Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ten Little Aliens (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collection)

Ten Little Aliens (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collection)
Stephen Cole
$12.99, Softcover
BBC Books, 2013

Genre: Science Fiction

Age: 14+

Description: The First Doctor, and his companions Ben and Polly, wind up in a world where they travel with ten human soldiers and try to unravel a mystery in which ten dead aliens suddenly start disappearing. Stuck in an underground like alien constructed compound they might race against time to prevent the disappearing aliens from killing the soldiers.     

Opinion: This is the first book in the new 50th Anniversary Collection, an 11-book series featuring a classic adventure from all the doctors. I wanted to read this one first not only because it is about the First Doctor but because it was a play on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. However, it is told in reverse—the Doctor and the soldiers come across ten dead aliens and then the aliens’ bodies one by one begin to disappear. This book was good but slow going. If I had to describe it in one sentence I’d say, “Doctor Who meets Agatha Christie meets Starship Troopers.” The best part about the story is when it gets to the biggest action and for a good 75 pages at least turns into a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story as the characters split off into pairs to go hunting for the aliens and you get to follow each pair. The great thing is if you choose a path that misses something pivotal to the story the narration will ask “have you read so-and-so, if not go read it and come back here and choose”. In the end, I think there were maybe, at most, five passages I didn’t actually read. This was a prime example of how CYOA books should be written—it didn’t feel jumpy or scattered. Overall, while it was a slow going book at first it is a must read for classic Doctor Who fans.

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