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Friday, 26 August 2011

Borrowed Time Doctor Who Magazine Review

A few months ago, Doctor Who Magazine did a few reviews on the three new Doctor Who books. Now they're back and with a much more in depth review...

Hello. Doctor Who Magazine has done it again and have reviewed the three newest Doctor Who books, Paradox Lost, Borrowed Time and Touched by an Angel. Over the next three days, I will post one of the reviews for you to read if you're not too sure on getting the books for yourself. The second review posted,  written once again by Michael Cregan, is of Borrowed Time. So, let's begin:

Ever wish you had more time? Of course you do; in fact the editor of this magazine is known to work regular 28-hour days just to keep you all happy. This is the premise that Naomi Alderman uses to great effect in Borrowed Time. Andrew Brown is trying his best to impress at Lexington International Bank, but he's finding it hard to get everything done. Needless to say, he's extremely interested when Mr Symington and Mr Blenkinsop offer him the chance to borrow more time. It's all repayable at an extremely reasonable rate of interest of course, and just involves wearing a special watch...
Of all the month's offerings, this book relies the least on the type of clever-clever time shenanigans seen in the TV series. In fact, it feels more like a Harry Potter story, more specifically one involving Hermione Granger's Time-Turner from The Prisoner of Azkaban, and what would happen if everyone started using them. That's not to say the book isn't firmly rooted in Doctor Who's particular universe. The creepy Mr Symington and Mr Blenkinsop are the latest in a line of double-acts seen in the series, and these two certainly bring to mind Mr Oak and Mr Quill from 1968's Fury from the Deep.
The setting of Lexington Bank, and the London City lifestyle of those who work there allows Alderman plenty of scope to make digs at the current banking crisis and those people who borrowed far more than they could afford to repay. I think I even understand compound interest thanks to the way it's explained. Don't worry, though, there's plenty of adventure and you don't feel lectured at all.
Rory and Amy get a lot to do in this story, with Amy going so far as to start borrowing time herself. This section of the book doesn't entirely ring true, but it does at least give Amy a very personal reason to want to stop the villains. Rory has plenty of the laughs, as he's sent to work in the mail room, but he is saddled with a rather too convenient gadget for most of the story.
The Doctor is again very well written and is at the centre of the story. The villain (no spoilers, as it's an enjoyable reveal) is delighted to find out that they've got their hands on a genuine Time Lord, something they reckon they can make a fortune selling on the time market. Well, you would, wouldn't you? This is perhaps the lightest tone of the three books published this month, but that's not to say it doesn't have some chilling moments when people are forced to repay their time loans.
Alderman can certainly write well and I'd welcome another Doctor Who story from her.

Borrowed Time is written by Naomi A Alderman; features the Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond and Rory Pond and you can buy it for £6.99. Once again, thanks to Doctor Who Magazine for publishing the review and thanks to Michael Cregan for reviewing it.

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