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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The New Adventures get going properly here
An important piece of Doctor Who history, sort of, as the last on-screen companion of the classic series gets-killed-off-or-does-she? (this isn't a spoiler, honest, it's a question that's asked within the first 20 pages of the book) and the introduction of new companion Benny mark the real beginning of the New Doctor Who Adventures proper.

Revelling in the...
Published on 9 Nov 2008 by Mr. Stuart Bruce

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable for the most part...
#### SPOILERS AHOY!!! ####

I was really enjoying this tale, until the penultimate and ending scenes between Ace and the Doctor and then between the Doctor and Benny. I adore the manipulative 7th Doctor and this tale had bucket loads of it, but with this book, as with the TV episodes towards the end of McCoy's tenure as the Doctor, you also got to understand...
Published on 10 May 2009 by Blindbadger


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable for the most part..., 10 May 2009
This review is from: Love and War (New Doctor Who Adventures) (Mass Market Paperback)
#### SPOILERS AHOY!!! ####

I was really enjoying this tale, until the penultimate and ending scenes between Ace and the Doctor and then between the Doctor and Benny. I adore the manipulative 7th Doctor and this tale had bucket loads of it, but with this book, as with the TV episodes towards the end of McCoy's tenure as the Doctor, you also got to understand that a care for Ace's welfare was always in amongst the Doctor's manipulations.

Yes, he was a really bad Gallifreyan in this Book with manipulations galore going on, but when it came down to it, he risked his own life to try and rescue Ace. He needed Jan's help, and he used Jan's love for Ace to get that help, but then Jan would have helped anyway had he known Ace was in trouble - and towards the end of the book Ace used Julian to help her. So is Ace as bad as the Doctor when it comes to manipulation? *shrug* - But this is what I enjoy about reading, the questions that can arise during a story.

The only bad thing I can say about this book, and yet sadly, for me, it is a humungous bad thing, and that is the handling of Ace leaving and Benny joining as the Doctor's companion.

I was severely jarred out of the story, because in this book Benny's joining the Doctor implied that the only motivation behind the Doctor ever risking his life to keep his companions alive is because he doesn't want to be alone, which I think (putting it politely) is complete and utter rubbish.

...And Ace's leaving the Doctor, while understandable, was so rushed that it was painful to read and, in my opinion, unforgiveable.

All in all, for the most part I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but the penultimate and ending scenes I thought were so poorly constructed and executed that they completely spoilt all that had gone on before.

If you were to stop reading before the penultimate and ending scenes, then I'd recommend this book to anyone, but if you want to know how Ace leaves and Benny joins the Dcotor, then I can't in all honesty recommend it at all - Sorry.

:-)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Uninspired, 13 Nov 2005
This review is from: Love and War (New Doctor Who Adventures) (Mass Market Paperback)
Paul Cornell deserves some credit as it is he who first introduced Professor Berniece 'Benny' Summerfield to the world of Doctor Who. Benny and Ace sparked well off one another in their adventures together; the former even meriting her own official spin-off series once the 'New Adventures' range petered out. It has to be said though that 'Love and War' does not represent either The Doctor or Ace's finest hour - the latter becomes involved with Jan, a traveller who has arrived with his friends on the planet 'Heaven', an apparent paradise and resting place for weary wanderers and we see a smitten Ace coming almost to blows with The Doctor who is seemingly opposed to the burgeoning romance - I say it is not their finest hour because of the mawkish and insipid tone throughout and the self-referential portrayal of the characters which fails to develop either one of them in any way.

The story's monsters: 'The Hoothi' have the potential to be memorable but are underused, whilst a fleeting and irrelevant mention of The Doctor's old enemy 'The Rani' and a sub-plot that never really gets going, only serve to hinder the narrative further.
Full marks for bringing us the spunky 'Benny' but little else to inspire or intrigue.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The New Adventures get going properly here, 9 Nov 2008
By 
Mr. Stuart Bruce "DonQuibeats" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love and War (New Doctor Who Adventures) (Mass Market Paperback)
An important piece of Doctor Who history, sort of, as the last on-screen companion of the classic series gets-killed-off-or-does-she? (this isn't a spoiler, honest, it's a question that's asked within the first 20 pages of the book) and the introduction of new companion Benny mark the real beginning of the New Doctor Who Adventures proper.

