One of my beautiful friends, who sadly lives in Melbourne and NOT in Brisbane, bought me this book when she went over to the US. This particular book was a Barnes and Noble exclusive and it is so pretty. Seriously, this may be the most beautiful book that I own, and this includes the original covers of the Infernal Devices series. Embossed TARDIS blue leather with silver leafed pages. So unbelievably pretty.
I have read the first story in this book, The Silent Stars Go By, before. So I will only be reviewing the second story. If you want to read my review of the first story, just click here.
Touched by am Angel takes place during the time of Eleven and the Ponds, and, as you may have guessed by the title, the Weeping Angels. The story itself follows Mark Whitaker, eight years after the death of his wife, Rebecca. Mark receives a mysterious envelope that was held by his office for eight years before it was given to him. It is soon after this envelope is delivered that Mark encounters his first Angel. And we all know what happens when Angels get involved in anything.
What I loved most about this story was, you guessed it, its structure. We follow a few different threads of story in Touched by an Angel: past Mark, future Mark, and whatever it is the Doctor and the Ponds are up to in between the episodes of Mark’s life.Because they are episodes. We get the highlights of Mark’s life and how in intertwined with Rebecca’s. This is something that could have been done badly, with the reader getting confused or with the points of each episode getting lost in all the wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey stuff, but Morris nails it. Each episode is perfectly contained to explain just how close past and future Mark were at any given time plus how messed up time is. Remember that all important quote from “Blink”:
People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey… stuff.
Oh! And Sally Sparrow is mentioned in passing. Which was a nice little touch.
The complexity of the narrative structure in this book was simply divine. I was so impressed. I think what helped with this was the fact that the story was told from a third-person-omniscient POV. We do have three main story lines, but these story lines are made up of a whole heap of different perspectives. Which makes it a lot easier to understand the time travel aspect of each scene given that we can see any given scene from a bunch of different angles.
Touched by an Angel also had a wonderful circular feel to its story. It begins and ends in a similar place, but with a few distinct differences that make the ending just that little bit devastating. But, what made this story for me was how well Morris tied everything together. The climax of the story feeds into both the beginning and the end of the book. I hugged the book when I read the denouement, and read that particular paragraph at least five times before I moved on.
All of that being said, I think there could have been a little more character development for The Doctor, Amy, and Rory. It’s a problem I have with a lot of the Doctor Who novels. The new characters are always shiny and three-dimensional and amazing, but the existing characters are a little two-dimensional because the author relies on the reader’s prior knowledge of the show to fill in the gaps in characterisation. I suppose it’s a forgivable sin, because these books are an extension of the show, but it still irks me.
But in the end, this book was incredible, and I highly recommend the story to every Whovian reading this. Especially if you can get it in this edition.