James Goss: Doctor Who – Dead Air

Doctor Who: Dead Air
by James Goss
narrated by David Tennant
(time travel, fantasy, audiobook only)

So, I picked up this Dr. Who audiobook because of a blog reader recommendation. (Thanks, Shiver!) I really hesitated about buying it, at first, because it’s only about an hour and a half long. It came highly recommended, though, and the principle of a sound-based creature being the enemy on an audiobook intrigued me, so when Audible had DEAD AIR on sale, I had to buy it.

Now, as I had been told, there is quite a fun twist at the end. (I’m not revealing what that is, no worries.) And, unexpectedly, there’s also a round-about explanation for the length of the audiobook, if you think about it for a moment. (Not telling that, either. Unless you’ve already listened to this one and haven’t figured it out, in which case leave a comment and I’ll email you about it.)

Due to both the format and the length, there are some questions that I wanted answered which weren’t. I guess that’s okay, since they weren’t really crucial questions, and explanations would have gotten in the way of the rest of it. It was a very tight work, and it felt like everything included in it was intentional. Even the bits at the very beginning that I wasn’t sure at first were a part of the story had their place. I don’t think that it’s a spoiler (given that this is a sound-based monster and the story is set at a radio station) to tell you that there are moments of static in this audiobook, and even those (or ESPECIALLY those?) felt thought-out.

This audiobook felt like a Dr. Who episode even more than the previous one I listened to did. (The Feast Of The Drowned by Stephen Cole) Hmm. There’s even one particular, well-loved Who episode that this audiobook reminds me of in some respects, but to say anything more on the subject would provide too many spoilers, so I’ll refrain. However, that should be an indication of just how well this book fits with the TV show. I don’t think it could ever be converted into an episode, though, because it’s too audio-centric. I think the video part of the TV show would get in the way of this story, instead of helping it along.

And as always, I loved David Tennant’s narration. I’ve listened to several books he’s read now, and each one was fabulous and unique. (I saw that he also narrated Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and I think now that I must buy and listen to that one. I love the story – book and movie, yes I’m familiar with both – and I think his narration style would really suit the book.) I love how distinct each of the characters’ voices are. Tennant is better at this than most narrators I’ve listened to.

So. Is this worth a listen to? Yes. (If you want to experience it, you’ll have to listen to it. It’s audio-exclusive for a good reason.) Is it worth a full-price purchase? Maybe. It is a good quality work, and there are reasons for the length (which is the only reason I would complain about the price), but I still have to pause and think about it at full-price. Just on principle, I guess. But if you see this audiobook on sale, it’s a no-brainer.

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