Justin Richards - Doctor Who: Martha in the Mirror
One of the things I like most about these books is how quick they are to read. Started this one yesterday evening and then read the last 70 pages this morning.
Richards wrote the first of these new type Doctor books - The Clockwise Man - which is probably my favourite of all the ones I've read thus far. This one is similar in a few ways - an unusual character around which the story coalesces, the placing of a little kid within the dynamics of the narrative and some others but it was, under these surface similarities a fun read.
The Doctor and Martha arrive in a castle in preparation for hosting a peace treaty between two warring races - a people race and a crocodile race - unfortunately the crocodile fellas have hidden an army within a dimensional portal inside a mirror left in the castle. Even more unfortunately the mirror is more than they realise.
There's also a sub-story regarding a little girl named Janna which was fun but a bit obvious.
I really did enjoy this one though. It was a decent romp with some good characters and a nicely twisted sort of vibe.
Chris Roberson – Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love
A Fables spin-off mini-series featuring the communities top (secret) spy, Cinderella.
As a character she came into her own in the main book during the war with the adversary.
This time out she’s been sent on a mission to stop a sudden influx of magical artefacts that have been appearing in the mundy world. Her journey takes her first to Dubai where she teams up with Aladdin before heading off to an oil rig and uncovering the ringleaders. A final trip to Ultima Thule takes Cindy to the source of the magic and she finds herself face to familiar face with a figure from her past.
There’s a subplot too involving her shoe shop but that was a bit meh.
I really enjoyed this. It had charm and a Fables type silliness. It wasn’t as balls out wonderful as the main book can be – I’m thinking of the Flycatcher story here - but it had as much going for it as the novel did.
Andy Roberts - Albion Dreaming: A Popular History of LSD in Britain
The Jay Stevens book, Storming Heaven, is one of my favourite reads but it is very US centric so when I spotted a copy of this in the window of a Glastonbury bookshop I felt an immediate need to read.
It was a little disappointing. The writing is OK and the information interesting but there are blatant gaps in the narrative - not his fault as the records are blocked - which are frustrating and jarring and drag things down somewhat and after a while you start to wonder (possibly unfairly) if maybe he could have been a bit more rigorous in his research. More frustratingly though is that Roberts is blatantly evangelical regarding LSD. I prefer my authors to maintain a short of scholarly distance and simply relate the facts. I can make up my own mind and don't particularly enjoy being preached at.
That said though I still found much of interest here and it's definitely worth a read if it's your sort of subject matter.
James Robinson - Starman vol 1: Sins of the Father
I was given this as a Xmas present by a friend. I'd read it a few years ago when another friend had leant me the set. I remembered quite enjoying it at the time. I think though it must have got better as it went along because this first volume was pretty feeble.
It really felt like a first volume. Too much clearing out of old mythos and too much clumsy world building. Also, and rather annoyingly, he still keeps too much of the backstory like retaining a couple of the clunky old characters such as The Shade, who appears all spooky-like, says something enigmatic before fading back into the shadows.
The main character is personable enough but I'm not feeling much desire to pick up the others after reading this one as I really didn't connect with him or the horribly cliched O'Dare family of cops.
It was an interesting place to go back to revisit - if only to see how much my tastes had changed - but probably not again.