doctor who feast of the drownedStephen Cole
BBC Books
2006

When a naval cruiser sinks in mysterious circumstances in the North Sea, all aboard are lost. Rose is saddened to learn that the brother of her friend, Keisha, was among the dead. And yet he appears to them as a ghostly apparition, begging to be saved from the coming feast…the feast of the drowned. As the dead crew haunt loved ones all over London, the Doctor and Rose are drawn into a chilling myster. What sank the ship, and why? When the cruiser’s wreckage was towed up the Thames, what sinister force came with it? The river’s dark waters are hiding an even darker secret, as preparations for the feast near their conclusion…

The second novel to feature the Tenth Doctor, The Feast of the Drowned takes place, according to the Doctor Who wiki’s out there, between the episodes “New Earth” and “School Reunion”, and has a reference to the episode “Tooth and Claw”, to give you an idea of the time frame of this story. No pun intended, of course.

Here, we find the Doctor and Rose back in London, where Rose is consoling a friend of hers, whose brother was lost at sea recently. Then they both see a translucent vision of said brother appear before them, while a bunch of people in the immediate vicinity spontaniously become dehydrated and pass out. Also, everyone who have seen these visions of their lost loved ones like this have been overcome with a sudden urge to throw themselves into the Thames river. Odd behaviour, indeed. Which leads the Doctor to a facility studying the wreck of the ship by a rather uptight and odd acting military leader that may or may not be a dead captain of a ship that went down in the 1700s. Turns out here be monsters…er, aliens that can control water to their bidding, and they need humans to act as incubators for their little hatchlings. And it’s now up to the Doctor and Rose–along with Micky, Jackie, and a couple of other hapless individuals–to try and stop things before all of London goes and throws themselves into the river.

The Feast of the Damned was a rather interesting tale that was decently paced, with some snappy dialog, written in a way that captures the mannerisms of not only the Doctor, but of his then-companion Rose and her mother Jackie as well. Micky…um, he’s adorable, if not a bit on the sad whiny side. Never really could warm up to the lad in the first couple of seasons of the show, and here in the book he’s still a bit of a ponce about his relationship with Rose. That’s the part of the book I really had to force myself through, the soap opera-y parts involving the past relationships and scandalous revelations. Otherwise, the sci-fi action itself had me, and as with any tale involving large bodies of water, I really had a strong urge to towel off despite not being wet whatsoever. Stephen Cole being a long-time writer for Doctor Who once again provided us with a good fix in between waiting for the new episodes to be foisted upon us.

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