Review – Doctor Who: Into the Nowhere

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Title: Doctor Who: Into the Nowhere

Author: Jenny T. Colgan

Publisher: BBC Digital

Published: Jan 2014

Genre: Action/Adventure Short Story

Source: Netgalley*

My Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

When the Doctor and Clara land on a planet neither the Doctor nor the Tardis recognize, it doesn’t take long for the Doctor to want to start exploring. But the more of the planet they see, the further into danger they seem to be. As they try to navigate traps that seem to be alive, they start finding messages, and Clara’s fear grows. Can the Doctor help her through her fears, and does he know more than he is letting on?

 

I would classify myself as a fan of Doctor Who, but I have never read any Doctor Who books before.  I didn’t really know what to expect when I started reading Into the Nowhere but finished knowing I will definitely be seeking out more Doctor Who books to read.

As it is a narrative, there is more explanation of thoughts and feelings than in a television episode, yet the action keeps the story fast-paced and exciting.  It didn’t feel all that different from watching an episode, which gave me my Doctor Who adrenaline fix that honestly I wasn’t expecting a book to be able to offer.  My main issue was that, while obviously a reading speed is slower than watching, this particular book felt a little short; it was as if the author had rushed through it and missed a lot of potential in the process. As I said, this was the first Doctor Who book I’ve read, but I’m hoping that they don’t all leave me with this feeling of being cheated of a full story.

Most of the book seemed to be in Clara’s point of view, and it gave me a completely different view of the character. In Into the Nowhere, Clara’s fear is stated many times, and a large part of me felt this wasn’t the Clara I knew.  I also wish that the author had focused on creating the feeling of fear, rather than telling the reader about it, as being told pulled me out of the world, meaning I wasn’t completely invested in it.

Overall, the book excited me to the possibilities of Doctor Who stories.  The fact that, even though it is a different media, it can still create a world of intrigue and raised emotions is something I always look with Doctor Who, and for the most part the book delivered on this. However, I do hope this isn’t the best of what is available, as it seemed to be slightly off in the deliverance, meaning that I, as a reader, had to work harder to stay in the world, when that is something that I feel reader’s should feel without noticing until they finish a book.

This book wasn’t all bad, as I stated earlier, a pleasant surprise was that it gave me the Doctor Who fix I wasn’t expecting.  Of course it may be my unfamiliarity with Doctor Who books that makes me unsure of this story in particular, but I will definitely be reading more, and hope they are all able to include the excitement and intrigue that Into the Nowhere did.

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Teaser Tuesday (21 Jan)

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Teaser Tuesdays

• Grab your current read is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

Harriet took a long swallow of her lager and watched a pair of swans gliding past on the other side of the canal.  When they disappeared behind the fronds of the willow branches dipping into the still, languid water, she looked up and noticed the sun was slipping lower in the sky, turning it hazy.

~p.p. 123 Love and Devotion by Erica James

Teaser Tuesday (14 Jan)

ImageTeaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

Janus, after whom the month of January is named, is the Roman god of doorways and new beginnings. He is usually represented with two heads, one looking back to the past, the other looking forward to the future.

~p.p. 28 ‘A Christmas Celebration’ by Celia McInnes

It may seem a bit weird that I am reading a Christmas book in January, but I started it in December and am only now getting round to finishing it. Besides, these two sentences are more about January than Christmas anyway!  The whole book is packed full of interesting facts as well as examples and tutorials, so if you’re as much of a Christmas fan as I am then you might want to check it out.

Bout of Books 9.0 Update – Days 6 & 7

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So on Saturday (Day 6) of the read-a-thon I finished the book I started on Monday ‘A Tale for the Time Being’ by Ruth Ozeki. I then started on a book that, according to Goodreads, I have been ‘currently reading’ since last January. In actual fact this means I started it, but because it is not a novel, I started reading something else instead, and ‘Sex Diaries’ ed. by Maxim Jakubowski has been sitting on my shelf unloved for the past year, alongside ‘Great British Short Stories’ which apparently I am also ‘currently reading’.

