|Reviews for The Book of the Still
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|John Ellison, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
|Thursday 1 August 2002
I found "The Book of the Still" to be quite unimpressive. I am not sure whether Mr. Ebb was going for humor or just the plain absurd. In fairness, though it did involve "mobsters" and I have never really enjoyed that kind of story.
I was however very disappointed with the plot that seemed to jump from place to place while expecting the reader to take it all in stride. Sorry, the "explanations" at the end just seemed too contrived and even then, not everything is really explained (like a weird time event that allows Fitz to put his fingers where they shouldn't be).
I have also begun to despair that the series editor (still Raynor?) has stopped reading the books! Didn't we just see trench coated aliens in the previous story? And this is yet another story where time tech seems to be the focal point.
It's been two years since the destruction of Gallifrey and six months since they neutered the Doctor even further! I have never missed the Doctor's memories or his world more!
This is one of those books where it takes a long time to make any sense out of it as well as exciting. The first three quarters of this book dragged on and was mostly chase scenes. With the appearance of the Unnoticed, things got a little more interesting. The book really seemed to take off once the Doctor learned of the location of the Unnoticed's planet.
SPOILER>>>DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN"T READ THE BOOK YET:
Was Carmodi the future self of Rhian??? The only confusing part of this whole paradox mess...
I'll admit that this is the first Doctor Who novel I've read, so maybe I'm not in the best place to be review it, but the other reviewers seem to have picked up on some of the things I noticed to, so I thought I'd chip in.
I was buying into this book right up to the last couple of chapters and read it in just over a day. However, as the end approached I found myself looking at the quickly receeding number of pages left and wondering when the hell all of this was going to be explained to me. When it was, it was explained too fast, made very very little sense to me and left me feeling deeply unsatisfied, which is a shame because up until then I had been really enjoying it. I kept expecting there to be a section where the whole temporal paradox thing was explained for us idiots that still had no idea what was going on, but it just didn't happen, and it was only after much thinking about it (and reading in Wikipedia) that I really began to get my head around what had gone on. Really, it wasn't that that it wasn't explained -well- (although certainly it could have been done better), but more that it seemed all to be explained in a huge 'download' at the end that tried to ram too much into my poor, rusty little brain too fast.
Also, I have to say, though again I'll say this is the first Doctor Who novel I've read, the Doctor did seem to spend most of this book passing out, falling over or just generally getting tied up and tortured, and after a hundred or so pages of that I was starting to get sick of it. He didn't really seem to be in control at any point (with a couple of exceptions) and just drifted along and let stuff happen around him.
All in, I did enjoy this book, but I would have enjoyed it -more- had I been eased into all the explaination at the end a little better.