I hate spiders, especially since seeing Arachnophobia as a kid. However, I love Doctor Who. So, when I was given the opportunity to review Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror by Mike Tucker, there was some initial hesitation.
The village of Ringstone is quiet and quaint, but when large insects suddenly descend and threaten the residents, only the Doctor and his companion, Clara, can help with the giant Daddy Longlegs that have appeared without warning. The Doctor immediately realizes some genetic engineering is at work, but when the Doctor and Clara are separated, the two have to try and solve the mystery of whom is behind these attacks without the aid of their travelling partner.
Mike Tucker creates a compelling and filmic story that fits well within the Doctor Who universe. Tucker’s storytelling and pacing lend well to fans of the show, and even those new to the fandom to enjoy this book. It’s a great, spooky mystery with a science fiction thriller twist.
While I have yet to catch up on the current incarnation of the Doctor and his companion, I really liked Clara in this story. Apart from the others in the series, this book presented her in a likeable way and she seemed smart and independent and less of a Mary Sue than I expected. I also enjoyed the way the Doctor was written. His own investigation was accompanied by a villager that added a little extra to the way readers unfamiliar with the concepts in this series to better understand the story and the fandom.
The villagers at large were my least favorite aspect of the story. I think they were explained and treated as an afterthought, almost disposable in nature. And the reactions they had to the large insects were confusing at first (also, what was different for the people that were NOT zombies?).
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from the publisher (Broadway Books, a division of Random House). It is available in physical and ebook format from your favorite retailer.