Thursday, November 19, 2015

Doctor Who: System Wipe ~ Oli Smith (earc) review [@bbcdoctorwho @PenguinUKBooks]

Doctor Who: System Wipe
Penguin Books Limited (UK)
November 17, 2015
160 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

The Doctor finds himself trapped in the virtual world of Parallife. As he tries to save the inhabitants from being destroyed by a deadly virus, Amy and Rory must fight to keep the Doctor's body in the real world safe from the mysterious entity known as Legacy . . .
System Wipe was a bit like Doctor Who meets Wreck It Ralph (and this spoilery third thing).

The idea of the Doctor being trapped in a virutal world - while Amy and Rory are in danger in the real world - sounded like a lot of fun.

I liked that the virtual world was not a straight, direct interpretation of the real world. How things operated were just different enough. I liked how the fact that it was virtual so the usual rules of physics, etc need not apply. That the Doctor (and others) were like gamers with abilities related to their 'levels' and skills was a nice addition.

Amy and Rory are separated from the Doctor for the majority of the story but i thought it worked well. All three are still part of the action, still in danger and still have to do something to save the day. Having them apart, though, lets readers see the virtual world and the real world, at the same time.

It did not always feel like a Doctor Who - at least not one starring the Eleventh Doctor, though. Our known characters (the Doctor, Amy, Rory) did not quite feel like the characters we know. At times, I actually pictured Ten and not Eleven as the Doctor. I am not sure if it was the dialogue, actions or that I defaulted to that and the character didn't bring me out of it.

Somehow, it felt like the how, what and why in System Wipe should have been the most logical of the three Doctor Who novel adventures I read. Yet, I still don't know that i completely get it; it didn't quite come together like I wanted.

System Wipe was still a fun, creative tale, just not quite as strong as I was hoping.

digital copy for review received via NetGalley, from publisher

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