The Drosten's Curse

Doctor Who: The Drosten's Curse - A. L. Kennedy

[I received a copy of this book through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.]

I was supposed to read this one for a RL book club, and it wasn't available at any of the local libraries, but then I saw it on Edelweiss, and got approved. So here we go.

Unfortunately for this poor book, I didn't like it: while it did deal with interesting and challenging themes, the plot was much too muddled, regularly losing itself in ramblings that didn't really contribute to developing the characters, and made it rather difficult to keep on reading. In terms of style, this definitely reminded me of most of the (few) fanfiction stories I read, in that it felt "unedited", with everything left in there because the author didn't know what to cut out of the narrative, or didn't want to do it. I think that was mostly the problem. Clipping here and there would've done this novel a lot of good, by allowing it to focus on what really mattered.

I won't comment on whether it's faithful to the character of the Fourth Doctor as played by Tom Baker: I don't know the "old" series except through a couple of the very first episodes, and I wouldn't be able to judge on anything else here than the physical appearance of the Doctor (which seemed to be conform to the photos I've seen). I wasn't convinced by the parts told from his point of view, but that's because, to me, we're not supposed to know exactly what he thinks—he seemed to close to a human character, when he should feel a little more "alien" in some ways, at least.

The other characters weren't particularly well-developed, which is all the more troubling considering the length of the novel. Putta had a fun underdog strike going for him, but I felt his personality was more brushed-over than exploited like it could've been, with the more serious sides it started to show. Bryony... to be honest, I didn't really care: so the Doctor finds her brilliant and plucky and all, but she seemed more a plot device, a token character, especially with the little we know about her (being a History major and so on—barely relevant since it wasn't used except for one scene when she imagines she's that renowned professor going to conferences). Strangely enough, the twins were more tangible, being always here in the background, always watching.

As for the story itself, as said: good themes, with a definite creepy factor, yet unfortunately poorly executed. 1 star.