About the Author:
David Solomons was born in Glasgow, Scotland and now lives with his family in Dorset, England. He has written numerous screenplays, including an adaptation of Five Children and It.
AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
4 out of 5
Doctor Who: The Secret In Vault 13
An original adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and her companions Ryan, Graham and Yaz. Receiving a mysterious summons, the Doctor and her friends discover that the Galactic Seed Vault is under threat and that a power which could destroy the universe is contained within. They then have to gather the keys to the vault in order to get to its heart before the fanatical Nightshade.
Straight out of the gate, it has to be said, Solomons totally nails the characters of this particular TARDIS team. Each of the main characters really feels like their onscreen persona and it's easy to imagine their dialogue in the voices of the actors. The downside to this is that, like in the TV series, Yaz remains somewhat under-used and underdeveloped.
Plot-wise, it took me a bit of time to warm to the story being told here. It's worth noting that this is part of the Young Adult line rather than the full novels and, to begin with, that difference in target audience was very apparent, with lots of plant-based puns, a talking begonia and spaceships which look like garden trowels. I was also sceptical about the 'travel to different places and have mini-adventures to gather the keys' concept which Classic Who did itself on numerous occasions and which always felt like a contrivance. However, once the first mini-adventure kicks off I actually settled into this book much better. In fact, one of these sidequests, wherein Graham and Ryan face a cult of rich Kensington residents who try to sacrifice them to a giant mole, was actually the highlight of the book.
By then end of the book I realised that despite its slow start, I had actually rather enjoyed it overall. It's also worth noting that Solomons is clearly a Who fan of long standing, because this book is absolutely crammed with references to the Doctor's previous adventures; a welcome change from Series 11's bizarre attempt to totally distance itself from all previous Who lore (seriously Chibnall, why do you hate Who fans?).
4 out of 5