The TARDIS lands in a picture-postcard sort of village where
nothing much ever happens... until now. Archaeologists have
dug up a Roman mosaic, dating from around 70 AD, depicting
mythical scenes, bunches of grapes - and a Dalek. A few days
later, a young woman is hit by a car and killed. Then she
comes back to life. It's not long before all hell breaks loose...
book is part of the Quick Reads selection of short
and fast-paced titles aimed at emergent readers and adult
literacy learners. At just over 100 pages, with type that
is even bigger than the new Who series spin-off hardback
novels, I Am a Dalek is certainly short. It's snappily
paced, too, though I did manage to put the book down on several
plot, involving a lone example of the deadly species that
was assumed to be dead, relies on an obvious level upon the
plot of the 2005 television episode Dalek. To a lesser
degree, and not wishing to give too much away, it also borrows
Evil of the Daleks and Remembrance
of the Daleks, particularly the novelisation
of the latter story (though perhaps the target audience might
not be expected to have read this 160-page book).
picking up this novella as completist fans of Doctor Who
fiction will be relieved that the Tenth Doctor has now encountered
a Dalek. We care about such things, and there is a risk that
David Tennant might not get the chance to meet the metal meanies
in the TV series.
basic in its style and structure, the story's content is a
little more adult than the new series hardbacks, containing
references to grown-up concerns such as credit-card debts,
unemployment and unfulfilling sexual relationships.
tiny quibble: the woman mentioned on the back-cover blurb
is killed by a car, not by a bus as stated on the blurb. Well,
OK, she's running for a bus at the time, so maybe it's the
other respects, Gareth Roberts's novella achieves what it
sets out to do. I strongly encourage any emergent readers
who enjoy this book to seek out the author's superior new
series novel Only
Human and his sadly out-of-print The English
Way of Death.
(I Am a Reviewer)
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