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HJC "HJC" (England)

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Heaven's Bones (Ravenloft: the Covenant)
Heaven's Bones (Ravenloft: the Covenant)
by Samantha Henderson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was hoping for, 28 Nov. 2008
I agree with many of the comments reviewer Biss has already made.

A curious piece this one. As the first new Ravenloft novel in 9 years I was eagerly awaiting this release. However the unfortunate reality was that the Ravenloft core references were few and far between. Part of book is set in Kartakass and Harkon Lucas briefly get a mention, along with a number of Vistani references but that is about it.

The Ravenloft setting has most notably changed by incorporating Victorian England as a place to which the mists of Ravenloft connect and draw their prey. This appears to be the same connection as shared by other TSR settings as opposed to that outlined in the Masque of the Red Death campaign setting.

Even forgetting the tenuous Ravenloft connections, this book suffered from having too many villains, a convoluted time-line and an overly bizarre plot.

I very much hope for an improvement on subsequent Ravenloft releases, hopefully returning to some of the core gothic horror concepts that originally shaped the series.

Doctor Who: Made of Steel
Doctor Who: Made of Steel
by Terrance Dicks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin!, 30 Jun. 2008
I think it is important to note that this is not intended to be an epic tale but simply a quick read. At merely 100 pages (large font at that) readers will polish this off in no time.

That aside the plot content is perfectly acceptable providing a fast, fun Doctor Who adventure against that classic mechanised menace - the Cybermen. A bargain at less than two pounds.

The book ties up the slight continuity issue that some Cybermen were created on earth and had therefore never travelled through the void so would not have been sucked into the void at the end of the 2nd season. This story deals with a small Cyber-contingent that were left behind.

Von Bek: "Warhound and the World's Pain", "City in the Autumn Stars", "Pleasure Gardens of Felipe Sagittarius" (Tale of the Eternal Champion)
Von Bek: "Warhound and the World's Pain", "City in the Autumn Stars", "Pleasure Gardens of Felipe Sagittarius" (Tale of the Eternal Champion)
by Michael Moorcock
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, 29 Jun. 2008
Having recently undertaken the task of working my way though MMs work I approached this novel with no preconceptions. The book is split into three parts of which the first "Warhound and the World's Pain" I felt was very strong indeed containing an engaging story. Unfortunately I felt that the second story "City in the Autumn Stars" was over-long and became very confused and attempted (and failed) to incorporate too many disparate mythologies. This story lacked the pacing and characterisation of the first. The 10 page short story at the back really adds little more to this collection.

I'd probably recommend this for the MM completist to read but if your just encountering these works for the first time would suggest trying Corum rather than Von Bek.

Doctor Who - The Stealers of Dreams (New Series Adventure 6)
Doctor Who - The Stealers of Dreams (New Series Adventure 6)
by Steve Lyons
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story (and that is the truth)!, 29 Jun. 2008
I have been a little disappointed with the earlier 9th Doctor novels, however this is the first to be of a quality and complexity to rival the previously released (and on average vastly superior) Virgin New Adventure and BBC 8th Doctor series.

The story deals with some very complex issues around truth and fiction while capturing the disparate personalities of the Doctor and his companions, especially Captain Jack - who didn't have any where near enough screen time with the Doctor.

The ending is particularly satisfying, veering away from the overused cliché of baddie blows themselves up. The identity of Hal caught me off guard (but I won't spoil it).

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