Shroud of Sorrow (Doctor Who) Review

Shroud of Sorrow (Doctor Who) is a 2013 science fiction novel written by Tommy Donbavand, published by BBC Books (UK) and Broadway Paperbacks (US), based on characters from Doctor Who.  The story follows the Doctor and Clara who appear on November 23, 1963, after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, when the two discover an alien menace known as the Shroud push into the world to feast on the grief of a world in mourning.


Positives:

  • Well-written characters
  • Interesting story
  • Complex antagonist
  • Great dialogue

Negatives:

  • Lackluster climax
  • Uninteresting setting

Plot: The plot is very intriguing, mixing humor and horror to help build the suspense.  It does a great job of gradually unfolding the story, as readers follow the Doctor and Clara as they reveal interesting twists that keep the story engaging.  There are really emotional moments that make certain scenes more intimate and help to identify with the characters. Despite the interesting story, the climax could’ve been a bit better, especially considering what was revealed about the Shroud. (3 out of 5)

Characters: The characters are well-written with likable personalities. The Doctor and Clara have a great relationship, especially when it comes to the witty banter between the two.  Other standout characters are FBI agent, Warren, as well as reporter, Mae; both with likable personalities, good motivations, and interesting backstories.  The Shroud was an interesting antagonistic force and secrets surrounding the Shroud is actually pretty brilliant.  (4 out of 5)

Writing: The writing is good, specifically when it comes to the dialogue.  It’s very witty, spontaneous, and humorous; especially when it comes to randomness of the Doctor or the sarcasm of Clara.  However, there is good attention to detail that is to be commended when regarding the environmental description. The story is set in 1963 but the writing really doesn’t support it enough for it to be relevant.  Aside from the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the story could’ve been set in any other time or place and still probably been just as effective a story. (3 out of 5)


The Verdict: In the end, Shroud of Sorrow (Doctor Who) is a good read.  Despite a bit of a lackluster climax the book does support an interesting story with great characters and great dialogue.  This is definitely a read for Doctor Who fans.  Shroud of Sorrow (Doctor Who) gets 3 out of 5.

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