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Doctor Who: The Drosten’s Curse Book Review

Doctor Who- The Drosten's Curse Book

To put it mildly, “Doctor Who: The Drosten’s Curse” is a jumbled mess.

Having previously penned the “Doctor Who” short story “The Death Pit,” author A.L. Kennedy has been given the opportunity to extend the short into a full-length novel titled “The Drosten’s Curse.” The novel (which is a Fourth Doctor tale) takes place near Arboath at a Golf Spa Hotel and involves a soul-eater (AKA Bah-Sokhar), Drosten stones, sandmasters, a telepathic clamp, psy fluid, a psychon field, memory intrusions, memory loss, a wealthy old woman (Mrs. Fetch) and her odd twin granddaughters, The Doctor and his two new companions (a human receptionist named Bryony and an alien named Ian/Putta) and, yes, the potential end of the world. How do all of these elements play together? I’m not even sure the author knows.

After reviewing thousands of movies, books, comic books, and other forms of media over the years, I’m not often surprised by the quality (or lack of quality) of a piece of art. With “Doctor Who: The Drosten’s Curse,” however, I was entirely puzzled as to why and how this story made it to publication.

As I made my way through the novel’s 361 pages, I found myself constantly scribbling down notes such as “rough,” “scatterbrained,” “maddening,” “make it stop,” and “what am I reading?” Perhaps it was the off-putting narrative style, the weird pacing, or the fact that it is not written like any DW episode or novel, but ‘The Drosten’s Curse’ truly felt like a chore to get through.

Now, as a longtime “Doctor Who” fan who has seen every episode and consumed many a book and audio drama, I’ve experienced a fair number of clunkers, but I’ve never been baffled by any story until now. Granted, Kennedy does manage to capture the quirky Fourth Doctor rather well, but that is all this light story has going for it. The rest of the novel is comprised of characters in a constant state of confusion, rambling details about Shepherd’s pie and Octopuses, and pages upon pages of repetitious character moments with the dullest companions in DW history- Putta and Bryony. By the time the all too abrupt ending comes around, you’ll just likely be glad it’s all over with.

Overall Thoughts: I cannot recommend “Doctor Who: The Drosten’s Curse” in any way shape or form. I would recommend checking out other recent “Doctor Who” books such as the entertaining 12th Doctor yarn “Silhouette” and the phenomenal War Doctor centric “Engines of War.”

July 13, 2015 - Posted by | Book review | ,

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