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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars7
2.7 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2001
After the rather dull and plodding EarthWorld, Vanishing Point was a startling and refreshing read.
We leap right into the action, with Fitz already having thrown himself off a cliff in a customary display of macho showing-off that goes somewhat wrong. Anji gets fleshed out quite nicely throughout the book as she begins to settle into the old Companion Routine. It's nice to see an assertive, confident companion who isn't an arrogant snob (Compassion) or a Doctor Wannabe (Sam). Her quips need work, but at least she realises this ;) The Doctor seems to be setting himself a trend for getting bashed over the head as many times as possible in a single book. My memory may be hazy, but I think Vanishing Point managed it three times, with some good old Escape From Falling Building thrown in for good measure. But it was SUCH a relief to read a BBC Eighth Doctor adventure from cover to cover and NOT see the Doctor randomly slaughtering people, committing genocide, turning people into roses, or even breaking bones. It seemed to be a phase that the authors went through - the "Wouldn't it be shocking if the Doctor wiped everyone out" phase.
An absolute joy, though, was that the characterisation did not stop with the three central protagonists. Nathaniel Dark was stunning - a character that I truly felt for as his faith in the Creator is unravelled, and for whom I shed a tear or two in the Epilogue. He wasn't a Scenery Character by any stretch of the imagination. Vettul, introduced about half way into the book, has a distinct personality, despite how little she is seen. Etty seems a little less well-defined, as she wavers throughout the book between Character and Plot Device, and some of her actions seem a little forced. Cauchemar is wonderful, especially when his frail body does not hold up to the level of physical violence he wishes to infict upon Hox at one point.
The only failing this book has (small failing though it is, as the characters are so entertaining that your mind is skillfully distracted from it) is that it runs a little to the old formula: Put character A down to look at Character B. By the time you look back, Character A has been kidnapped. Rescue Character A, and Character C gets stranded. Rescue Charatcer C, and Character B goes missing... Keep going around in circles, until story ends. The smoothness with which this all happens, though, keeps the reader swept up in the action until it all reaches its climax.
And, after a line of Universe-altering plotlines and Deus ex Machinae endings, it's nice to actually see things from the Doctor's point of view, and see him actually solve the problem himself, rather than some book's rather disappointing tendency to end a good book with an utterly feeble anticlimax of "The Doctor made it all better, and we're not going to tell you how, because He Works In Mysterious Ways Your Feeble Human Mind Cannot Comprehend".
Write more, Stephen. A hell of a lot more :)
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on 31 March 2001
Stephen Cole's 'Vanishing Point' sees the Doctor, Fitz and Anji arrive on a planet where death brings the meaning of the individuals life to them, and all life will meet death in the Vanishing Point. But things are going wrong - unnatural deaths are disturbing the balance and the Doctor may be the people's last hope.
There are some truly fascinating ideas in this book and Cole weaves these into an intriguing storyline which unfolds in a rather odd and unusal way. The Doctor's characterisation is fine although his losses in memory don't really show themselves, but that could be seen as a good thing (in that we're not going to be constantly reminded about the Doctor's lost memories) or something bad in that they should have been mentioned slightly more. Fitz has recovered totally from his identity crisis in EarthWorld and his characterisation is excellent. Anji isn't quite as lively as she was in the previous book but her presence is welcome and her adjustment to life in the TARDIS is continuing nicely, just as adjusting well to her presence in the books. Nathaniel Dark is the standout character from the rest with some good characterisation going into the Destinist.
Overall, Vanishing Point is a slightly odd novel, but it's another good entry into the Eighth Doctor Adventures and if this is reflective of the new direction that the books are taking, then the future is looking good for the range overall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a really lovely idea for a bit of science fiction. But unfortunately, it just doesn't work. And that's because the planet on which the story takes place is too much like earth. Beyond the central conceit of the plot and the tardis there is very little other science fiction in it, and that makes for a book that is readable, but generally uninvolving and uninteresting. A shame, because the basic idea is really good
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on 14 July 2002
I so wanted to like this book - the whole premise of it seemed fantastically exciting, and the foreword and credits made it more so. Genetics, The Doctor, lots of Fitz and Anji - even a bit of sex. But by the time I got halfway through I found myself checking to find out just how much more there was. Not through excitement - I just wanted to know when the convoluted plot was going to make sense and when something interesting was going to happen. It never did really make sense... rather disappointing, really.
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on 20 August 2013
There are a series of Doctor Who books appearing on Amazon which are badly formatted, overpriced and with horrible front cover images. These books are easily spotted at the purchase point, as they are "free to read" for Amazon Prime users (unlike officially licensed BBC products). Avoid these titles at all costs!
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on 2 June 2015
no problems, thank you
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 2001
Another wasted opportunity, there is the germ of a very good idea here but the reader is not made to care. Fitz is well handled as ever, but there the interesting characterisation ends. The story ends up as a boring one, with the occasional highlight once every 20 pages or so.
And this from the ex editor of the range! As dull as it's cover.
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