The Blood Cell by James Goss is an original novel based on the most recent Dr. Who television incarnation. By choice I haven’t watched any of the new episodes and will rate this book merely on its own merits. The narrator is The Governor, the warden of a prison on an asteroid. A new prisoner has arrived. Although known by the number 428, it’s quickly apparent he is The Doctor. As the story unfolds The Governor’s past is revealed along with the reason for The Doctor’s incarceration. Both are convoluted and neither particularly convincing.
Who would like this book?
Readers who are die-hard Dr. Who fans and those who enjoy a light fast read would get the most out of it. The story has value with good dialog and pacing, but it’s not the best example of Dr. Who. The surprise ending when it comes is no surprise at all. The innate charm of the television show doesn’t translate well to fiction. Even if the new doctor is a grumpy know-it-all, a good actor can still work with personality quirks and turn them into an appealing characterization. The printed word is harder and, in this case, not as successful. Quirks easily become annoyances. This is not a book that would make the reader want to watch the TV show. The most interesting character is The Governor which is a darn shame. It’s a Dr. Who book. The most interesting character should be The Doctor. The least interesting character is Clara who is bland, colorless, and has no appeal whatsoever. Let’s hope the television version is better. If not, she needs to be booted off the TARDIS as soon as possible.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.