‘The Dust of Ages’ (DSL) (Book)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Dust and the Eternity Crystal with the Tenth Doctor

The quest for the Eternity Crystal begins!

2009 was David Tennant’s final year as the Tenth Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’! There wasn’t exactly a season for David Tennant’s Doctor in that year as it was mainly five Specials spread across from 2008 to 2010. Yet, 2009 is seen as that year where people got to say farewell to David Tennant’s Doctor. 🙂

In that year, a lot of spin-off media was produced. This included books, audios, comics, etc, whether it’d be for David Tennant’s Doctor or not. One of these was a children’s 10 book series called ‘The Darksmith Legacy’. These were ten stories interlinked by a certain theme, starring the Tenth Doctor.

I purchased the complete collection of ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ book series at the ‘Stars of Time’ event in July 2012. It wasn’t in a slipcase set, but I was happy to get all ten books featuring David Tennant’s Doctor. It would take me a while to read the books, but I’m happy I’ve read them at last. 🙂

As we go through each book in the series, I hope to share my thoughts on what I like about the ten stories in ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series and what interesting things there are to say about them. Will this series be good as ‘The Key To Time’ season with Tom Baker’s Doctor? I hope so. Let’s find out! 🙂

The first book in the series is of course ‘The Dust of Ages’ by Justin Richards. Justin Richards is like in overall charge of ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series and he would write three more stories in the series, including the final one ‘The End of Time’. ‘The Dust of Ages’ was published on the 29th of January 2009.

The story is divided into 10 chapters. For each ‘Darksmith Legacy’ book, there are certain interactive activities for kids to enjoy when reading the books to make them feel like a part of the story. This includes TARDIS data banks; activity pages and an offer to attend a ‘collected’ party in October 2009.

‘The Dust of Ages’ is set a few years into our future – possibly 2010. 😀  The Doctor visits Earth’s moon. He’s travelling alone by this point since he doesn’t have any companions with him like Rose, Martha or Donna. He visits one moonbase and announces he’s from the Bureau of Alien Technology doing a spot check. 😀

But during the visit, the Doctor sees that the survey team there have discovered something special. They’ve found an unknown power source which involves peculiar dust and an unusual crystal. Soon, the moonbase comes under attack by the dust which is animated by the powerful Eternity Cyrstal. 😮

I like how David Tennant’s Doctor is written in this adventure. Justin Richards is really into his ‘Doctor Who’ and has the Doctor being all-friendly and go-lucky when he meets the survey team. He’s willing to help, even when he’s under a false disguise. He has his sonic screwdriver to good use.

The survey team are quite friendly too when the Doctor meets them. They include Professor Dollund, Clinton Seymour, Bobby Goodman, Henderson and Lisa Summerton. There isn’t anyone antagonistic in the survey team, which is quite a surprise as that’s usually the case in ‘Doctor Who’. 😐

It’s easy for Bobby Goodman to be like the one-off companion figure in this story for ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series. This is especially when Bobby gives the Doctor a big hug at the end. I suppose because this is quite a ‘quick read’ of a story, there’s not enough time to expand the characters here.

Not that’s a bad thing in this book. In fact, the stories of ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ seem to be quite good reads and easy to follow. There aren’t any complicated bits and it’s gripping to read the Doctor and team getting attacked by the animated dust by the Eternity Circle, creating the base under siege.

The concept of dust being animated by the Eternity Crystal to create monsters is actually a good one. There are moments when the dust forms statues of the Doctor and Bobby in the story. There’s even a nice nod to ‘The Hand of Fear’ when the dust forms a hand that can choke people to death in this. 🙂

In terms of the activity pages featured in this book, they’re quite easy to work out and must be enjoyable for the kids to do whilst reading the story. The questions for the activity pages do get answered once you continue the story. You must look carefully to see whether your answers are right.

The TARDIS data bank pages include ones for the Earth’s Moon as well as for the Eternity Crystal itself. The Eternity Crystal is the key to this particular ‘Doctor Who’ series as it was created by the Darksmiths who are powerful artisans of the Darksmith Collective. More will be found about them. 🙂

There is the subplot going on in this story elsewhere from the Earth’s Moon on Karagula where we meet the characters of the Darksmith Collective. They include characters like Drakon, Hellan, Talen, Ardos and Stemnos. They send a giant robot called the Agent to collect the Eternity Crystal for them.

The story concludes on a cliffhanger where the Doctor, after saving the moonbase crew from the killer dust, gets attacked by the Agent robot hunting for the Eternity Crystal. It claims that the Doctor is Brother Varlos. I’m curious about what all this is about since the Doctor is about to be sentenced to death…

At the end of the book, there’s an excerpt from the second book in ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series called ‘The Graves of Mordane’ to look forward to. Please bear in mind, the ‘Collected’ Party at the end of the book is out of date since October 2009 is over. Shame! I would’ve liked to have joined in! 😀

Overall, ‘The Dust of Ages’ is a very good beginning to ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series with a well-written story by Justin Richards. Also the cover designs and illustrations by Peter McKinstry for ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series are very good! David Tennant’s image on ‘The Dust of Ages’ book is excellent!

‘The Dust of Ages’ (DSL) rating – 8/10

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For the Tenth Doctor was

  • ‘Churchill Victorious’ (TCY) (Audio)

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For the Tenth Doctor is

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