I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Series: Doctor Who: New Series Adventures #53
Also in this series: Doctor Who: The Blood Cell, Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror
Published by Broadway Books on September 9th 2014
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Source: Blogging for Books
"Vastra and Strax and Jenny? Oh no, we don't need to bother them. Trust me."Amazon •
Marlowe Hapworth is found dead in his locked study, killed by an unknown assailant. This is a case for the Great Detective, Madame Vastra.
Rick Bellamy, bare-knuckle boxer, has the life drawn out of him by a figure dressed as an undertaker. This angers Strax the Sontaran.
The Carnival of Curiosities, a collection of bizarre and fascinating sideshows and performers. This is where Jenny Flint looks for answers.
How are these things connected? And what does Orestes Milton, rich industrialist, have to do with it all? This is where the Doctor and Clara come in. The Doctor and his friends find themselves thrust into a world where nothing and no one are what they seem. Can they unravel the truth before the most dangerous weapon ever developed is unleashed on London?
Mature-Content Rating: Violence
“Death is death,” Strax said. “You overcomplicate things.”
“Overcomplicate?” Clare said, irritated by his casual attitude. “This man was killed. Murdered.”
“And it is too late to come to his aid now,” Strax pointed out. “Better to determine his murderer’s strategy and lay out our own plans.” His tongue licked out briefly over his thin lips. “Shall I fetch the fragmentation grenades?”
When I first started to read this book, knowing I was going to review it after, I didn’t know how I was going to do so unbiased. It’s Doctor Who. One of Justin Richards’ (fan-girl, Mr.Richards!) Doctor Who books. Thankfully I didn’t have to worry, because the story was amazing and held its own in the literary world.
In Doctor Who: Silhouette, the twelfth Doctor and Clara are lead back to Victorian London (after the Doctor said no to visiting King Author) due to an energy spike. Where else could they end up but at a Carnival! I was already hooked on the story by that point because I’m a sucker for freaky Carnival/Circus stories. The Seventh Doctor’s The Psychic Circus is still among my favorites.
The story has that typically odd flavor of Doctor Who. Sometimes you’re led in the right direction but for the wrong reasons, and sometimes you have the right reasonings but you’re going in the opposite direction. The book gives hits to the mystery like puzzle pieces, some of the pieces belonging to completely different puzzles to piece together. Of course at then end there’s always that ‘Ah ha!’ moment when everything finally fits together.
We don’t know much about the twelfth Doctor (at this time only four episodes have aired), but we do know that he’s not much of a people person and Richards has carried out that aspect of his personality perfectly. The Doctor runs around London, mostly on his own with his plans a secret, leaving Clara and the others to just trust that he knows what he’s doing. There’s even one part in the story when he seems annoyed with his own incarnations, (Spoilers!) which only irritated this Doctor. It was amusing to find that he couldn’t even stand to be around himself.
Jenny and Vastra always have the limelight in the TV shows featuring the Paternoster Gang, but in this book Richards lets Strax step up and shine. He has the chance to do his own detective work and even works at the carnival for a short time.
Clara is Clara. She annoys me in the show and she annoys me in the book, so taking that in consideration I’m guessing it’s fair to say she’s pretty much in character.
The antagonists are unique and creative, and you can’t always be sure who they are. The main antagonist is one you will love to hate. He/She is manipulative, clever, and resourceful with plenty of weapons at hand. Even the execution order by the Shadow Proclamation looming over his/her head doesn’t seem to phase him/her.
Easter eggs! There’s a few of them, and I won’t spoil everything and let you figure it out yourself, but one that amused me the most was one character named Jimmy Stone. Just had to throw that one in, didn’t you?
Overall, Doctor Who: Silhouette is a must read for any fan of the novelizations and highly recommended for anyone who likes to read carnival/circus mysteries with science fiction thrown in for fun.