This book is half in-universe bestiary and half behind-then-scenes extras. I mean that literally. Half of each chapter is one and half the other. Each chapter focuses on one species: Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, Judon, Sontarans, Silence, Silurians. It looks as though all of them are New Who species or ones that were carried over from the classical series to the revival.
The framing device for the first half is that someone in the Doctor Who universe put together information on the species in question and their encounters with humans. This takes the form of publicly available information, observation from eye witnesses, hacked documents from UNIT or Torchwood etc. It presents an outside and rear-view-mirror of the events, like someone investigating after-the-fact. This includes "speculation" that is often correct and used to contrast the official/cover up story. There's also a running gag of the person doing the investigation failing to recognize the importance of the Doctor. It's interesting to see this perspective because we, the viewers, have a front-row seat that someone else in-universe would not.
The behind-the-scenes stuff talks about the creation and conception of the aliens and monsters. This involves how the props are made, the real life circumstances that affected their portrayal, and excerpts from scripts saying how the writer wants the creatures to move and appear.
This is definitely a book written for fans because there's jokes/references/bonus understanding for those that have seen the episodes alluded to here. I've only seen part of the First Doctor's run so much of the Classic Who stuff went over my head.
This kind of book is further outside my norm than I usually go so I'm not sure what grade to give it. I'll just say that I enjoyed reading it and I'm going to keep it and let you decide from there.
Trickster Eric Novels gives "Doctor Who: The Secret Life of Monsters" a +
Click here for the next book review (a request): The Light of the Radiant
Click here to read my previous book review (for fun): Assassin's Creed (2016 movie Novelization)
Brian Wilkerson is a independent novelist, freelance book reviewer, and writing advice blogger. He studied at the University of Minnesota and came away with bachelor degrees in English Literature and History (Classical Mediterranean Period concentration).