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Shadowmind (New Doctor Who Adventures) [Paperback]

Christopher Bulis
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dr Who; Mti edition (15 July 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0426203941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0426203940
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 449,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

Features the Doctor from the BBC TV series "Doctor Who". Arden, a recently colonized planet, is an idyllic wilderness of forests and hills. The human settlers are sure there is no indigenous intelligent life-form. But there is something on Arden, a power from across space.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Taking Umbra - ige 21 Jun 2005
The Umbra has got to be one of the least impressive DW monsters ever. Supposedly stealing minds and memories from the colonists of the planet Arden, it manifests as a large black cloud and the telepathic voice of an adolescent child.
The Doctor, Ace and Benny quickly join forces with the colonists to repel the insidious invader - Ace wrestles with her conscience after seeing one new friend too many die; The Doctor does what he does whilst Benny does...well nothing really.
This story is a definite Sci-Fi effort; spaceships exchange laser fire, genre-specific terminology appears regularly ('The Broadsword's drive cut and the ship tumbled, propelled by the undamaged thruster domes') and a squadron of space troopers parachutes into hostile terrirtory. In this regard it entertains - however we learn nothing new about the principal characters (a flaw common to this series) and the prose itself is somewhat limited.
That said, it's an acceptable entry into the NEW ADVENTURES canon.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shallowmind 11 May 2009
Shadowmind is an extremely average entry into the 'New Adventures' series.
The premise is interesting but unclear from the start - who is making replicants of ordinary humans and allowing them to infiltrate the human colony of Arden - and why?
The focus for most of the novel is actually The Doctor's companions, Ace and Benny. Berniece is in reflective mood whilst Ace seems to be getting wilder - a million miles from the innocent young tearaway The Doctor met on Iceworld.
The real problem is that nothing really happens - the story is very Science-Fiction and there are numerous references for ardent fans. Unfortunately this places it firmly within the 'self-aware' bracket; this is one purely for completists.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Drove me out of my SHADOWMIND 4 July 2002
By Andrew McCaffrey - Published on Amazon.com
I recently unearthed my copy of SHADOWMIND, which had been Missing In Action for the past seven years or so. The discovery yielded a puzzling result, as there was a bookmark approximately thirty pages from the end of the story, yet I had absolutely no recollection of ever reading any of this. I vaguely wondered what would have caused me to give up on a book when I had managed to get so close to the conclusion. Undaunted, I decided to begin reading again from the beginning. This time would be different. I would fight on until the very end, defeating any leaden prose, clichéd characters, and banal subplots that dared to stand in my way. I would fight this through to the bitter end, to win now where I had been defeated seven years ago. And, after several long days, I succeeded.
Ow.
Okay, it's not as bad as all that. The beginning is quite good, and despite some problems with the end, there were several resolutions that I enjoyed. But the sections in the middle are so dull, so tedious, so devoid of anything remotely fulfilling that I almost gave up on SHADOWMIND for the second time. Even now, looking back at the events of the past few days, I'm not completely certain how I made it all the way through. Admittedly, there are more than a few blurry spots in my memory, and I just know there are several chapters that jumped ship before they could be transferred from my short-term to my long-term memory. But, somehow, I got to the end. Whew.
Anyway, as I indicated, there are some fairly pleasant pieces at the beginning of the story. The initial setting, where the Doctor, Ace and Benny decide to vacation, has the potential to be an appealing backdrop. At the other end of the gaping abyss that is the plot, the conclusion has some attractive features as well. Bulis inserts an interesting piece of angsty material that manages not to be gratuitous or overwrought. It's a bit contrived, but I felt that it worked. Perhaps I was merely delirious having just stumbled through the excruciating middle section, but I really was interested in what had been done with New Ace.
This interesting stuff from the opening all ends up being abandoned, and, unfortunately, the story is very very slow to actually move on to the later parts. It's all very well to have an authentic-seeming space opera where it takes multiple days to cross from one planet to another. But the danger in showing space travel as a boring and time-consuming task is that this can very easily make reading a boring and time-consuming task. Even the portions that take place on the planet surface are arduous and long. Yes, it may be quite realistic for complicated military procedures to take place over the course of several days, but, boy oh boy, you'd better have something interesting going on while all the boring marching is taking place. And there's nothing distracting during these sections at all.
There are lots of trees, to be sure. Trees don't equal excitement. And there are loads of extras just itching to be killed off. Cannon-fodder isn't entirely enthralling either. Approximately a hundred pages of the book can be summed up in four short sentences: People show up. Some are blown up. Others blow up things. Some do both. With those four sentences out of the way, you can now safely skip from about page one hundred right through until about twenty or thirty pages from the end. If you've never read this book and are planning to do so, please don't hesitate to substitute those sentences in. You'll save yourself many hours and many tears.
All that I really got out of the story is that the main villain is apparently some sort of angry adolescent briquette (I'm not making this up) bent on interstellar invasion by using a spaceship equipped with a sphincter (I couldn't make this up). There's some nice stuff tossed in randomly about making difficult decisions, but that honestly doesn't make the book worth it. Too many of the action sequences are boring and repetitive. This is the sort of book where if you accidentally turn over two pages at once, you may find yourself wondering whether it's worth expending the energy it would take to turn back the extra page.
But at least I learned why I gave up reading it the last time.
3.0 out of 5 stars Thinking dark thoughts 16 Jun 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Following the discovery of an unusual form of alien possession, the TARDIS crew set off to the planet Arden to trace the source of the possession. It is not what they expect...
On close review, this novel by first-time author Christopher Bulis doesn't necessarily have much outstanding about it. It is a pretty standard sort of story, the kind that Doctor Who has been filled with. This is not, by the way, a bad thing - while we may hope for outstanding stories, they wouldn't be outstanding if we didn't have the more run-of-the-mill to compare them to.
The novel, however, isn't poor. Some of the characterisation could be better, the plotline improved, but these are not unexpected thins in a first novel.
I did enjoy the ultimate baddy of this novel, I'm not sure why. The fact that I did, however, did raise this novel up a bit for me.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars In one word: Bad! 2 April 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The Doctor, Benny, and Ace go on adventure on the planet Arden. Unfortunately, the adventure consists of a badly-written man-versus-nature plot, complete with an Eco-friendly environmental "message".
Worse, the book contains dozens of typos. I found myself literally correcting the mistakes as I read. A typical example can be found on page 241, where an entire sentence is ruined because there are so many typographical errors. I found 40 typos in this slim, 244 page novel, just reading it.
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