Something you may not know about me if you just read this blog, is that I am a huge Doctor Who fan. Doctor Who was one of the many nerdy things that my husband and I connected over, as evidenced by my engagement ring, with the band molded to look like a sonic screwdriver. For Christmas the year we were engaged, he gave me a couple of Doctor Who books, The Drosten’s Curse by A.L. Kennedy being one of them.
I was slightly surprised (although maybe I shouldn’t have been) to realize that this story took place during the timeline of the original Doctor Who. Specifically, during Tom Baker’s regeneration. With his wildly curly hair, colorful scarf, and penchant for jelly babies, I have a feeling that the fourth doctor will likely be one of my favorite regenerations once I get around to watching the original series. However, this story from his regeneration, The Drosten’s Curse, is witty and fun, but also misses the mark in many ways.
Something is amiss in Arbroath (as things always seem to be wherever the Doctor finds himself). Golfers are mysteriously disappearing around the bunkers, the owner of the Fetch Brothers’ Golf Spa Hotel – Mrs. Fetch – has a spotty memory and an odd love for octopuses (or octopodes?), her twin grandchildren have some… odd habits, and Byrony Mailer is overworked, underappreciated, and underpaid. But there’s something else amiss, that the Doctor immediately notices upon arrival in Arbroath: there is hostile alien activity going on, unbeknownst to the residents and especially to those of the Golf Spa Hotel. In a wacky, run around adventure, the Doctor, Byrony, and Patterson (some alien playing human for research and not the problem the Doctor is here for) battle crazy twins, hungry bunkers, mind control, and the mysterious Drosten while trying to survive the process.
It is difficult to describe The Drosten’s Curse much further than that, partly because half the time I wasn’t completely sure what was going on. This was not for lack of trying, and I did manage to follow the storyline decently well. Unfortunately, this already short book was about fifty pages and one monster too long. The story seemed to drag more often than not, and there were multiple evil aliens to battle? In a weird way? Not like, more than one in that they were banding together or there was an army of them. More than one as in two separate battles to fight. Maybe three. Like I said, it was a tad hard to follow.
If you like Doctor Who, this story has all the fun, whimsical, mysterious, and yes, even at times confusing aspects of the beloved show. I think The Drosten’s Curse got too confusing at times, though. As if the author wasn’t quite sure who he wanted the Doctor to have to fight or what he wanted to do with the story. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t amazing. It was good, but not incredible.
Overall, The Drosten’s Curse by A.L. Kennedy gets 3/5 stars.