After reading my first novel featuring the newly regenerated 12th doctor, I picked up Silhouette by Justin Richards with cautious excitement.
The blurb sounded intriguing: murders behind closed doors, favourite characters back for a visit, and a curious carnival at the center but as I've found with books before descriptions can be deceiving.
Luckily for me, the only deceiving part of this book was the villain, just the way a good Doctor Who novel should feel in my opinion.
Silhouette started off a little rough, with the structure and pacing feeling a little foreign. However, by the middle of the first chapter I was back in Victorian England exploring the Carnival of Curiosities and watching a mystery worthy of an episode unfolding before my eyes.
I loved Richards portrayal of the established characters he worked with: Clara was perfectly represented, Straax made me smile in all the right places (Straax has long been a favourite of mine), and Jenny and Vastra both presented themselves true to form. Unlike my first venture into Whovian novels, Richards made me care about the newest regeneration (more than I already was) and allowed the new doctor to begin to form and take on his personality.
The story itself was brilliantly constructed. I felt some of the final revelation could have used a bit steadier pacing but everything unfolded true to the story that Richards had unfolded. Mysteries have to be careful so that their surprise ending still fit the flow and temperament of what came before and in Silhouette the justice served is wonderfully written.
The characters unique to this story, particularly Silhouette and Affinity also showed more depth than I thought capable given the constraints of a short novel. These are two characters I could easily see a Doctor running into in the future.
I realize for some that novels within a television genre are a chance to explore outside the confines of broadcasts rules, this is also why fanfiction has risen to such popularity. However, I've always loved stories that feel like they belong, that feel months later when I reflect back like they could have or should have been an episode I'm having trouble remembering the visual details of, this is what Richards delivers. I loved this intro to 12 and look forward to what Justin Richards brings to the Whoniverse in the future
4.5 out of 5 stars
I received a e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. The views are my own.