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VINE VOICEon 17 December 2006
This 5th in the BBC's range of 10th Doctor novels does it's best to justify its medium by offering even more alien mayhem than the current TV series could afford to show on screen, as the Doctor and Rose land in near-future Africa and find themselves caught in the middle of an alien war. The African setting makes a nice change, and the book is certainly busy enough to keep younger readers interested, but older readers might find this a rather too arch, as the novel turns into an over the top battle between the Doctor and some unfortunately phallic worms. At best `The Art of Destruction' can be enjoyed as a tongue-in-cheek comedy romp, but it never quite gels together into anything more satisfying. A fun but very disposable read.
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on 25 May 2016
By the twenty second century shortages of resources lead to experiments in alternative food sources. But there is something hidden deep beneath a volcano in central Africa and these endeavours produce more food eventually expose it. What was hidden is no longer a secret and those who want it are coming.

Having never read a novel set in Chad and not knowing a great deal about the country, I was quite intrigued by the setting of this novel. However, the locale and time period are really irrelevant to the story. Having a vague back story about some generic conflict could easily have been anywhere and there wasn’t really anything to make you think it was in the future either. This is compounded by all the running around in underground tunnels. The setting feels more like some human colony on another world. So, disappointingly, there is nothing to learn within about the history and culture of Chad.

There’s a reasonable plot with some worthwhile ideas but somehow the story isn’t very engaging and its couple of twists a bit lacklustre. All the talk of conflict, rebels and supplying aid doesn’t seem to fit much with the alien story and gets pushed into the background. No parallels are drawn with the alien conflict that has led to present events.

There’s some influence here from the Aladdin tale and one of the alien species is vaguely reminiscent of the Hutts. The idea of taking the fantasy golem style guardian and inserting it into science fiction works for the most part but sometimes becomes a bit silly.

A lot of the characters are also quite poorly realised and have a tendency to blend in. It’s hard to be very interested in them or feel any empathy towards them. Most of the alien characters are quite two dimensional, without much depth. Faltato receives as bit more effort but is an off putting juxtaposition of laughable and amorally vicious that doesn’t work. However, the characterisation of Rose and the Doctor is fairly reasonable.
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on 4 December 2006
I loved this book. It's got lots of action, excitement and humour and the plot races along with all the twists you'd expect. Stephen Cole manages to capture the Doctor and Rose perfectly. It's a great book for adults or kids. I couldn't put it down and definitely think they should put Faltato on TV! An awesome read for all fans!
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an original novel featuring the tenth doctor who, as played on screen by david tennant, and his companion rose tyler, played on tv by billie piper. as usual with this range: it presents an original story not done on tv, runs for roughly 255 pages, characterises the two lead characters perfectly, and can be read by readers of all ages.

and it seems to have polarised their opionion, to judge by the other reviews.

the story involves the tardis arriving in africa in the near future, and the doctor and rose dealing with alien infestation in an area near a volcano.

since you can't do anything to change the format and the main characters in these books, the art of lifting them above average is in the detail and the characterisation. the setting of africa is quite well realised, and the supporting characters aren't bad, all the human ones having decent motivation.

even though it does become a bit of a predictable runaround plot wise as it goes on, the alien characters are also quite original, and have a good motivation that is not something i've seen done in any who novels before.

so this is good enough to rate as a bit better than average. It's not great literature, but for an entertaining new doctor who story, it's alright
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on 5 August 2007
Why do people employ this man to write? Aside from 'The Feast Of The Drowned' I've not read or heard a single decent story by this man. The plot is a joke, the characters are paper thin, the excitement is nowhere and the thought of giant worms and gold golems fighting each other may sound fun but he manages to make even that feel lumpy and wooden. The running around by all the characters is always the sign of an author in desperate need of help but the chasing around that goes on here beggars belief. The sadness of watching Rose being turned into a golem, the savage and desperate hunt for a cure and the eventual success are all botched by the writing.

Quite frankly you'd be better off reading a cereal box than giving this one a go.
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on 15 April 2013
The TARDIS lands in 22nd century Africa in the shadow of a dormant volcano. Agri-teams are growing new foodstuffs in the baking soil to help feed the world's starving millions, but the Doctor and Rose have detected an alien signal somewhere close by. When a nightmare force starts surging along the dark volcanic tunnels, the Doctor realises an ancient trap has been sprung. But who was it meant for? And what is the secret of the eerie statues that stand at the heart of the volcano? Dragged into a centuries-old conflict, Rose and the Doctor are soon elevating survival to an art form as ancient, alien hands practice arts of destruction all around them.

Featuring the Tenth Doctor and Rose as played by David Tennant and Billie Piper in the hit Doctor Who series from BBC Television.
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on 26 September 2009
Not my favourite author, but I was delighted and surprised plenty of times! Aliens who were genuinely exotic, in shape, actions, motivations and technology, a plot with many different elements which kept you guessing who could be relied upon, interesting distinct characters and accurate doctor and Rose. Fun!
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on 1 January 2014
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book was autographed by the author. No damage to the spine at all, no page folding or even dog-eared pages. Great price, quick delivery.
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on 27 July 2012
I've read this book twice now and it's a great read! Suitable for kids whilst still entertaining for adults, this book is an all rounder any day :)
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on 10 September 2010
Really good strong story read by the excellent don warrington. Excellent focus on biological piracy and exploitation of natural resources
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