THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS (it’s only one line, but I thought I’d be safe)
Title: Doctor Who: The Way Through The Woods
Author: Una McCormack
Year of Publication: 2011
Length: 240 pages
First Line: “Between the housing estate and the motorway lies an ancient wood.”
Summary: Two teenage girls disappear into an ancient wood, a foreboding and malevolent presence both now and in the past. The modern motorway bends to avoid it, as did the old Roman road. In 1917 the Doctor and Amy are desperate to find out what’s happened to Rory, who’s vanished too.
But something is waiting for them in the woods. Something that’s been there for thousands for years. Something that is now waking up.
Review: This was the second full-length novel Una McCormack had written for Doctor Who, the first being The King’s Dragon (also 11+Amy/Rory). I was slightly worried when I picked up this one because The King’s Dragon was incredibly similar to the story of Beowulf. I thought The Way Through The Woods with a wolf on the cover would be her version of Little Red Riding Hood or something. But it was not. By the way, there were no wolves in the novel. Bad deceiving cover!
McCormack’s latest Who novel was a lot better than her first one, even though I’ve gave both of them same grade. They are receiving the same grade for different reasons.
The Way Through The Woods had an excellent story. I was really intrigued by the mystery of Swallow Woods and the hundreds who disappeared into it every fifty years. I read this novel much faster than my usual reading time. However, around a little over half way through the novel when the mystery starts to become unraveled and you find out what’s really going on, the book started to go downhill. It became less interesting and you were left with a feeling of ‘that’s it’? Although someone for a change takes the Doctor up on his offer on taking them to another planet.
The characterization in my opinion was rubbish in this novel. I thought it was great in The King’s Dragon but McCormack missed the mark on this one. None of them really seemed like themselves; they all seemed generic.
Worst part: The ending fell flat after a fantastic beginning.
Best part: McCormack was able to keep my attention and suspense incredibly well.
Recommend For: Amy Pond fans. I feel like you will get more from this novel.
Other Books by This Author: Doctor Who: The King’s Dragon and Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Hollow Men