The Blood Cell


The Blood Cell
James Goss
Broadway Books

"Release the Doctor — or the killing will start."

An asteroid in the furthest reaches of space - the most secure prison for the most dangerous of criminals. The Governor is responsible for the worst fraudsters and the cruellest murderers. So he's certainly not impressed by the arrival of the man they're calling the most dangerous criminal in the quadrant. Or, as he prefers to be known, the Doctor.

What does impress the Governor is the way the new prisoner immediately sets about trying to escape. And keeps trying. Finally, he sends for the Doctor and asks him why? But the answer surprises even the Governor. And then there's the threat — unless the Governor listens to the Doctor, a lot of people will die.

Who is the Doctor and what's he really doing here? Why does he want to help the Governor? And who is the young woman who comes every day to visit him, only to be turned away by the guards?

When the killing finally starts, the Governor begins to get his answers...

After the last Doctor Who book I got for review not long ago (The Crawling Terror) I pretty much knew what to expect with this one, and while the two books are definitely comparable, I actually liked this one quite a bit better.

One thing that makes this book different is that it's told in first person from the perspective of "the governor," and so the Doctor is seen through someone else's eyes. Again, people who want a story where the Doctor is totally the main focus will probably dislike this; I decided not to be bothered by it.

I think the main problem that I had with this novel was that unlike The Crawling Terror, where I found the characterizations to be the best part of the book, here the Doctor and Clara seemed -well, not generic, but not quite spot-on, either. Part of this is probably because the book came out before there was much footage of Twelve, so I find it forgivable.  Aside from this, I think The Blood Cell was superior to The Crawling Terror.

First of all, I actually ended up liking the writing style rather than just tolerating it, and I did find the plot more interesting as well. The Blood Cell reminded me a bit of the Matt Smith episode "The God Complex"- and considering that's one of my least favorite Doctor Who episodes ever, some might it surprising that I enjoyed this novel. However, this one took a lot of the same elements from that episode but the feel of it was different, not to mention this book had some humor in it that made me laugh out loud. I will say that- without giving away spoilers- that the conclusion to this one is a bit gruesome, although particulars are purposefully vague. (Thank goodness).

Overall, I personally enjoyed The Blood Cell. It wasn't an amazing piece of literature, mind you, but despite a few dragging spots, it keep me interested the whole time.

objectionable content: aside from the somewhat gruesome conclusion to the mystery- think of "Deep Breath" a bit- there was one use of the word a** and three uses of the word d*** in quick succession. 

Rating: 8

I received this book from in exchange for my honest review.


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