Spoiler-Free Review: The Clockwise Man (Doctor Who #1) by Justin Richards
Title - The Clockwise Man (Doctor Who: New Series Adventures #1)
Author - Justin Richards
Pages - 253 Pages
Synopsis - In 1920s London the Doctor and Rose find themselves caught up in the hunt for a mysterious murderer. But not everything is what it seems. Secrets lie behind locked doors and inhuman killers roam the streets.
Who is the Painted Lady and why is she so interested in the Doctor? How can a cat return from the dead? Can anyone be trusted to tell - or even to know - the truth?
With the faceless killers closings in, the Doctor and Rose must solve the mystery of the Clockwise Man before London itself is destroyed...
A few months ago I hauled a box set of 10 Doctor Who books, which I had found at my local charity shop. Ever since then, I've been meaning to read them, but just never picked them up. When I was setting up for my January TBR, (which I never posted as it randomly deleted :( ), I remembered about these books, and I decided that one of my 'bucket list' books/series to read this year was this one. I put the first book (The Clockwise Man) on my TBR for the month, but as you probably know I'm really bad at sticking to my monthly TBRs, but I am getting better. Due to that fact, I didn't really think I'd read it, but to my surprise I picked it up and was immediately hooked and here I am writing my review.
As I mentioned above this is a Doctor Who story/mystery thing. I've never really watched the TV show apart from seeing random glimpses when I was younger as my brother used to watch it. As I haven't properly watched the show, I was hesitant to start the books as I thought I would be really confused with the characters, plot etc.
This particular story is set in the 1920's in London. The book starts off with a prologue, in which we meet a middle-aged man named Peter Dickinson. He starts off telling a story about what his mother used to tell him about black cats.
Peter Dickinson learned the truth about black cats from his mother. 'If a black cat comes up to you,' she said to him, 'then that's lucky that is. But if it only comes part-way, then turns back...If it has burning green eyes...' she sucked in her breath and shook her head. "They say that your father saw a black cat that morning, on the way to his ship. I reckon it had green eyes. I reckon he should have come home that moment, like any sensible sailor. He's still be here now if he'd paid attention to that black cat."
Then it switches to what's going on in the TARDIS where Rose and the Doctor are preparing to enter 1920 London. They have a bit of a conversation and then it switches back in time to see the last part of Dickinson.
And to his amazement, as the chiming stopped, he was sure he could hear the ticking of Big Ben, marking off the remaining seconds of his life.
This then starts the story off and marks the moment where the Doctor and Rose are thrown into madness on their mission to solve a series of murders that's been happening recently.
Going into this book, I thought I was going to be confused by the characters as I hadn't read the previous books or watched the show (though I really want to!). I was completely wrong; I found the characters easy to understand and their personalities were easy for me to distinguish without any extra information.
I loved so many of the characters, but two of my favourites are Freddie and the Doctor.
I loved the Doctor because of his personality. I found him to have a good sense of humour, but at the same time he was smart and got distracted easily as he got sucked into his own world. You could tell he cared for Freddie and Rose, even if he didn't always show it.
Despite the fact that I did love the doctor, my upmost favourite has to be Freddie. The amount his character grew and strengthened throughout the book was unbelievable. He started off as a nervous, but smart and curious boy when he first met Rose. By the end, he was this strong, brave boy, who was willing to help others even if it risked his own life. I loved and appreciated the change of his character and I feel like Richards did an excellent job with adding this different side to Freddie's character. I feel like he did it in a way that I actually felt proud of Freddie for making that leap. I also felt connected to Freddie, but not just in a reader to character way, I felt as if I was his friend, helping him along the way. To go along with this, I was completely invested in the story to a point where I completely forgot about the real world. A book that can do that is really special.
Overall, these characters were well-created and thoughtfully planned out. Richards did a great job, by not just making the characters unique, but also by giving them their own person and making them even easier to love by the reader.
I thought going into this book, that I would be confused because I had no idea whether there would be references to past Doctor Who stories. Luckily, the book had no references to past books - it was it's own story.
I found there to be no dull moments in the book and there was always something happening. I was surprised by how quickly I became invested in the story and the characters. However, some of the outcomes/problems were pretty guessable, but other than that it was a fun and entertaining story.
I did absolutely love this book, plot and characters. Everything was brilliant and I can't wait to read more in the series, though some of the other books are written by different authors, which should be interesting.
After I finished reading the book, I went straight onto Goodreads to see what other people had thought of it. I was shocked to find quite a lot of mediocre/low ratings (though there were a lot of 4 star ratings as well). I read through some of the bad reviews and I found myself completely disagreeing with some of the comments they were making. Oh well, not everyone's going to love a book, but I wish more people would read this and hopefully love it as well. I feel like some people would be hesitant about picking these up because they're Doctor Who books and so many people love the show that they don't fell a need to read the books, but they really are awesome and I hope more of you guys decide to pick it up and read it.
I loved it so much that I'm going to give it a 5/5. I didn't even feel a need to think about the rating, as soon as I was finished reading I set it to a 5/5. I thought that maybe a couple of days later I might feel the need to lower the rate, but it's now like 2+ weeks since and I've got the complete opposite feeling - if I could higher the rate even more, than I wouldn't even have to think about it, of course I would higher it.
Anyway, I totally recommend this and I hope more of you guys give it a try as I would love to hear what you think of it.
BUY THE BOOK
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/678074.Doctor_Who?ac=1&from_search=1
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/Doctor-Who--The-Clockwise-Man/9781849905442
Hello and welcome to SprinkleOfBooks! I'm Beth and on this blog I share a mix of all my bookish thoughts through reviews, book tours and hauls. Have fun!