Tuesday, January 9, 2018
The Death Pit by A.L. Kennedy
Something odd is going on at the Fetch Brothers Golf Spa Hotel. Receptionist Bryony Mailer has noticed a definite tendency towards disappearance amongst the guests. She's tried talking to the manager, she's even tried talking to the owner who lives in one of the best cottages in the grounds, but to no avail. And then a tall, loping remarkably energetic guest (wearing a fetching scarf and floppy hat) appears. The Fourth Doctor thinks he's in Chicago. He knows he's in 1978. And he also knows that if he doesn't do something very clever very soon, matters will get very, very out of hand.
(Synopsis from Goodreads).
Doctor Who has always been one of my favorite fandoms. My husband watched the first season in 2013, and kept telling me about it. At first, I didn't have too much interest in it. However, we sat down over a weekend and marathoned the first season, and by the end, I was in love. It quickly became one of my favorite obsessions. I've read most of the books now, so I always get excited when I discover one I haven't read. Recently, I discovered one of the few Time Trip books I hadn't read, The Death Pit, and knew I had to get my hands on it. I found it to be just okay.
Don't get me wrong, I did find the book enjoyable at times. It's just that I had one big problem with this. It was extremely cheesy. Now, I know that a lot of the appeal of Doctor Who is its cheesiness. I get that. Usually, that's one of the things I love about Doctor Who. However, this was over the top cheesy. For example, the way a certain character reacts to the golf pit towards the beginning drove me crazy. It was almost like terrible B-movie acting. It really took me out of the story, and made it a lot less enjoyable. It wasn't just that scene either, it happened throughout the book.
There were a couple things I liked about the book though. I liked how the author interpreted the Fourth Doctor. They gave just enough subtle hints that the reader was with Four throughout the book without shoving it in the reader's face. However, even if they wouldn't have given those hints, the reader would have been able to tell because the author wrote Four's personality really well. They captured the little quirks that are significant to Tom Baker's personality perfectly. I haven't watched a lot of episodes with the Fourth Doctor, but this book made me want to watch more. I also liked that we as fans finally got a direct, no beating around the bush answer about why the Doctor is so adverse to using guns.
When The Death Pit wasn't being terribly cheesy, I found myself enjoying it. I really loved A.L. Kennedy's interpretation of the Fourth Doctor. I hope that this author continues to write more Doctor Who stories in the future, even though I had some problems with this one. I think if their writing were to mature just a little bit, they could possibly write a brilliant Doctor Who story about Four. I am excited to do some research to see if there are any other Time Trips Doctor Who books that I may have glanced over, and not read yet.
I give The Death Pit: 3/5.
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I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.