on 29 July 2013
1998 wasn't a good year for the EDA's according to general fan consensus. It's pretty easy to see why when 5 of the 7 novels preceding Vanderdeken's Children were either easily forgettable or severely lacking. With Vanderdeken's Children though, Christopher Bulis has managed to stem the flow and written a novel is one of the better ones of the era.
The Doctor and Sam stumble across a derelict space ship which is being claimed by two different nations at the same time, the trouble is the ship is seemingly protected by unknown forces and both sides struggle to get a foothold. Once finally on the vessel, it soon becomes clear that the craft isn't quite as abandoned as first thought when the crews are attacked by "ghosts".
Vanderdeken's Children has extensive use of science fiction and technology, which I enjoy as long as it makes sense. Bulis has managed to do just that, creating believable scenarios with complex themes without too much technobabble so even someone of my limited capabilities can understand it. The ending is a little bit too complicated, and takes a few reads over to fully comprehend what has happened.
Bulis' characterization is fine, the Doctor and Sam are both done satisfactorily and the supporting cast are interesting and well written. The enemy ghosts, are truly chilling and the story behind them is well done and interesting.
In short Vanderdeken's Children is a surprisingly mature, intelligent and atmospheric 8th Doctor novel from Christopher. Whilst not overly memorable it deals with some thought provoking and challenging themes and still serves as a decent Eighth Doctor novel.
on 5 June 2002
"Vanderdeken's Children" is a novel centred around a massive derelict alien spacecraft. The story is entertaining enough, however i was left feeling that somethings were never properly explained and a second reading may be required to fully grasp the concepts here. The alien ship is very reminiscent of the Event Horizon, from the film of the same name. Despite it's bad points, this is an eerie and atmospheric novel and fairly entertaining from beginnig to end.
on 7 July 2000
A great read, by turns atmospheric, exciting and chilling. From the start we get straight into the story and it holds the attention throughout. A few of the explanations at the end are a little unclear and confusing, but the basic plot is watertight, intelligent and well thought out. All in all an excellent story