Friday, 11 May 2007

DW Review: The Last Dodo

Second book in this set: The Last Dodo by Jacqueline Rayner. You can read the real story of the last dodo courtesy of Richard Dawkins.

This is very similar to Jac's other book, The Stone Rose, in which this is really many small stories stiched together. The main story is about the MOTLO, or Museum of the Last Ones (which should make the acronym MotLO, but never mind). The museum can detect when there is just one of a species left and send agents to pick it up. Even when the species dies out rather quickly (as with the dodo in the preliminary chapter). And appearantly without the aid of time travel, and yet with instantenous teleportation between planets, which I just completely don't get (but then, I know real world science).

There are also more than a few references to past DW stories, including the old series, and even the previous book Made of Steel! And yet, given the ("""surprising""") revelation of Gridlock, somehow Jac has the Doctor register as the last of the Time Lords. Could be a mix-up or point to something very interesting. (I'm more of the 'Jac didn't school' opinion, but that won't stop the theorising!)

The characters weren't at all well developed and only distinguishable as names and half-dimensional personalities. Albert is a curio, I'm not sure what the sudden insertion of the 'Friendly Fireman' was about given the role (albeit minor one in one of the small stories) that he plays. Martha gets a chance to narrate some of the book, and Jac inserts sections and totals from The I-Spyder Book of Earth Creatures to compliment her journey and drive home the moral about species extinction. It's an odd narrative choice, and even odder when the supposed values aren't reflected properly on the list, leading one to wonder about revisions and editorial issues.

It'd be nice to see Jac do a proper full book, but between these and her Benny books, I'm not entirely sure she's capable of it.

Order: Take your pick. Between The Lazarus Experiment and 42, why not?

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