Beautiful Chaos review

8 Jun

We’re taking a step away from vampires, this time, but we’re not out of the super natural yet. We’re only going as far as Doctor Who.

Now I can hear you asking, you none hard core Whovians, “but Doctor Who is a TV series, why are you reviewing it?”

Well for all of you who don’t know, there are plenty of Doctor Who spin-off books out there. Legitimately written, and commissioned by the BBC themselves, these books are for those Doctor Who fans (or Whovians as they like to be known).

These books are usually written by someone with a connection to the show, who has worked on the show in some form of another which makes them bang on the money.

As of yet, the ones that I have read, I have been impressed with. They usually involve the incarnation of the Doctor that is on the telly at the time, so for instance if Martha Jones is involved, you can be assured that you’re reading about David Tennant’s Doctor. Similarly with this book, Beautiful Chaos by Garry Russell you do feel like you have stepped into an episode of Doctor Who, because right in front of your eyes stands the Doctor and Donna Noble.

Now I am going to level with you, the reason I picked up this book originally was because Gary Russell was in the 70’s TV adaptation of the Famous Five, and with me being a big Famous Five fan, I wanted to read what he had written.

And I wasn’t disappointed at all.

Beautiful Chaos contains my overall, hands down, “watch it space boy”, favourite companion. Miss Donna Noble. (I cry every time I watch her last episode- it’s so damn SAD!)

Anyway it is a well-constructed novel, with the right character personalities shining through. We’ve got Tennent’s bouncy Doctor, complimented by his best friend, Donna Noble who is on fine form as ever.

beautiful chaos

We start on a sad note, a rather pensive but beautifully written prologue that takes place after Donna has gone back to being “normal”- I really can’t say more than that because for those of you who haven’t seen Doctor Who, Series Four, I don’t want to give away the ending, because its one massive story curve. If you’re interested, check it out.

Anyway the prologue starts with Donna’s Grandfather, Wilfred Mott- another of the best characters on Doctor Who. He’s sat and watching the stars. Remembering.

Then we bounce forward a month [Time is none linear in Doctor Who], and everything is the way it should be. Donna and the Doctor, back home in Chiswick for a visit, and Wilfred has got some lovely news. He has discovered a new star and asks the Doctor, Donna and his new lady friend along to the celebratory dinner.

The force working against the human race is a huge technological path; in fact it’s the installation of new super fast fibre optics for broadband run by Dara Morgan. You may be able to guess there is something funny going on- on Doctor Who, there always is.

So while Donna is visiting her Grandfather and Mother, and reminding herself why she’s travelling with the Doctor, he is off out, trying to get to the bottom of all the strange activity surrounding these new fibre optics.

It is a brilliantly written, fast paced story, all 236 pages of it. It creates a beautiful story that is rich in detail and plays out exactly like an episode of Doctor Who. For avid watchers of the show you can hear the sharp tones of Donna Noble’s voice, see the wobble of her head, as she gets annoyed with the Doctor and travel with her through another adventure with the Doctor. Russell has also grabbed David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor and wrestled him accurately to the page.

Even as a casual watcher of Doctor Who, this book feels true to the creation and its life. What makes it work so well on paper is the intricate plot, which would not translate well onto screen, but is such a good adventure on paper. The twists and turns are subtle, and more depth is explored, inner monologues are a big part of the book.

To sum up, the plot is good, the prose is easy and flows well, and what more can you want than Doctor Who and a really kick arse leading lady in the form of Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble.

I think I can guarantee that even if you are not a Doctor Who fan (in a big way) you would enjoy this book. You should probably have some background knowledge of the show, as it probably wouldn’t work without it.

Over all, this book deserves a very adventurous 4.5 out of 5 for it’s perfect Doctor Who nature.


About the writer: Stef is a 22 year old graduate who has a lifelong obsession with books and reading who also loves music and live theatre. You’re most likely to find her in a book shop or out in London standing at a theatre stage door. She can be found on twitter and running The World of Blyton.


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