Death Riders and Heart of Stone

Death Riders and Heart of Stone This February sees the launch of an exciting and action-packed range of 2-in-1 Doctor Who novels, which - if you hadn't guessed already - means that each book boasts not one, but two brand new stories featuring the Doctor and his companions, Amy and Rory. Ahead of its release, Penguin Books very kindly sent us a copy of the first book, which features Death Riders by Justin Richards (The Clockwise Man, Martha in the Mirror) and Heart of Stone by Trevor Baxendale (Prisoner of the Daleks) - read on to find out what we thought!

As you'll know, a Doctor Who fan is never stuck for choice when it comes to dealing with between-series withdrawal symptoms. Thanks to the ongoing range of novels, we can also accompany our heroes as they embark on yet more thrilling adventures off screen, and it doesn't come better than inside these brilliant 2-in-1 books, which treat us to a double-whammy of TARDIS action...

Death Riders by Justin Richards sees the Doctor, Amy and Rory arrive at the Galactic Fair, which is bristling with music, laughter, jugglers, acrobats and fortune tellers. It isn't long before the Doctor has acquired some yellow candyfloss and a toffee apple (much to the amusement of Amy!), and Rory tries his luck at the 'hook-a-not-a-duck' - and fails.

"Of course it's safe. There's air and gravity and hardly any radiation. What more can you ask for?"
"Sunshine and flowers?" Amy said.

- Death Riders, Chapter Two

Of course, it would be too much for them to ask for a whole day off, and in true fashion they soon they find themselves journeying on a different kind of rollercoaster, as they set out to unravel the sinister mysteries surrounding the construction of the fair's most popular attraction, the Death Ride (are we the only ones with a sense of forboding?). It's a case of Death Ride by name and Death Ride by nature as they investigate the deaths that have been taking place within the Off-Limits tunnels, and for the Doctor, Amy and Rory, it's far from fun at the fair...

Meanwhile, in the second captivating story (or the first, depending on which way you read it!), which is Heart of Stone by Trevor Baxendale, the TARDIS crew are left shocked when they discover lumps of moon rock scattered around in a farm, courtesy of a Rock Man, who is turning everything he touches into stone. It's another race against time for the trio, as they try to work out what the creature wants, before it's too late... Rock on!

Heart of Stone
"It means there can't be a evolutionary purpose to it," said the Doctor, thinking aloud. "Which means that this creature isn't natural. It shouldn't exist..."
"But it does," Rory pointed out.

- Heart of Stone, Chapter Eleven

We thoroughly enjoyed reading the first book, which sees both authors deliver wonderful, fast-paced adventures that kept us eagerly turning to the next page to find out more. They also capture the attitudes and personalities of the three main characters perfectly, and the flowing dialogue allowed us to create a vivid image of Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill peforming the lines in our head. The stories are sure to entertain Doctor Who fans both young and old, and there are even some references to older episodes which will no doubt be appreciated by fans of the classic series. Any problems? Well, one huge one springs to mind... how on earth do you decide which story to get your teeth into first!?

Book 1 - Death Riders and Heart of Stone - will be published on 3rd February 2011, alongside Book 2, which features System Wipe and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (RRP £6.99). Have you read any of the 2-in-1 books? If so, click here to post your own reviews! You can pre-order your copy of Book 1 by clicking here.

Review posted 29th January 2011