Book Review – Doctor Who: The Brilliant Book

Doctor Who: The Brilliant Book 2011
Edited By: Clayton Hickman
Designed By: Paul Lang
Hardback

 

With this weekend being the 50th anniversary and all of the longest running science fiction show ever, I figured I should review a book about it, but I didn’t have that brilliant idea until like three days ago, and this was the first Doctor Who book I saw laying around.  Thus, it wins the review.

That’s not a bad thing.

The Brilliant Book is meant to be a companion book to the television series.  There are interviews, factoids, and about ten gajillion color pictures.  Plus, there’s an episode guide that includes a quick write-up, the magic moment, deleted scene, Q&A, and more.  The detailed info about creatures and people is awesome, but the cool thing is you also get bonuses about things like how they did the makeup for Silurians or Arthur Darvill ragging on Matt Smith in an interview.

I assume that they did a series of these, and I only wish I could have a bookshelf full of them.

I give the book a 5/5 companions.  :p

Book Review: Orbiting Home by Jaxin88

Title: Orbiting Home

Author:  Jaxin88

Format: Fanfiction

Published: 2012

Link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7896028/1/Orbiting-Home

I will give you a fair warning that this is not a typical book review and this type of review will be extremely rare for me as I typically do not read fan fiction but I figure if one particular book that I won’t properly name save for the fact that color grey play a large part in the title, that a better written fanfic review on occasion won’t do anyone harm.  Thus I am presenting you dear readers with Orbiting Home by Jaxin88.  This story is a cross over between Doctor Who and Firefly something I’ve wanted to see done before and have even had wry thoughts of doing myself simply for personal entertainment.  Thus when a friend of mine mentioned this story I was intrigued.  I figured the most I would do is peek at it and not really read it considering my patience for fanfiction is very limited for various reasons ranging from poor storytelling to terrible grammar that even I can’t ignore (which is saying something as I am terrible when it comes to grammar and typos myself).  Yet, when it came to Orbiting Home I was pleasantly surprised, before I knew it I was about eight chapters deep and wanting to read more!

When starting the story Janix88 warns that this is a continuation of a previous story they wrote but was not fully necessary to read first.  The big thing you wind up figuring out is that Rose ends up becoming Bad Wolf again and can with a thought travel through time and space and even freeze time, of course at a cost in regards to her strength and energy.  It is also revealed that she is not entirely human because of this and pretty much immortal like the doctor, whether or not this includes surviving something like a bullet is left unknown in this fic.  Knowing this before reading is helpful but not necessary as it was easy enough to figure out.  The fic follows Rose as she searches for the Doctor who is lost somewhere in the Verse that is known to those of Firefly.  It gives a good back story to how things came to be and include old villains from the TV series of Firefly such as Nishka and Badger and follows a modified version of the Serenity Movie considering the Doctor and Rose are present for this adventure now, and quite honestly both Rose and the Doctor are game changers.

Over all, Janix88 does a splendid job of capturing the voices of the characters particularly from the Firefly universe such to the point that I can practically hear the actors speaking the lines as the characters which is a rare occurrence for me.  Additionally the story played like a movie and I could see the images well in my head as Janix88 did well allowing the knowledge of the show to paint a bit of the picture and filling in the gaps with nicely done descriptions.  As far as fanfiction goes I find this to be one of the best out there, it is rare to find a gem like this in the world of fanfiction as most of it is very poor writing from budding authors who are just starting out.  Though I find most fanfiction to be junk that can’t hold my attention for long, I respect it for what it is as that was where I got some of my start in writing, becoming brave enough to share my work and learning the craft better than the basic skills that I started out with.  As far as fanfiction goes I would give this a four out of five page rating as things were well written and there were no gaping plot holes. As far as comparing it with a professionally written book I might actually have to give it a three it was good but certainly not professional grade, to reach that point there would have to be a heck of a lot more substance to the story, yet if that were the case my interest would have been quickly lost.  That is after all the fine edge of a fanfic as it needs to be short and sweet to survive will on the internet but then lack the quality of a book which requires more substance.

Book Review – Dining with the Doctor by Chris-Rachel Oseland

Title: Dining with the Doctor – The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook

Author: Chris-Rachel Oseland

Format: Kindle E-Book

Written: 2012

Published: 2012

Typically I am not one to read cook books, I’ll glean the internet for a few recipes and that is about the extent of things but when I was told that this was a free book, I figured why not go ahead and downloaded it.  I honestly wanted to see the Fish Fingers and Custard recipe which I sadly didn’t get to read until the end.  Yet I’m glad I waded through all the recipes to get there, even if the Fish Fingers and Custard recipe section was the most boring.

The book takes every episode of Doctor Who and pairs it with a recipe.  Sometimes these recipes made perfect sense with the episode while there were other times that I felt the author was stretching things a bit such as chicken wings for an episode pertaining to the Angels.  On the whole though, the book was entertaining.  I admit that there were  a lot of drink recipes that look fun and a lot of sculpting recipes that will drive me to the drink recipes if I ever dared attempt them but there were a lot of fun Doctor Who references and if you like Doctor Who this book might be amusing enough to pick up for free.

I never expected to laugh while reading a cook book but I did, as the author allowed humor and wit to play in things such as beat or pound things like various characters or creatures in the show or even  admitting to knowing we’ll all cheat a and run out and buy the pre-made things but as it was a cook book the author would like to pretend we actually went about doing it the hard way and actually cooked things.

Over all, I don’t think I’ll make or be able to make several recipes in the book but there are some fun ones I want to try and I look forward to when my group of friends and I each pick a recipe from the book and do a pot luck Dr. Who themed party, each bringing a dish from the recipe book.  I know I already call dibs on the BLT’s fashioned to look like Daleks!

I give the book a 3 out of 5 because not simply because a lot of recipes are beyond my skill level but because there are not pictures for  a lot of the recipes particularly when sculpting is involved and yet there are pictures for others.  Not to mention there are also some overly bizarre recipes as well that just don’t seem to be very edible.  Also, the author did take a few short cuts with some of the photos such as the Jammy Dodger recipe is featured with the store bought cookies rather than home made ones. After all it is one thing to joke about the reader cheating and buying pre-made things but it is an entirely other thing when the author does it too.

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