Anatomy of a Book: Shada, by Douglas Adams and Gareth Roberts

At the age of five, Skagra decided emphatically that God did not exist. This revelation tends to make most people in the universe who have it react in one of two ways – with relief or with despair. Only Skagra responded to it by thinking, Wait a second. That means there’s a situation vacant. (p.13)

We are introduced to the villain Skagra and the beginning of his plan.

Whenever they met, and much more of late, Chris felt that Clare had the air of waiting for him to say something obvious and important, but for the life of him he couldn’t work out what it was. (p.19)

We are introduced to Chris and Clare, and their unresolved sexual tension (aka URST).

The Professor emerged from the kitchen, carrying two cups of tea. ‘Here you are.’ (p.25)

We are introduced to Professor Chronotis, his enthusiasm for tea, his book fill room, and his scattered memory.

It may – though it almost certainly will not – come as a surprise to discover that the police box that Chris Parsons saw in Professor Chronotis’s rooms was not a police box at all. (p.27)

We are introduced to a police box found in the Professor’s rooms.

Chris pondered a second. ‘You mean it’s a dead end?’ / ‘Well, I was trying not to put it in such a final-sounding way. Why don’t we agree to say cul-de-sac?’ (p.298)

Eventually these characters face troubles, struggles, death and travel, mostly with Romana and the Doctor. It is a Doctor Who story after all.

Changing Status:

The bumbling Professor, with students Chris and Clare, have to face a mastermind villain and assist travelers of time and space.

High Stakes:

The minds and lives of these people are at risk, and things only get worse from there.

Page Turner:

Frequent drama. Each chapter ending during a chase or a challenge. the dialogue is snappy, and backstory limited as it is revealed though the book only at times when needed.

Believable Characters:

Each character has minor annoying quirks, such as the relentless up-beat nature of the Doctor, or the Professor’s focus on tea. Endearing quirks that make them relatable.

Educate:

What do you do if a mind sucking orb floats at your head?

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