When Harry wanders from the TARDIS, the Doctor and Sarah
accidentally leave him stranded in 1936. They search for him,
but arrive several weeks too late and find evidence that Harry
is dead. Looking for further clues, they hear tales of werewolves,
moving trees and an eccentric stranger known as the Doctor...
This beautifully written book unites one of my favourite of
the Doctor's companions - the bumbling, chivalrous Boys'
Own style hero that is Harry Sullivan - with an era from
the Doctor Who novels that I have been longing to return
to - the "trapped on Earth" saga. The other Doctor whom Harry
encounters in 1936 is none other than the amnesiac eighth
incarnation, who was himself stranded for the whole of the
readers, we already know that Harry isn't really dead. This
tale is set between Revenge of the Cybermen and Terror
of the Zygons, in which Sullivan was, of course, alive
and well. But the mystery of what became of him demands an
answer, and the author expertly intertwines Harry's story
with the Fourth Doctor and Sarah's subsequent search for clues.
Sometimes the stories parallel each other in theme and tone,
as when both the Eighth Doctor and Sarah contemplate the grisly
prospect of digging up a grave. On other occasions the concurrent
plot strands contrast dramatically, as when Harry's comical
discomfort regarding the amorous attentions of a German immigrant,
Emmeline Neuberger, is followed by Emmeline's tragic life
story, which she describes to the Fourth Doctor.
are some particularly fantastical elements in this novel,
which involves werewolves, dryads (tree spirits) and the Holy
Grail, but Who has dealt with werewolves before, as
well as the Arthurian legend, so the presence of dryads shouldn't
be considered too much of a leap.
a Doctor Who fan, it's not very surprising that I tend
to enjoy this series of books, but it's been a while since
I read one as compelling as Wolfsbane, which I frequently
found difficult to put down. The plot's momentum flags a little
towards the end, as the mystery begins to fit together, but
not by much. I wolfed it down!
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