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Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror Book Review

Doctor Who- The Crawling Terror Book

“The Crawling Terror” is an uninspired “Doctor Who” novel.

After picking up a disturbance, the Doctor and Clara arrive in Ringstone Village in the town of Wiltshire. Almost immediately, the two realize that something is quite amiss as they encounter a dead body in a giant spider web, oversized engineered insects, a suspicious stone circle, a mysterious science park, an alien species (won’t say who), insects enslaving humans, and a WWII era device/experiment called The Bell. Can the Doctor, Clara, a young student (Kevin), a vet (Angela), a Constable (Bevan), and military forces (led by Captain Wilson) figure out what is happening and stop the life threatening mission that has already been set in motion?

Despite being an atmospheric story that manages to hold your interest from beginning to end, “The Crawling Terror” is a rather cold and often humorless story that feels like it is on auto-pilot for the duration of the read. While there are moments of intrigue (like the WWII time travel subplot), there are long stretches where very little happens. More often than not, the characters merely stand around barking orders about how they’ve got to stop the bugs or prevent something catastrophic from happening. On top of that, the story itself feels like a collection of elements lifted from classic sci-fi films like “The Mist” or a giant bug B-Movie from the 50’s.

Perhaps the novel’s biggest issue is the depiction of Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor. Author Mike Tucker (who has written DW novels and audio dramas in the past) is certainly a skilled writer, but he seems to struggle to capture the voice of the 12th Doctor. Rather than tackling the eccentric and arrogant personality traits that we see in episodes like “Robot of Sherwood,” Tucker opts to try and mimic the more serious and angry side of the Doctor that we saw in episodes such as “Into The Dalek” and “Listen.” The results, however, are a bit mixed as there are many instances where the Doctor’s larger than life presence is strangely not felt here. In the other 12th Doctor books (“The Blood Cell” and “Silhouette”), there was never any doubt that the reader was embarking on a 12th Doctor adventure. With “The Crawling Terror,” it never felt like this was a story strictly designed for the 12th Doctor.

 

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September 21, 2014 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , ,

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