Not a stranger to stranger things, Cavan Scott presents us with ‘The Shining Man’, a novel featuring the 12th Doctor and new companion, Bill. Very much part of the settling in process for the viewer/reader, this gives us a little bit more Bill.
When Noah and Masie’s mum disappear in the street outside their house, they know it’s the shining man who has taken her. No one believes them, even their grandma. So they decide to rescue her, even though it means a visit to Boggle Wood in the darkest night.
Charlotte knows what an urban legend is but, as a vlogger, she has a duty to present the truth, even if it means going into a wood, in the darkest night.
Even Bill knows that storm in the TARDIS is not normal. If she knew what ‘normal’ was any longer. Her adventures with the Doctor have redefined everything. She also knows already that monsters are real and that going into a wood in the darkest night is not going to lead to hugs and puppies.
There seems to be an infestation of shining men. Most people believe they are hoaxers. Blame the Internet for that. But if monsters are real, then the chances are Bill and the Doctor will run into them. How many lives will they be able to save this time?
A great introduction to the new series, ‘The Shining Man’ jumps right into the adventure with plenty of fear, tea and occasionally even a hug. There are great action points and emotional moments. It has been thought through with an underlying mythology carefully inserted leading us to a perfectly logical ending. That said, there are pretty wild imaginings in this green wood, and all hail Cavan Scott for getting this big story in a quite a short book.
The Doctor and Bill make a good team here. Bill interacts with the humans and doesn’t do the annoying Clara thing of interpreting the Doctor. No Nardole in this one as he is minding the shop. He might be the new tin dog or perhaps he is hiding his true worth under the veneer of comedy sidekick. I do hope so.
The clever and intriguing plot-opener manages to become even more interesting as the book progresses and rounds off in a most satisfying manner. Scott captures the essence of Bill from his sneaky peak at the new series and this book is a real treat as it expands our enjoyment of the new partnership whilst waiting eagerly for the next telly-box instalment.
(pub: BBC Books/Ebury. 256 page hardback. Price: £ 6.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78594-268-6)
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