A Doctor Whoesque Fighting Fantasy

Spectral Stalkers - Peter Darvill-Evans

It seems that a number of commentators have noticed that there is a very Doctor Who flavour to this particular gamebook. I am not at all surprised since Peter Darvill-Evans has written a number of Doctor Who novels in his career. I would not be surprised if, like me, Darvill-Evans has been a Doctor Who fan since his was a child, and bringing this passion into the Fighting Fantasy world is actually a refreshing change to many of the previous books that I have read which have all been pretty much the same.



In Spectral Stalkers you are wondering along a road, looking for a new quest, when one suddenly falls into your hand in the form of an artifact known as the Aeleph. However you are only given a hint of what you are supposed to do with it, and that hint comes in the form of a name. You are not told whether this person is good or bad, or whether you are supposed to give the Aeleph to him, or prevent him from getting his hands on it. You are not given much time to ponder the situation because some powerful creatures known as Spectral Stalkers begin to materialise forcing you to use the Aeleph and jump to another world.



The whole gamebook involves you jumping between various worlds collecting things that will become useful in your quest. In fact they are referred to as signs and portents. The problem is that much of it is random so you do not have much choice in where you will end up next when you use the Aeleph. On the flip side there is actually not all that much combat in the book, which is also a refreshing change from the endless hack and slash and unmapable mazes of the previous books.



What really stood out about this book though was that the end (and I don't want to tell you because it is a spoiler) does not involve a huge combat with a big bad guy but rather twisting the situation around to your own advantage. As I mentioned you know very little about the actual quest and what you are supposed to do, and in fact you can get to the end of the adventure and still not know all that much. Fortunately you do not need to make your way along the 'one true path' to get there because, as I mentioned, it is simply not possible.



A few have suggested that they had not given this one a shot previously because of a number of reasons, and I must admit that I was one of them (namely because I simply did not have my hands on it, and also that I had pretty much stopped reading them around the mid-twenties - I believe that last one that I read in my younger days was Armies of Death, and I had stopped collecting them by that time).


I think I better start trawling through Ebay again to see if I can get my hands on some of the other Fighting Fantasy books that I do not have and have not read (there are some that I don't have but have read because I have borrowed them off of a friend, however I would like at one stage to complete my collection by getting them as well, but as I have already read and commented on them, that time is not now).


Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/785199537