They create inside jokes, and banter that really reinforces their friendship. They tease each other - Eleven teases Amy about her inability to remember the rather simple name of a certain alien species, and this turns into a running joke in the audiobook, with even the OCs joining in to poke a little fun at Amy. Amy in turn teases Eleven as well for his botched landings and other mishaps. The overall effect is that you have a pair of friends with an obvious long-standing camaraderie, where they can lightheartedly tease one another and share a common history. It's exactly the sort of thing I would have loved to see on the show! And when things invariably turn sour, these "applegrass moments" help to underscore Amy's anguish and worry about the Doctor - he's in trouble, she messes up the name of the alien species again ... but this time, he's not there to jokingly correct her. It's just a single, simple line, but the subtext is profound and as a result, it's actually quite moving. Would really like to see this under Moffat!***

Rory features in this audiobook as well, and all I'll really say about him is that it's nice to see the wheels turning in his head as you see him learn to be an independent problem solver on his own merits in this audiobook, as opposed to 'gee look how I've grown during 2000 years offscreen' =P This would have been awesome in canon as well! Again - wrltstum!!

All in all, great story, AWESOME characterization and a great plot - one that is more complex and far more nuanced than it might initially seem! As the reader/listener, you end up making some assumptions ... which may or may not be correct =) If you're anything like me, you'll pause it at the end and say "OOOOOHHH!! So that's why this happened the way it did!!"

Characterization + plot = profoundly impressed kilodalton!!

*** can I just abbreviate this as "wrltstum!!!" from now on? I have a feeling I'll be saying it a lot XD