As a Whovian, I have a responsibility to read anything and everything about the Doctor I can get my hands onto, especially since I live in America, and we may have to wait for months to get our ‘fix’ of the doctor. The Doctor is almost always portrayed as the good guy, which I completely believe. However, it is nice to see the opposite side of things—James Goss shows us this side of the Doctor in Doctor Who: The Blood Cell.
Imagine the worst and most dangerous criminals known to mankind and beyond. They’re collected on an asteroid, moving through space. The most advanced systems are in place to keep the prisoners in and any visitors out. Including prisoner 428, known as the Doctor. 428 is making friends, and trouble, while in the prison, setting all of the rules on its head, all the while something sinister starts stealing prisoners—before the Prison Governor knows it, an entire floor is empty. The Governor may need to break the rules and use the help of 428 in order to save the entire prison.
James Goss has done a great job with this book, taken from the viewpoint of the Governor. At first, you want to hate this man—why did he imprison the Doctor? But then you start to realize that there is more going on and as the story goes on, more layers are peeled back. It’s a really refreshing look at a sort of prison caper/good vs unknown evil type of story and it fits well into the place of the Doctor Who universe.
The Governor is a character that is a hard one to pinpoint. There are events throughout the story that make you question motives, as well as the reality, and once you determine what is really going on, you realize Goss did a great job laying everything out. Of course, the Doctor heavily plays within this book, too, and it is really nice to see him shine in the ‘dark horse’ way he does. The way the two end up working together is really nice, as well.
Overall, the supporting cast was just as good as I wanted to meet and talk to Lafcardio, and see the library he presided over. The mercenary Abesse was really cool once you learned more about her. I wanted to slap Bently, multiple times, throughout the novel. Clara was, as usual, a pretty awesome addition and she did something that was pretty amazing that changed the attitude of the novel about 75% of the way through.
I think this book would be great for Whovians, or people whom have never seen the show—because it is a great entry point. You do not need to know whom the Doctor is in this novel, and the Governor learns things throughout that point to established ‘facts’ about the Doctor, but it is not necessary to have read them.
I was provided a copy of this book from the Publisher, Broadway Books (a division of Random House), in exchange for my honest review. I thoroughly recommend this book. It is currently out now, in paperback, and ranges about $9.99—check it out at your favorite retailer or ebook retailer today!
Also, if you want to find out more about author, James Goss, please visit his Author Page at Random House.