The 10th Doctor and Rose find themselves in a mixed world; where space travel, pirates and steam powered robots all collide. The TARDIS breaks down due to the influence of a cosmic phenomenon, stranging the travellers upon a backward colony full of danger and mystery… (spoilers follow)
The book takes place shortly after the start of season 28; the Doctor is still a little unsure of his new body (‘Have my fingers always been this long?’) while Rose makes reference to the events of New Earth. This is apparent in that the author does not have a solid grasp on the characteristics of the 10th Doctor – some of the dialogue seems to be far more suited to that of Eccelston’s 9th incarnation of the Time Lord. The book actually seems written with the 9th Doctor in mind, with specific actions slotted into the text in an attempt to make it a 10th Doctor adventure.
The plot itself is quite engaging, with the presented imagery of steam powered robots proving to be very interesting, especially when combined with the classic concept of pirates and the skullduggery inevitably associated with them. The setting of Starfall is richly presented and formed through appropiate emphasis on detail – while all the characters are fleshed out well. The wide number of villains play off each other well and their motivations remain clear and sensible in the regard to those characters.
The mystery elements certainly assist in creating a quite readable narrative, even though the Resurrection Casket is not the most complicated of novels – it’s certainly not in the same range of the New Adventures range and is definitely aimed at younger fans of the new series. Though almost all older readers will be able to see the mysteries conclusion coming from some distance off, it is still enough to keep the pages turning at a steady rate.
Apart from the characterisation of the Doctor, the main problem with the text is that it fails to clear certain important things up. What is the zeg? How does it work? What or who created it? Where is the power for the zeg coming from? How does it affect a time ship whose systems don’t even exist in space/time?
Overall, it is not a bad book but could do with some rewriting to get a better grasp on the Doctor and explain the things mentioned above.