When I discovered this audiobook I was immediately excited by its premise. All the elements of a classic mystery novel are there – ominous disappearances, rumours of a curse, a stunning setting – and with the added delight of the Doctor and Amy being the protagonists, I was certain I would love it. The plot look set to be perfectly predictable, but surprises at every turn kept me guessing and enthralled.
I’d read several Doctor Who novels by James Goss before, but this was definitely the best I’ve come across. It was extremely visual, though it wasn’t exactly episode material – which made it the perfect companion audiobook. The description was excellently vivid from the get-go, with a balanced mixture of action, characterization and even a few well-placed moments of gore.
Matt Smith and Clare Corbett were a great match when it came to being alternate narrators. Having two sets of voices for each character took a while to get used to, but otherwise the acting was superb. They created a brilliant sense of atmosphere and occasionally some very necessary humour. As Karen Gillan is no longer starring in Doctor Who (much as we wanted her to stay) it was a great reminder of her character, though I would have liked to hear her voice.
My favourite part of the story, however, was the setting. The radiantly vibrant culture and history of Ancient Turkey gave the whole tale real gravitas and weight, not least an added layer of adventure and intrigue. I loved the historic aspects; it was thrilling and totally absorbing, never seeming to grow dull.
Voice Acting: 4/5
In short: this incredibly visual and fascinating Doctor Who audiobook ventures into both modern and ancient history with a great sense of fun as well as drama. There were of course ways it could have been improved, but overall it was a very satisfying, exciting and atmospheric standalone escapade with wonderful narration that l really enjoyed.
BONUS: I couldn't leave you without a bit more insight into this hilarious story, so here are a few of my favourite quotes...
“I’m saying your brains got the builders in, and whoever it is – total cowboy. It’s not subtle, just sledgehammering away!”
“Psychic fields and food go hand-in-hand, like shampoo and conditioner.”
Amy: (wondering how bad the danger they're about to be in can really be) “Leave-now-trouble or stay-and-fight-trouble?"
And last but not least:
Amy: “I’m not sure what the exchange rate is, but I think I’ve just given her enough money to buy a small island…”
The Doctor: “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping?”
Happy Year-Of-Doctor-Who's-Fiftieth-Anniversary, everybody!