Book Review: Doctor Who: The Blood Cell by James Goss (✮✮✮✮)

Doctor Who: The Blood Cell by James Goss

Doctor Who: The Blood Cell by James Goss

Title: The Blood Cell

Author: James Goss

Genre: Fantasy, science-fiction, crime, adventure, children’s/YA fiction

Publisher: BBC Books (Random House UK)

Pages: 256 pages

Publication Date: 11th September 2014 

My Rating: 4/5

Hi there friends,

I’ve just read the final of the new three Doctor Who novelisations. They’ve been brilliant reads and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of these. Here’s my review of The Blood Cell…

I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by the book’s publishers via NetGalley.

The Governor is in charge of The Prison, you are his friend and you must call him Sir. It is not just any old prison, it’s The Prison, and it’s on an asteroid. There are no means of escape. Yet somehow Prisoner 428 keeps escaping from his cell. This may well be because prisoner 428 is the Doctor, and the Doctor has a spoon.

This was another gripping Doctor Who book featuring Peter Capaldi’s twelfth incarnation of the Doctor. It was completely different to the other two books I have read, mainly as it doesn’t focus on the Doctor and Clara. It’s told from the perspective of the Governor of The Prison. Not many Doctor Who books are written like this and it provided an unusual slant on the story that worked rather well. Having this unique perspective allows the reader to see the Doctor through the eyes of an outsider, thrown into a very strange situation with the Doctor. Though a definitely unreliable narrator, his perspective made the book really enjoyable as I tried to work out what had happened to him before he obtained is position.

I was hooked on this book after reading the blurb – “Release the Doctor — or the killing will start.” I mean, what’s not to love there? It was filled with promise and I can happily say that the book didn’t disappoint. I could visualise it being a television episode which is always a brilliant start to a book. Clara’s role in the book is somewhat small but she certainly added to the story and had me laughing out loud at various points. For the most part, I really enjoyed Goss’ characterisation for the vast majority of character, well except for one…

One of the book’s biggest flaws for me is the Doctor himself. Any die hard fan of Doctor Who, or even a casual viewer knows what the Doctor’s views on guns are. So when he says “‘Later,’ snapped 428. ‘Just shoot it.'” I found it incredibly hard to have any belief that the Doctor would say that, despite the fact he “hoped” it would not affect what he’s asked someone to shoot at. I just can’t fathom it. I’m well aware that the Doctor’s attitudes towards the military alters significantly with each regeneration but after that he says: “‘I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t stand people with guns any more…'” So it’s one of the biggest contradictions I’ve read in a Doctor Who book to date. From what I’ve seen of Capaldi as the Doctor so far, this attitude just did not fit with his Doctor, he wouldn’t have asked anyone to shoot anything in the first place. Completely contradictory at times!

This Doctor Who novelisation is worth a read and could potentially be a brilliant episode of Doctor Who. Some brilliant descriptions and a fun Doctor Who adventure!

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, please do so from your local bookshop! If you are unable to do so, here are some places online where the book is available: Amazon UK, Waterstones and Barnes and Noble. Let me know in the comments what your thoughts on the book are and please hit the like button if you’ve enjoyed my review – it means a lot!

Happy reading,
Anna x

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