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archer - Posted on 20 June 2009
for anyone who wants to talk about or rate any of the Doctor Who books, here is your chance. this is also for the Big Finnish stories as well.
New Series Adventures (D10)
The Nightmare of Black Island by Mike Tucker
Fans of Doctor Who will have already encountered each story element of
this book from previous stories, both in the new series and in the old.
That said, I like these things and haven't encountered them in a couple
of years - so, it's all good.
A plenitude of monsters, abandoned spooky places, nutters with
driftwood collections (and guard ducks), and a culmination of events
that could lead to the end of life on Earth as we know it.
You can also make a drinking game out of it - taking a drink every time
you read the word "cables", and make it a double each time you read
"thick cables". Mike Tucker is a visual thinker, and it comes across
with plenty of set dressing (the man loves him some cables).
The dialog and characterization of The Doctor and Rose were well done,
and welcome lite fare. Not too many surprises in here, a story built of
cliches, but still a fun time that I am happy to have enjoyed.
I give it 3.75 TARDIS groans out of 5
Eighth Doctor Adventures
The Blue Angel started out well enough, clear from early on that it was
going to be convoluted and non-linear. That is fine and good as long as
it comes together at some point and provides a clear picture. It
There are several diverging stories in the book, all involving
characters I like (I was drawn to picking up Blue Angel to complete the
span of the series that features Compassion - and thought that I could
hardly go wrong with Iris included as well). None of them was resolved
in a satisfactory or clear way. It is as if Paul Magrs and Jeremy Hoad managed to talk the series editor of the EDAs into treating the book as a prank.
Story aside - it was technically written well, language and imagery
wise - it was like a dream that kept getting interrupted and was never
allowed to make sense.
An incredibly miss-managed opportunity to use a fully realized
cast of characters satirizing the Star Trek series was neglected and
I think I can honestly say that not a single question posed in the
book is answered. All motivation to continue reading it for resolution
ends with a final chapter that asks the reader twenty contradictory
questions which are never answered. I read it in 4 attentive sittings, but clearly I must have missed something because some readers respond well to the book.
After sitting on this for a little while, a few possible answers
have occurred to me, in a dreamlike fashion. The treat of being sucked
into this additional thinking, and its potential rewards, shouldn't go
unmentioned. The book is a strange egg, but I stand by the thrust of my
review: It isn't for everyone.
2.5 Zygon suckers out of 5
Past Doctor Adventures
First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan
It had been a little while since I'd read a first doctor PDA, and
within the first 3 chapters I was vowing to make sure I have all the
others in my collection. Bulis does a fantastic job of capturing the
spirit of the era, and each of the TARDIS crew members comes across as
dead on. Barbara and Susan are put through the ringer, and you can
easily picture the mussed hair, and smudged cheek shots typical of the
beleaguered heroins. Ian reactive and stoic at the same time, and the
Doctor alternately useless and key to the resolution It was a magical
I liked the story a lot - mainly an illustration of the religious
and powerful fighting over cosmetic aspects of the culture while the
scientists and engineers do the only work that matters to the survival
of the people (while ignoring, to their detriment, some of the
potential outcomes of their growing technological advances).
It isn't an easy book to describe/review without giving away plot
surprises - suffice it to say, there are a lot of twists (maybe one or
two too many, as some seem to either come from, or go into, blind
alleys). Delightfully - a reason for the dimensional instability
resulting in the adventure that follows (Planet of the Giants) is
given, as well as a 'promise' to revisit the scene in the afterward.
An 'episodic feel' is chosen rather than the most well constructed
story with a distinctive beginning, middle and end. I liked this about
it, for the way it reflects the stories of the first TARDIS crew.
It may not be "The Witch Hunters", but it is a very good read that
I recommend to anyone who is a fan of this period of the series.
4 Krynoid seeds out of 5
Eight Doctor Adventures (w/ Fitz, Angi)
There are a spell of eighth Doctor books where the intention of each of
the writers seems to have been to smash the Doctor Who cliches and try
something entirely new for the range. This installation flies in the
face of that trend and gives you a story that piques all the right
nostalgic familiarities while making it big budget in such a way that I
doubt you could ever see it on screen.Sabbath actually spends time
with the Doctor, and we learn more about him than we have since
Adventuress of Henrietta Street. Fitz and Anji do a good deal of first
person narration - which I always welcome from them. The setting is
fantastic - and the 'monsters' of the piece are among the most
frightening I've known in the DWU.
4 console click out of 5
Some folks give this book a hard time - and it is a slight step out of
the ordinary for the EDAs. More of a speculative fiction novel than
science fiction (except for the last 25 pages) - the TARDIS crew enter
a London theocracy where torture and lack of due process are the rule
in a society made to fear terrorists at every turn. If that doesn't
sound like timely and familiar commentary to you - maybe you haven't
been paying attention to western politics circa 2000-'08.Fitz spends the book being beaten up.
3.5 Bessie chases out of 5
New Series Adventures (D10, Martha)
A big fan of M. Michalowski's other Doctor Who novels, I plunked down
my 13 bucks and wrung my grubby palms in anticipation. I had some
reservations regarding the NSA's as I had heard they were written for
younger readers than the previous lines of Doctor Who novels (though
this is disputed by some). If this instillation is typical - my fears
were founded, and I should have resisted the book (at least until a
used copy found its way to me).Without giving too much away, the
book features cute fuzzy otter beings that are sometimes sweet to human
settlers and sometimes threatening. I'm tempted to say that is the long
and short of the whole piece, but there were some interesting 'settlers
under siege' moments, and a slightly more complex plot than 'sometimes
otters... they don't like you so much'.If you like your Doctor Who
with a little more sci-fi substance, character and plot, save yourself
the mild disappointment and head straight for Relative Dimentias (one
of my all-time favorite Doctor Who novels, and written by Michalowski).
3 cloister bell gongs out of 5
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