April 2020 Reading Wrap Up – Part One [Books]

April 2020 1JanuaryFebruaryMarch Part 1March Part 2

I am not doing great at getting these up in a timely way. Ah well. April was another month in which I finished a lot of books, which means this is going to be another two parter. April also saw me complete my 2020 Reading Goal, which was set at 50. I’ve now increased it to 75. And it seems May is a bit of a reading slump month for me. So far I’ve finished 5 books this month, which is still good for me but I doubt it’ll exceed the 18 I read in April.

Doctor Who, The Tenth Doctor Adventures, Volume 1

doctor who tenth doctor adventures

My Review

2020 is the year I started listening to audiobooks. After a rocky start with DisneyWar, I’ve found myself enjoying them a lot, especially full cast productions. The Tenth Doctor Adventures contains three stories starring my favourite doctor and Donna, who though not my favourite of the companions, is still one I really like. This audio production was absolutely great to listen to, and I look forward to checking out more in the future.

Dead Daughters – Tim Meyer

dead daughters

My Review

Poltergeist Press are an absolutely fantastic indie horror publisher, putting out great books. Dead Daughters was slightly more thriller than horror for me, but I still really enjoyed this one. It’s got an intriguing premise and interesting characters able to carry the reader through. Definitley worth checking out.

Cirque Des Freaks and Other Tales of Horror – Julián López

cirquwMy Review

I had really high hopes for this one, and unfortunately it didn’t match up. I go into more detail in my review, but these felt more like doomed love stories than actual horror. Not to mention the plot for one story is ripped straight out of the horror film Waxwork. If you’re looking for LGBTQ+ horror anthologies, I recommend Black Rainbow instead.

The Devil’s City – Sara Tantlinger & Matt Corley

the devil's city

Review coming soon on Dead Head Reviews

Talking to friends who have read this, The Devil’s City works much better as a companion to the game currently in production, rather than as a standalone novella. I didn’t really get on with it, but I can see the appeal for others. For me, it moved too fast and didn’t feel like it had enough space to breathe, but many horror lovers have throughly enjoyed it.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard – J.K. Rowling

tales of beedleMy Review

I gave this a listen on Audible as it was a freebie. I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if it hadn’t been free anyway, but I was still glad I didn’t spend money/credits on it. The narration is great, with some fantastic actors involved, but parts of the book smack of self-righteousness. I read this originally at university, but returning to it now, I really wasn’t fussed.

Vicious – V.E. Schwab

vicious

My Review

I really liked this. Of course I did, it’s a Schwab novel, and I know I’m always getting interesting characters, intriguing plots and wonderful settings with Schwab’s books. Vicious asks what it really means to be a hero or a villain, and who actually decides who is who. If you’ve not checked this out, I cannot urge you enough to do so.

The Corpse Garden – S.H. Cooper

the corpse garden

My Review

I will shout this from the rooftops: S.H. Cooper is a bloody fantastic writer. Her short stories are excellent at combining heartbreak with horror, and reinforce an idea I will bang on and on about until someone tells me to shut up – horror is at its best when it is about love. If you haven’t checked out any of Cooper’s work, why not? For horror fans, there’s her two short story collections and the novella, The Festering Ones. If horror isn’t your thing or you also love YA Fantasy, go read The Knight’s Daughter.

Ghostland – Duncan Ralston

ghostland

My Review

Unfortunately I wasn’t really fussed on this one, and I absolutely love stories with multiple ghosts focused around an interesting setting. But this just read a bit superficial to me. There was no real character development, the book didn’t know if it wanted to be YA or Adult, and there wasn’t anything really new to it. It felt much like Jurassic Park with Ghosts. Which is an awesome premise, just not pulled off very well here.

Beauty – Sarah Pinborough

beauty

My Review

I already really miss this series. After reading all three, I can safely say this is a fantastic, interesting take on fairy tales, giving them modern twists while creating a new fantasy world around them. I really enjoyed all three books, but they definitely got better with each one. And I got through all three really quickly. This is a trilogy definitely worth checking out.

So there we have the first 9 books I read in April. Part Two coming as soon as possible!

Doctor Who – The Tenth Doctor Adventures, Volume 1 [Books]

doctor who tenth doctor adventuresI’ll preface this by saying I am absolutely loving Audible. Not only am I able to access awesome audiobooks through it, but I really enjoy the podcasts too. And I was so excited to test out some of the Doctor Who content on there. I’ve heard a lot about the Big Finish productions, and the full voice casted dramas are proving to be excellent.

Donna isn’t one of my favourite companions (admittedly, Rose and Clara are –  I think I have a thing for companions travelling with multiple doctors), but Catherine Tate is brilliant, Doctor Number 10 is my favourite Doctor, and this volume of adventures was a lot of fun to listen to.

Technophobia sees the pair travelling to a future London, going to the London Museum of Technology. But people are acting strange, and it soon becomes clear they’re scared of the everyday machinery around them.

Time Reaver sees Donna and the Doctor on a spaceport where anything goes. But there are those who are trying to install some sense of order, and they soon discover there’s an illegal weapon on the streets, one which kills its victims in a drawn-out, agonising process.

Death and the Queen sees Donna planning a literal fairytale wedding, in what looks like a fairytale kingdom. Excited by the idea of getting married, she ignores the signs that something isn’t quite right, and like a fairytale princess, gets caught up in something much larger than herself.

These three stories all have three vastly different locations, and it really made me miss the way the new doctors used to actually explore the universe, rather than everything taking place on Earth. Or…”This is a new planet! Wait…no, it’s Earth.”

(I adore the Thirteenth Doctor. I’d just like to see a bit more done with her than just having her constantly on Earth)

These audio adventures really capture what made the RTD Era of Doctor Who so great, and why the revival was such a success. The relationship between Tennant and Tate – and therefore the Doctor and Donna – works so well, and even without seeing the settings, the sounds behind the dialogue really bring these vastly different places fully to life.

This is a fantastic production, with excellent voice acting. Death and the Queen I particularly enjoyed, with its rich, vivid, fairytale setting and intriguing side-characters. Though the same can really be said for all three stories. In each one, Donna is really given some brilliant moments to shine, whether it’s trying to stop a runaway being hurt, guiding a young woman through a dangerous situation, or acting as queen to a kingdom, it reminded me why she is such a fan favourite.

Honestly, if you like Doctor Who, I really do recommend this audiobook, and I will definitely be checking out other adventures available at some point in the future.