Espresso Shots: Big Bang Generation, by Gary Russell (Doctor Who: The Glamour Chronicles)


Small-sized reviews, raves, and recommendations.

During Christmas 2015 in Sydney Cove, Australia, a time portal appears. The Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) appears in Sydney sans companion. As with other Doctor Who stories, there’s a ticking time bomb, the imminent destruction of the universe, ragtag gangs of good guys and bad guys, and copious wisecracks.

Big Bang Generation revolves around the recovery of the Glamour, an important device essential to saving the universe. “In the fifty-first century, at Stormcage Confinement Facility Number One, a message was received by a representative of the Papal Mainframe requesting the loan of a prisoner called Professor River Song. The request was immediately denied.” In the aforementioned Stormcage Confinement Facility the mobster Cyrrus Globb and Kik the assassin are placed in adjoining cells.

Cyrrus and Kik are temporarily released because of their unique skill sets. They end up assisting Professor Horace Jaanson in his quest to find the Glamour. In opposition to these intergalactic criminals are Professor Bernice Summerfield, Peter Guy Summerfield, Ruth, “Spring-Heeled” Jack, and the Doctor. Peter is Bernice’s son: half-Killoran, gay, and “really good at guns.” As is the spirit of the Doctor Who franchise, Peter’s half-Killoran appearance is described as “big tall aliens that look like anthropomorphised Rottweilers; smarter than they look and quite charming.”

The good guys and the bad guys finally converge in Sydney to stop a pyramid from blowing up the universe. The Doctor explains, “The Ancients of the Universe manipulated all of space and time for their own ends, then vanished, leaving the famous Pyramid Eternia to be stayed away from.” Will our heroes save the universe? Will Peter find a boyfriend? Will Bernice get the recognition she deserves?

I enjoyed Big Bang Generation, albeit I felt decades older than its intended audience. But the story is sharp, the wisecracks tight, and the prose polished as a Doctor Who TV episode. Given these rather apocalyptic times, I would highly recommend this book to a YA readership. Great fun can be had if adults choose to read this to (or with) their children. A little scary, but most of the book is rollicking silly fun.

NB: I received this book via Blogging for Books. Unfortunately, it is no more. It was a great website and offered some wonderful selections.

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