Doctor Who: Autonomy (audiobook)

Doctor Who: Autonomy (audiobook) - Daniel Blythe,  Georgia Moffett Autonomy was a superior Who story, with many strengths and a few minor weaknesses. I know my opinion doesn't gel with a lot of reviews for Nu-Who novels, but I have not read one yet that I haven't enjoyed. This is, in part, a result of my almost exclusive focus on 10th Doctor adventures with no companions. Tennant, thanks to his highly idiosyncratic turn as the 10th Doctor, makes the character an easy one to translate to print and retain his recognizable qualities. The real strength of this particular adventure was the setting; Hyperville was extensive and had so many separate worlds contained within it that the possibilities were nearly endless, and the alien menace was perfectly suited to the almost infinite variety of Hyperville. The Autons/Nestene Consciousness have been underwhelming on television, thanks to limited effects budgets, but in this case they were granted the adaptability that a plastic construct should have. A particular standout for the creep-factor was Beta 4 (I'm not sure if that is spelled correctly, I listened to this as an audio book and I'm compensating for the accent), a shiny little plastic child-dummy with a big smile and a taste for murder.

The Doctor was on form as usual, and his temporary companion Kate was above average (I have been unimpressed by the temp. companions lately). She was clever, calm and helpful and was not easily impressed by the Doctor's propensity for showing off, but she was also not an obnoxious know-it-all. The two teenagers were not so great, especially the whiny Rhys, but this was probably exacerbated by the intonation given to them by the narrator.

I've noticed that the alien invasions tend to be a little more straight-forward than those plots in which humans are the actual threat, but the plotting was still well done with good, solid build-up and inventiveness. I particularly liked the White Queen from Narnia making her appearance in the form of an Auton in the Winter World, and the attendant references to lampposts.

Overall: 5-star Doctor Who
good setting with many possibilities
above-average temporary companion
excellent use of the medium to transcend effects budgets
strong plotting
Doctor well characterized
minor note: audiobook sound quality a little muffled and uneven
only real weakness: straight-forward threat, with predictable solution (if you've seen the Autons on the show)