Another change of pace for BBC’s tenth Doctor series, The Nightmare of Black Island by Mike Tucker is a horror story with a SciFi twist.

nightmare on black island coverThe Doctor and Rose show up near a small coastal village and are soon being chased by a horde of monsters that appear to be right out of a child’s nightmares. The villagers live in fear as every night the monsters come out and no one dares to venture outside. Oddly enough, the appearance of the monsters coincides with the bedtime of the children in the village. It doesn’t take long for the Doctor to make the connection and to begin investigating the occupants of a scary old house at the edge of town. Eventually, the investigation leads to an abandoned lighthouse that doesn’t seem so abandoned afterall. The Doctor must put the pieces together and come up with a plan to keep this village and eventually the whole world from being destroyed.

Once again, as in other tenth Doctor books, one of the strong points of this book is the supporting characters. From the adventuress children to the fearful parents and oddball bar patrons, the residents of this sleepy village come across as real people. By this time in the series, The Doctor and Rose’s personalities have been pretty well defined, and it is not hard to picture the two of them as you read along.

So far with these BBC books, I’ve really liked that each story has been quite different from the others. I mean, there’s still the standard Doctor and companion land in strange place, discover mystery, have to solve mystery and save everyone, but they each go about it in a unique way so you don’t feel like you’re reading the same story over and over. There’s no real character development on the Doctor’s part, but then again they don’t want to do something that would be inconsistent to the actual show, so that is understandable. True to form, the Nightmare of Black Island fits into this standard mold, but manages to be entertaining anyway.

With plenty of action and danger, The Nightmare of Black Island is well worth the read and shouldn’t disappoint any tenth Doctor fans.