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Doctor Who: Shroud of Sorrow Book Review

Doctor Who- Shroud of Sorrow Book

Despite some questionable story choices in the final act, “Shroud of Sorrow” is a breezy “Doctor Who” adventure.

Set the day after the horrific JFK assassination, “Shroud of Sorrow” finds the grieving citizens of Earth being haunted by deceased family and friends. News reporter Mae Callon sees her deceased grandmother in a coffee stain, FBI agent Warren Skeet sees his dead partner in rain drops on a window pane, and even the Doctor himself sees Astrid from the “Voyage of the Damned” episode. Of course, all of these characters cross paths as the Doctor sets out to investigate this odd phenomenon. Before you can say “Geronimo,” the Doctor discovers that an alien species known as the Shroud are behind this fiendish plan. Their purpose? To guilt trip the living, invade their mind, and feed on their grief. Will the Doctor and his newfound friends be able stop the Shroud or are they powerless to stop this evil alien force?

In his first “Doctor Who” novel “Shroud of Sorrow,” author Tommy Donbavand (best known for his horror-comedy kid’s book series “Scream Street”) takes the 11th Doctor and his new companion (Clara Oswin Oswald) on a rather ambitious adventure. With the ability to create a story that isn’t a budget driven hour-long episode, Donbavand goes all out here by having the Doctor do everything from tow a ship to travel through a “wormhole.” Thankfully, he doesn’t just make the story an action spectacle and, in fact, creates a rather thought provoking tale about love, agony, kindness, friendship, and guilt. The story truly has its heart in the right place as it shows a positive side of the Doctor. It shows him as a hero and a savior.

While the story does have a lot of doom and gloom, the story is often light hearted. Whovians can plenty of 11th Doctor humor (see the Doctor as a Doctor portion) and plenty of classic Who moments that will delight longtime fans. It’s abundantly clear that the author is a fan as he manges to reference everything from the Brigadier to “Closing Time” throughout the course of the book.

Donbavand’s real strength here, however, comes with writing characters. Not only does he create new, fully developed characters with ease, but, more importantly, he perfectly captures the 11th Doctor and Clara’s voice (as well as their chemistry together). At the time of this review, we’ve only seen 2 full episodes with Clara Oswin Oswald and yet Donbavand manages to displays her sassy, sarcastic personality perfectly. Granted, I don’t know how much the author knows about Clara in future episodes, but it’s still impressive that he is able to write her so well. As for the Doctor, you can fully expect to see all manners of the Doctor here from his jokes, rambling, and his penchant for claiming that he is THE Doctor so very frequently.

As impressive as the characters and the attention grabbing story set-up are, the latter part of the novel does stumble a bit. As the Doctor’s journey deepens, the book gets rather repetitive, weird, and over-the-top in the tale’s resolution. I do have to wonder if Donbavand wrote himself into a corner with the story set-up as the conclusion feels very rushed to say the least. Still, the ending does offer up one of the best scenes. Without giving away too many spoilers, I will say that the Shroud does go into the Doctor’s mind and it’s a really powerful moment.

Summary: “Shroud of Sorrow” is a worthy addition to a Whovian’s home library. The paperback and kindle edition of the book are available on April 2, 2013.

March 27, 2013 - Posted by | Book review | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] It appears that review copies of my Doctor Who novel, Shroud of Sorrow, are now out in the US as the first review has appeared online.  You can read the review below or, in its original setting, here: https://dvdcorner.net/2013/03/27/doctor-who-shroud-of-sorrow-book-review/ […]

    Pingback by Tommy Donbavand >> Tommy Donbavand » Shroud of Sorrow – First Review | March 31, 2013 | Reply

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