Reviews

Doctor Who: At Childhood's End, by Sophie Aldred

holly21's review

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adventurous emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

bookishjess02's review against another edition

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adventurous funny hopeful fast-paced

5.0

What a story! I am way too biased to judge this novel objectively, so all I can tell you is how it made me feel: joyful. And to think this came from Sophie Aldred (one of the Doctor’s old companions). She was helped by Mike Tucker and Steve Cole who have written other DOCTOR WHO novels I enjoyed. Overall, this novel was a fun DOCTOR WHO experience. I’ve gained even more of an appreciation for the current companions Yaz and Ryan—compared to the others before them their personalities aren’t as flamboyant, but they have a kind of quiet humor and strength that really shines through this book. But like I said, as a Whovian, I’m a little biased.

hellers's review against another edition

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5.0

A fun book and a nice resolution to Ace's journeys with the Doctor. Some nice call backs. Simple plot but fun.

rillis_who's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional hopeful mysterious sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

bookprincess11's review against another edition

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5.0

At Childhood's End is a thrilling and truly sci-fi adventure featuring the 13th Doctor and companions as well as former companion Ace McShane. The story follows up with Ace, going by Dorthy again, where she is grown up and the head of A Charitable Earth. It is fantastic to hear about Ace after all of these years and even more so to see her get some closure with the Doctor. Since Ace travelled with the 7th Doctor, she had found her self being manipulated and pulled into his schemes. When she meets the newest regeneration, she is haunted by those emotions. These emotions are played off well but never take away from the plot.
The Novel, which is written by Sophie Aldred who played Ace is exciting and well written. I was originally concerned that this book would not have much depth and exist solely to be fun, adding no depth, however, I was pleasantly surprised. The plot is filled with alien abductions and space adventures, and Sophie Aldred manages to capture the exact essence of all of the characters. The highlights are obviously Ace, grown-up but still incredibly strong, Yaz being jealous of Ace, themes of morality, and of course the 13th Doctor, who herself is dealing with the emotions of her past with Ace and has to face up to her dark Past.
I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a thrilling Sci Fi adventure full of the Doctor, abductions, and many strange aliens.

sshabein's review against another edition

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5.0

Wow, this was excellent! I picked the audiobook version, partially because the print edition isn't out in the US yet and partially because I liked that Sophie Aldred read it herself, and it was definitely worth it. Aldred does the different accents for everyone excellently, and the story itself is great. It follows up on Ace as an adult, and what it's like to go about your "regular" life, once one's time travelling with the Doctor is over. Plus, it's always fun to see newer Doctors interact with older companions. I definitely recommend this for any Doctor Who fan.

chicafrom3's review

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adventurous emotional medium-paced

4.0

dreaming_of_eutony's review against another edition

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4.0

(review to come)

fullfledgedegg's review against another edition

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adventurous lighthearted mysterious fast-paced

3.5

lesserjoke's review

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4.0

As the final companion when the 'classic' series of Doctor Who went off the air in 1989, the character of Ace McShane casts a long shadow over the franchise. Her nuanced characterization and complicated relationship with the Doctor -- which would prove a model for later figures in the revived show -- have been even further developed off-screen, including an ongoing series of licensed audio dramas that her original actress Sophie Aldred has regularly performed in over the past twenty years. At this point Aldred clearly has a deep, lived-in understanding of the role, which she brings with great effect to this, her first novel.

It's not one of those Doctor Who stories that resolves old plot holes or offers long-delayed catharsis, simply because Ace has continued to live on and hit those narrative beats for decades now. Some of her recent Big Finish appearances have even found her in the same lifestage as this book, a middle-aged philanthropist scarred by her past but still fighting the good fight against various extraterrestrial threats. Yet whether you've followed those other adventures or not, this one is a cracking good time and a fascinating first opportunity for Aldred -- with the help of her co-writers -- to flesh out the character beyond a physical/vocal performance.

It's also just great for teaming up the older woman with Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor and her current TARDIS team (set in 2020, with the exact timing unclear but sometime after the events of the "Resolution" special). In a way this encounter plays out similarly to 2006's "School Reunion" that brought together 70s sidekick Sarah Jane Smith with the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler: the audience gets to check in on an old favorite, the Doctor is forced to reckon with someone long left behind, and the new companion(s) must process feelings of jealousy and worry about when their own tenure will come to an end.

Yet this is no carbon copy of that TV episode, any more than Ace is of Sarah or Yasmine Khan is of either. Aldred the writer has enough familiarity with science-fiction to spin out an engaging yarn with plenty of interesting wrinkles, and the character interactions sparkle as much as one could hope. (She's pretty talented voicing the audiobook too, with only her version of Graham O'Brien not quite capturing the actor's cadences.) I still wouldn't call it a must-read, but for any long-time Whovian, it's a whole lot of fun.

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