About the book:
Landing on a barren asteroid, the Doctor and his friends discover the final pages of a drama that has torn apart an empire are being played out.
Who is the man in the mask, and how are his chess games affecting life and death in his prison? What is the secret of the knights in armor that line the bleak walls of the settlement. And what is the nature of the alien ship approaching -- and what will it want when it arrives?
Soon the TARDIS crew find themselves under siege with a deadly robotic race and human traitors to defeat -- and the future of an entire stellar empire hangs in the balance: if the Doctor cannot triumph it will become a force not for good, but for evil.
Warning. As a lifelong Doctor Who fan, I have to tell you that this review is somewhat biased. I have nothing against the "new fans" who came in after 2005, but as someone who can honestly say that I remember watching episodes of Doctor Who in the mid-70s, hiding terrified behind my grandmother's chair, I have to confess that I have a soft spot for what is now referred to as "classic" Doctor Who.
Yes it is classic. Even more so, because it did not have the benefits of great special effects and worldwide media exposure. It relied on great stories, great characters, and amazing actors who brought the Doctor and his companions to life with their own personal flair and flavor.
As the second incarnation of the Doctor, Patrick Troughton is one of the hardest doctors to find. Many episodes of his stories are incomplete, or completely missing. Yet those few classic episodes of his that remain allow us a wonderful glimpse of the "cosmic hobo" that was the hallmark of the second Doctor. Always seeming half a step behind, and yet with the calm assurance that he really was the smartest person in the room, by a long, long way.
For me, reading Dreams of Empires was a wonderfully nostalgic trip back into childhood. The hallmark of a great author is in the way that he frames the characters; in their mannerisms, their dialogue, and capturing those indecipherable aspects that make someone who they are.
As I turned the pages, I could honestly hear all of the voices of the characters in my head. I could see the second Doctor standing there with a sandwich, his bow tie and his coat. I could see Jamie in his kilt with all of his Scottish pride. Suddenly I was a young child again, full of wonder and magic.
What makes this book even more special to me is that this is a classic Doctor Who story with its plot twists, strong characters and with the Doctor's amazing way of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat time and time again. This is one of those scripts that takes to make it to the screen, and who knows. Maybe in a few years our computer-generated animation will have reached a point where they can re-create the characters, re-create the landscapes and bring to life a whole new story that can take its place in the library of great Doctor Who stories.
I love this book. It is well written, thoughtfully crafted and took me back to a time of wonder, joy and imagination. I am grateful to have had the chance to read it, and I highly recommend it.
Thanks to Lisa at TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to review this book. Because it's the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, the BBC is reissuing eleven classic Doctor Who novels. One for each Doctor. You can learn more about Justin Richards here. You can see other reviews and tour stops here. You can purchase your own copy here.
* * * * *
Monday, May 13th A Bookish Way of Life – Beautiful Chaos, Book 10
Wednesday, May 15th - A Library of My Own – Festival of Death, Book 4
Monday, May 20th – Tiffany’s Bookshelf – Dreams of Empire, Book 2
Monday, May 20th – Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot - Who-ology: Doctor Who: The Official Miscellany
Tuesday, May 21st – No More Grumpy Bookseller – Only Human, Book 9
Wednesday, May 22nd – The Best Books Ever – Earthworld, Book 8
Wednesday, May 22nd - Col Reads – Ten Little Aliens, Book 1
Thursday, May 23rd – Reading Reality – Festival of Death, Book 4
Friday, May 24th – The Z Axis – Fear of the Dark, Book 5
Friday, May 24th – 2 Kids and Tired – Dreams of Empire, Book 2
Monday, May 27th - More Than Just Magic – Players, Book 6
Tuesday, May 28th – The Best Books Ever – The Silent Stars Go By, Book 11
Tuesday, May 28th – Bookish Ruth – Remembrance of the Daleks, Book 7
Wed, May 29th – A Library of My Own – Only Human, Book 9
Thursday, May 30th – Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot – Last of the Gaderene, Book 3
Friday, May 31st – Bookish Whimsy – Beautiful Chaos, Book 10
Friday, May 31st - 2 Kids and Tired – Last of the Gaderene, Book 3
Monday, June 3rd – Book Addict Katie – Beautiful Chaos, Book 10
Monday, June 3rd – No More Grumpy Bookseller – The Silent Stars Go By, Book 11
Tuesday, June 4th - Bookfoolery – Ten Little Aliens, Book 1
Tuesday, June 4th – In Bed with Books – Only Human, Book 9
Wednesday, June 5th - Tiffany’s Bookshelf – Last of the Gaderene, Book 3
Thursday, June 6th – Booktalk & More – Earthworld, Book 8
Friday, June 7th – Speaking of Books – Players, Book 6
Monday, June 10th - The Z Axis – The Silent Stars Go By, Book 11
Tuesday, June 11th- No More Grumpy Bookseller – Remembrance of the Daleks, Book 7
Wednesday, June 12th – A Bookish Way of Life – Last of the Gaderene, Book 3
Thursday, June 13th - Speaking of Books – Fear of the Dark, Book 5
Friday, June 14th – Bookish Whimsy – Festival of Death, Book 4
Monday, June 17th – 50 Books Project – Beautiful Chaos, Book 10
Monday, June 17th – Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot – The Silent Stars Go By, Book 11
Tuesday, June 18th – Bookfoolery – Festival of Death, Book 4
Wednesday, June 19th – Tiffany’s Bookshelf – Fear of the Dark, Book 5
Thursday, June 20th – In Bed With Books – Remembrance of the Daleks, Book 7
Friday, June 21st – Speaking of Books – Only Human, Book 9
Monday, June 24th – Bookish Whimsy – Players, Book 6
Tuesday, June 25th – Book Addict Katie – Festival of Death, Book 4
Wednesday, June 26th – No More Grumpy Bookseller – Earthworld, Book 8
Thursday, June 27th – Reading Reality – Ten Little Aliens, Book 1
Friday, June 28th: Guiltless Reading – Beautiful Chaos, Book 10
Monday, July 1st – 50 Books Project – Dreams of Empire, Book 2
Date TBD– Diary of a Stay at Home Mom – The Silent Stars Go By, Book 11
I am having vision issues which is terrifying to someone whose work and interests lie in reading and writing. Because of this, I am falling behind in some of my reviewing commitments and ask for your support and patience.