Five more adventures (yes, five!) for the Eleventh Doctor
This year's Doctor Who Quick Reads title, designed to hook reluctant readers on the pleasures of literature, is The Magic Of The Angels . The Doctor, Amy and Rory visit a magic show, only to discover that conjurer Sammy Star is using a Weeping Angel to make people disappear for real. Despite a dash of heavy-handed reality show satire, and an ending that relies on Amy being a complete numpty, this is a pleasingly emotional tale that puts an inventive new spin on the spooky statues.
Monstrous Missions and Step Back In Time are aimed at younger readers than the regular Who range. Each book contains two novellas by different authors. Missions opens with Terrible Lizards , which finds the Doctor and pals looking for the Fountain Of Youth, but finding dinosaurs instead. It's action-packed, but bland; a perfect example of generic Doctor Who writing. Horror Of The Space Snakes is better. At its heart is a traditional base-under-siege tale, but it has a slightly unusual structure, and a couple of small but effective twists work in its favour. The only downside is the Doctor himself - he spends the whole book telling everyone how brilliant they are and being really quite patronising!
Step Back In Time is stronger. Extra Time kicks things off with a football-themed adventure set at the 1966 World Cup final. Doctor Who and sport may normally go together like cheddar and bees, but this is a fun and funny story that sees Rory taking part in the match (y’know, the famous England vs Germany one that everyone always bangs on about), while the Doctor and Amy tackle alien parasites. The Water Thief , meanwhile, takes the team to an archaeological dig in Egypt, where they encounter deadly alien plants. The murder mystery subplot is a bit dull, but on the whole it's readable enough fluff.
Just one thing: Who writers, for the love of Bod, stop using “timey-wimey”, “spacey-wacey” and other variations thereof in your books. It's getting really bloody annoyingy-woyingy!