SHROUD OF SORROW
Written by Tommy Donbavand
Read by Frances Barber
Shroud of Sorrow finally makes its way to audiobook form. It's one of the latest new series adventures novels, and the first to feature both Matt Smith's Doctor and his new companion Clara Oswald. Set on a date that may be familiar to some, November 23rd, 1963 the day after the assassination of American President John F Kennedy, faces of the dead are emerging from the most unusual places. A late father in the mist, a dead grandmother in a coffee stain, a long-lost partner in the raindrops on a window pane. The Shroud has fallen and has begun to feast on the grief of a world in mourning. Can the Doctor and Clara save the day before it’s too late?
Shroud of Sorrow is one of the best Doctor Who novels in memory. It manages to attain just the right balance between a familiar quality and a totally original edge. It's a wonderful story, with clever plotting that brings many seemingly unrelating strands together beautifully. I really don't want to give away any spoilers, but there are some inspired twists and turns and some excellent references to previous episodes of Doctor Who.
Donbavand has excellently captured the Eleventh Doctor and Clara’s dialogue and mannerisms to the point where one can practically see them. This first-time Who writer has done a bang-up job with his debut, leaving one eager for a follow up.
My only criticism of this release is the rather odd choice of Frances Barber (who played Madame Kovarian in several episodes in Series Six) to read this adventure. As Kovarian never appears opposite Clara, it gives the story a slightly disconnected voice. She does a stand-up job but it seems to me it would have made more sense to have Jenna Coleman read the first novel for her character, Clara. That aside this is a fantastic story and one I cannot recommend more highly. Whether you're a big reader or not, check this one out in novel or audiobook format, you won't regret it. It's a great and worthy story for the 50th Anniversary year.
BLOGTOR RATING 8/10
Read the Shroud of Sorrow novel review HERE
DOCTOR WHO & THE LEISURE HIVE
Written by David Fisher
Read by Lalla Ward, with John Leeson as K9
The latest Target novelisation audiobook from AudioGo is the Fourth Doctor story, Doctor Who And The Leisure Hive.
The Doctor and Romana fancy a holiday and Brighton in a chilly British June isn't doing the trick. With all the galaxy to choose from the pair decide to visit the Leisure Hive on the planet Argolis, famous for its Tachyon Recreation Generator. But all is not as it seems, the Argolan paradise was previously the site of a devastating war with a reptilian species, the Foamasi, and when our Time Travelling duo arrive they are sucked into a whirlpool of treachery and deceit.
There are few evident changes from the original television production on display here; there's a funny pov conversation between two beach shop proprietors commenting on the sight and disappearance of the TARDIS, and the history of the Argolin and Foamasi war is more greatly fleshed out. The real advantage here comes from the audio format which enables one to use their imagination to visually elaborate and improve upon the original studio-bound TV story.
The Target novelisation audiobooks aren't aimed at the every-fan, but if you're a big time Who~fan or this story is particular favourite then Doctor Who And The Leisure Hive will certainly make a good addition to your collection.
BLOGTOR RATING 7/10
Thanks to AudioGo