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Minion’s Reviews: Tip of the Tongue – Patrick Ness

September 3, 2013

 Adina’s BFF Minion is continuing her reviews of the short stories released monthly to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.

Doctor Who: Tip of the Tongue – Patrick Ness

Tip of the tongue

Eleven Doctors, eleven months, eleven stories: a year-long celebration of Doctor Who! The most exciting names in children’s fiction each create their own unique adventure about the time-travelling Time Lord.

In 1945, a strange new craze for Truth Tellers is sweeping the kids of small-town America. The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa soon arrive to investigate the phenomenon, only to discover that the actual truth behind the Truth Tellers is far more sinister than anyone could have imagined…

Author Patrick Ness puts his own unique spin on the Doctor, his terrifying alien enemies and time-travelling adventures.


This instalment is completely different from the other e-books to date. The entire story is from the point of view of two American teenagers during World War II – Jonny, a Jewish boy with a German name and Nettie, an African – American girl. I really liked these two characters, especially Nettie, she’s strong and wise beyond her years. I like how she had no interest in fitting in with the popular set and did her own thing.

We met the fifth Doctor and his companion Nyssa briefly about two-thirds through the book. Consequently, we don’t really get to see the Doctor in action, and don’t get to know him at all. Usually I’d be upset but this was ideal for this story. The reference the Doctor makes to losing two companions this is obviously another back story to Doctor Who that I need to research.

I really loved the idea of the truth tellers, a type of creature when once attached to one’s face actually tells the truth regardless of how it may upset or offend the target. The use of this bad feeling and hate generated was an excellent twist and extremely nasty. Ness’ comparison of the truth teller’s life to that of the inequalities of African-American people in America, especially at that time, was effective. I really liked the change of pace in this story. Like the Doctor Who series, these short stories are so different and that what makes this e-book series so great, you never know what to expect…on to meet the 6th Doctor, expectantly…

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 7, 2013 8:20 pm

    These books sound fun! 🙂 I didn’t realise Penguin was releasing these and Patrick Ness? That’s a huge get. Yey!

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