I haven’t quite finished the Sex Diaries book (if you’re interested, it’s basically excerpts from ‘sex’ blogs about 10 years ago when Belle De Jour first became popular), but am almost at the end so definitely think I will be finished by tonight.

So overall this week I read 418 pages (book 1) + 156 pages (book 2) = 574 pages. I used to read much faster than this, but I’m glad to have given reading a decent head start this year, not to mention it has been fun reading and commenting on other participants’ blogs. I’m fairly certain I’ll be joining in another read-a-thon this year.

Review – The Obvious Game by Rita Arens

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Title: The Obvious Game

Author: Rita Arens

Publisher: Inkspell Pulishing

Published: January 2013

Genre: Contemporary YA

Source: From author*

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

When Diana accidentally starts teaching the new kid, Jesse, how to play the obvious game, she doesn’t realise that their relationship will strengthen until the secrets that she is so determined to keep hidden prevent her from realising she is not the only one hiding.

Rita Arens is not afraid to confront big topics and issues that are prevalent in today’s society.  At the beginning of The Obvious Game we learn that Diana’s mother is recovering from breast cancer. It is easy to not notice all the other issues in Diana’s life because of this, but the beauty of this novel is that it encaptures how a situation is never fully created from one issue.

While this book has a lot of hard-hitting topics, including eating disorders, I didn’t find the style preachy or in any way openly commenting on them. Instead, the novel is simply a snap-shot of what life can be like for those struggling with similar issues.  I personally loved this as it allowed me to fall into the world of Diana and, as it is told through her point of view, understand her decisions while feeling incapable of changing them, as the others in the book are.

I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants a slice of reality while retaining the light side of the struggles.  I think anyone trying to understand eating disorders especially should pick this book up.

The only thing I didn’t love was the ending, as it felt a little too neat and tidy for a book based in reality as this one is. However, I am certainly looking forward to reading more by Arens.

*I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Bout of Books 9.0 Day 4 Update

Image I’ll be honest, I haven’t got nearly as much reading done as I would like. I started well on Monday, beginning the book A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, which I received as a Christmas present.  I got in quite a few hours of reading which is definitely an improvement on how much I’ve not been reading lately.

Unfortunately on Tuesday and Wednesday I didn’t manage to read even one page. The reason for this is that I came home from my parents yesterday (Wednesday), so I was spending all my time with my family or packing or travelling or recovering from travelling. But I knew this would be an obstacle before I started, so I can’t say I’m surprised.

Today, I’ve once again done a lot of reading. I’ve done at least 2 hours, and expect to do another hour before bed (as soon as I’ve posted this).  I’m not reading as much as some of the other participants, but I’m trying not to compare myself to others.  The reason I wanted to do this read-a-thon is so I would get back into reading more, and so far it seems to be working.  

I had hoped to read 2 books this week, but at the rate I’m going I’ll be surprised if I achieved this goal – that won’t stop me aiming for it though!

Happy reading.

Teaser Tuesdays (Jan 7)

This year I’m hoping to do a few more memes to make this blog a little more active. If there are any you think I would enjoy, please let me know.

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read

• Open to a random page

• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

They each had a small rolling suitcase, which the younger one was trying to drag into the genkan, but all the floor space was taken up with our shoes and slippers, so she had to roll the bags on top. ~pp 136 A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

2014 Challenges

Last year I didn’t read nearly as much as I wanted to, but rather than feeling defeated I am taking the New Year as a chance to try again. So I’m jumping in to 2014 by joining in my first ever Read-a-Thon.

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The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

 

 

I have also decided to try completing my very first annual reading challenge – to read a book by an author of each letter of the alphabet.  I’m doing this as part of the group Penpal Readers on Goodreads.

I’m hoping this year I will be able to get this blog properly off the ground with more regular posting – please let me know if there’s anything you would like to see.