Review: The Dalek Generation (Doctor Who #53)
Series: DW New Series #53
Also in this series: Only Human, Silhouette, The Story of Martha
Released by BBC Books on 2 April 2013
Genres: Science Fiction
Sunlight 349 is one of countless Dalek Foundation worlds, planets created to house billions suffering from economic hardship. The Doctor arrives at Sunlight 349, suspicious of any world where the Daleks are apparently a force for good – and determined to find out the truth. The Doctor knows they have a far more sinister plan – but how can he convince those who have lived under the benevolence of the Daleks for a generation?
But convince them he must, and soon. For on another Foundation planet, archaeologists have unearthed the most dangerous technology in the universe.
Sunlight 349 is only one of at least 400 worlds, created to house billions of people. Worlds created by the Daleks. The Doctor arrives on Sunlight 349, suspicious of these planets and above all suspicious of the Daleks. Since when are the Daleks ‘nice’? What he finds out is that the Daleks have a plan. A plan that might not be so nice after all. Together with a journalist and three orphaned children, the Doctor tries to find out the Daleks’ plan. But not without the usual trouble.
What I liked:
This is a Dalek book written by Mr. Dalek himself, Nicholas Briggs. When I saw this book I got very excited because I am a huge fan of the Daleks (though I actually also hate them with a burning passion). So I took it with me and started it as soon as I could.
I was intrigued by the whole ‘The Daleks are nice’ storyline. I’d read about it before in the Ripple Effect, a short story featuring the Seventh Doctor and Ace, and though that wasn’t really one of my favourite stories after all, I did like the nice Daleks. Of course, like in TRE, the Doctor tries to show everyone (who believes in the nice Dalek story) how horrible and hostile the Daleks really are. But that’s not made easy, because these Daleks are very good actors. After a while, it really made me think ‘are these Daleks really nice after all?’.
“On the other days, she touched other windows in her apartment, or stroked the lid of her garbage incinerator or brushed her hair against the light fitting in her bedroom.”
In this book, the Doctor is companionless. I figured this probably happened after The Angels Take Manhattan and before The Snowmen (or quite possibly after this?). But, he isn’t really companionless after all. In fact, in this story he has four companions. Three little ones, called Sabel, Jesibeth and Ollus; and a journalist called Lillian Belle. I really loved the kids, they were talented and smart like their parents, and even though the oldest was only twelve (the youngest being five) they helped the Doctor as much as they could, they even helped him save the worlds at the end of the story.
Though sometimes I was a bit confused (which I will talk about in the ‘what I didn’t like’ section), I found it a very easy and thrilling book to read. The writing was simple but very intriguing and at some points I just couldn’t stop myself from reading til the end of the chapter!
What I didn’t like:
I have to admit, I found it a bit predictable. Of course, I knew right away that the Daleks weren’t nice after all, that there was something going on with those Sunlight planets. Then, there was a part with the Cradle of the Gods (you’ll find out what it is when you read the book), and something happened there that I had predicted long before it actually happened. Then there was the ‘resistance’, I told myself that what/who they were before it was announced in the story.
It was also quite confusing at some points. In the beginning, there were some tiny chapters, one from the point of view of a little girl, which made me question a lot; who was the little girl, what happened to her, why was she where she was? In the end, these questions were answered, but I kind of found that small chapter unnecessary. Near the end of the story, during the whole ‘is the world going to end or is the Doctor going to save everyone (of course, it’s always the latter)’, there was quite some confusion. I had to reread the whole part twice before I finally understood what happened.
In the end, I really really liked The Dalek Generation, and that is why I gave it four Daleks (hehe). If you are looking for some nice Doctor Who books to read, and you don’t know where to start, I definitely recommend this book to you (I am thinking about making a list of my favourite Doctor Who books soon).