Sometimes, as a reader, I just want to take time out and bask purely in the entertainment value of a book. And sometimes, picking up a Doctor Who novel feels a little bit like catching up with a dear and much loved old friend. And seeing as The Stone Rose is set during the tenth doctors reign, with Rose as his companion (one of the better pairings in recent years, though Donna and the Tenth Doctor worked quite well,) it felt marvellously like catching up with old charms while discovering a new story. Of course, it doesn't hurt that author Jacqueline Rayner has quite a love of history and that The Stone Rose has a reputation of being one of the better Doctor Who releases in recent years. And then there is the icing on the cake, the fact that I found this one for less than a dollar around at my local secondhand book store.
Anyway, The Stone Rose opens with Rose, The Doctor and Mickey all visiting a museum where they are surprised to discover a sculpture from Ancient Rome that is almost a splitting image of Rose. Unsurprisingly, the Doctor and Rose soon travel back in time to Rome, where they encounter a young psychic who joins them on their journey, along with (unsurprisingly,) a unscrupulous sculptor whose work seems a little too lifelike. It's not hard to guess what happens next, but as always in the Doctor Who universe, half the fun is guessing how it is going to happen and suspending ones disbelieve as the writer lets their imagination run riot. Rayner does a commendable job, getting both the characterisations right and coming up with a satisfying ending.
An excellent choice for Doctor Who fans, which should appeal to readers of varying age groups. (Yes, this is one that older fans can share with the kids.)