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Three new (and short) Doctor Who books

Snake Bite, by Scott Handcock

The Doctor threw him a look. "How do you know that?"
"I read a lot of comics when I was a kid," explained Rory sheepishly. "A lot of comics."
The Doctor smiled.
This is the very last Rory/Amy audiobook (unless we return to them in future flashbacks), featuring the old (ie 2010-12) version of the theme tune, with the three turning up on a giant space station called Jörmungandr after the Midgard Serpent; lots of snakey creatures and references, with wormholes and cobra-like aliens. It is surprisingly slow paced for a New Who story (which I don't mind; frenetic doesn't always work for me), and Francis Barber reading it stumbles occasionally over the names (though does a fine rendition of the characters), but it is competent stuff.

The Silurian Gift, by Mike Tucker

"The Myrkas will provide the means to bring the humans to their knees! We can wipe out the rest of these primitives with ease!"
"No! I will not allow it!"
The latest of the BBC's Quick Reads series, we have Eleven travelling on his own, and being called in to investigate mysterious happenings on an Antarctic base. The plot is thoroughly rooted in (which is to say largely copied from) the Old Who stories, particularly Warriors of the Deep, and Tucker seems to be consciously following Malcolm Hulke's style in his novelisations, but these are not intrinsically bad things and in fact it is done rather well, if fairly obviously aimed at a younger reading audience. Who would have thought that the Myrka could actually be resurrected without embarrassment?

Though I was deeply annoyed by one grammatical point - "its" was frequently though inconsistently spelt as "it's". I know that this usage is found in the Declaration of Independence, but its time is past; it's not what we do now.

The Nameless City, by Michael Scott

The older man stuck out a leather-gloved hand. ‘Thank you, thank you very much.’ He smiled through a neat, grey-flecked goatee beard, his eyes dark and curious beneath heavy brows. ‘I’m Professor Thascalos."
That was the moment on page 5 when I punched the air and thought, I'm going to enjoy this one. And indeed I did; it's the second in the series of eleven one-off Puffin ebooks by well-known authors to be released on the 23rd of each month this year (I downloaded and drank it in the day it was published), far far better than the first in this series, with Michael Scott pulling in references to Old Who, particularly the Second and Third Doctor eras (with a nod to The Doctor's Wife), and also especially to H.P. Lovecraft. I am a sucker for Lovecraft/Who pastiches in general and I loved this one too, the Second Doctor and Jamie being transported in the crippled Tardis to the Nameless City by the operations of the Necronomicon, and having to deal with eldritch horrors by whatever means they can. It is very short (40 pages) but great stuff and gives me hope for the rest of this series. (Interesting to note that the first two authors to write for this series are both Irish.)

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