Revelling in the things that they couldn't do on screen, there's sex, blood, guts, and gore, none of it particularly ground-breaking but the white worm-like spores are a pretty chilling idea. It ties in rather deliberately with ideas harking back to the 7th and even 6th Doctor's on-screen adventures (Dragonfire / Curse of Fenric / Trial of a Time Lord), it's as if they knew that only real fans would be reading...

My criticism would be that McCoy's Doctor and Ace both seem rather out of character. Ace falls in love rather too easily and the Doctor says some extremely un-Doctor-like things, but it's still a worthwhile read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly overrated..., 16 May 2008
This review is from: Love and War (New Doctor Who Adventures) (Mass Market Paperback)
Love and War's a weird one. For me, anyway. I adore the New Adventures, but I've never really understood the generally gushing reaction to Paul Cornell.

Reading it for the second time, I can see why people like them - they're neatly constructed little tales, and Human Nature especially benefits from having a really strong Dr Who premise - but, personally, I just don't think Cornell's prose is that strong. Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel, for example, blow Cornell out of the water in terms of the quality of their writing, but because their stories don't conform to what people think Dr Who 'should' be like, they don't get the same sort of recognition.

Love and War has a very conventional plot, and aside from some neat twists and the presence of the manipulative Seventh Dr, there isn't anything particularly original going on. People say there's some amazing characterisation here, but, although it's nice to get a bit of insight into the Doctor and Ace's relationship, pretty much everyone else is quite colourless (barely even differentiated by description). There's a bit more to Bernice (and, in retrospect, it's surprising how many of what will become the staples of her character are established here), but I still wouldn't say she's three-dimensional. Everything's a bit flat, really.

To my mind, this novel is a traditional Dr Who plot with some added emotional manipulation. I'm not dissing it, but whilst reading it this time I was very aware of the buttons that were being pushed (although I'm fairly sure it wasn't written this cynically). I did enjoy it, and, while I understand that when it was published the level of emotional involvement would have felt very fresh, now, with so many other excellent Dr Who novels published subsequently, Love and War feels a bit contrived; the emotional additions to its slim plot almost feel too much like a conscious choice now, like, 'I'm doing Dr Who with emotion! Imagine!'. Though well-drawn at times, Ace's doomed love affair mostly gives rise to quite a mawkish sensibility, where I imagine Cornell was attempting something more penetrating and honest.

I guess this novel is good Dr Who - it ticks the right boxes, has some nice ideas (the Hoothi are genuinely repellent, but fascinating) - but the concept of 'good Dr Who' usually comes down to an idealised version of the 70s series, I think, and Love and War has that feel. Personally, the books I'd rate highest are the ones that really push the limits of Dr Who - Transit, the War trilogy, Adventuress, The Man in the Velvet Mask, etc. I think it's the difference between genuinely good authors tackling Dr Who, and okay authors creating by-numbers 'good Dr Who'. (If you get me.)

Where Love and War is a total success, however, is in its Doctor. Ever since I discovered the NAs as a kid, the NA Seventh Doctor has been the ultimate Doctor for me (and continues to be, even in light of the new series). Here, he's recognisably McCoy's Doctor, but maybe slightly expanded upon, with more rage and sadness, I think - and he's spine-chillingly effective. There are some slightly hyperbolic lines in regards to him (of the 'I'm what monsters have nightmares about,' and 'Who will save us now?!' / 'I will!' variety)... but, somehow, they work. He really does seem like a force to be reckoned with, and it's glorious. You're fully behind this funny little man, wanting him to decimate his opponents, but at the same time you're kind of scared of what he'll do next...

As I say, a weird one: it's snappily effective, but there's something quite inorganic about it, for want of a better word; it has a kind of committee-written feel, like there were twelve Cornells in a boardroom adding touches of poetic justice or irony every now and then to strategically tug the heartstrings... Perhaps for a tragic love story it feels a bit too meticulously pieced together?
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, 6 Jan 2014
This review is from: Love and War (New Doctor Who Adventures) (Mass Market Paperback)
I think this book is enjoyable for most of it but I didn't even know Ace left at the end. This is because sometimes the writting is awful, I think Ace leaving in this book was a good idea but it wish it had been better. Not the best Doctor Who book I've ever read and I'm not a fan of this dark and mysterious Doctor this series is trying to create.
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Love and War (New Doctor Who Adventures)
Love and War (New Doctor Who Adventures) by Paul Cornell (Mass Market Paperback - 15 Oct 1992)
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