Mickey is startled to find a statue of Rose in a museum -
a statue that is 2,000 years old. The Doctor realises that
this means a trip to ancient Rome, but when they get there,
he and Rose have more on their minds than sculpture. While
the Doctor searches for a missing boy, Rose befriends a girl
who claims to know the future and learns that you have to
be careful what you wish for...
while the second series of the revamped Doctor Who
begins transmission a month later than the first one did the
previous year, the latest trio of hardback novels for young
adult readers (the first to feature David Tennant's Doctor)
is being published a month earlier in the year than the initial
batch was. This means that the books will be in shops two
days before the launch of the new television series, thus
offering Who-hungry fans a chance for a real Tenth
Doctor binge over the Easter weekend.
time last year, the initial trio of hardbacks were penned
by Justin Richards, Stephen Cole and Jacqueline Rayner. The
same three writers who launched the Ninth Doctor into print
are now doing the same for the Tenth, though this time around
the order has been reversed so that Rayner's novel comes first
(according to the Gallifreyan number on the spine of the book).
of the running order, it remains to be seen how this book
will fit in between the Tenth Doctor's television adventures.
However, the fact that Rose has a dream about talking cats
suggests that it might be set after her encounter with the
Sisters of Plenitude in New Earth.
The author gets across the fact that the Tenth Doctor is more
of a man of action than his predecessor. Following his sword
fight with the Sycorax leader in The Christmas Invasion,
here he battles with gladiators and ferocious animals in a
Roman arena. Unfortunately, there isn't much opportunity to
explore the new Doctor's relationship with his companion,
because Rose vanishes from the plot for 80 pages and then,
as soon as she has been brought back into the narrative, the
Doctor himself disappears for almost 40 pages.
fact, the story is a distinctly run-around (or should that
be roam-around?) affair, more like a series of incidents than
a proper plot. It begins in present-day London, then moves
to Roman times. Then the Doctor makes a brief return visit
to the present day before heading back to ancient Rome. The
narrative is reliant on circular logic and a few minor time
paradoxes, while the presence of a reptilian wish-granting
creature, reminiscent of E Nesbit's Psammead, means that the
end result is somewhat on the silly side.
shame on Jacqueline Rayner for using the word "dice" when
she means the singular term "die". Kids will be reading this!
is an enjoyable book, but it's not as good as Rayner's previous
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