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An original Doctor Who novel, which tells an all new story for the Timelord never before presented in any other medium.

As with all this range, it's suitable for all ages, it runs for just under two hundred and fifty pages [two hundred and forty one in this case] and is divided into twenty one chapters plus a prologue. It features the Tenth Doctor, travelling without any companions. And his dialogue is perfectly written and well in keeping with the character as portrayed on tv.

It sees him visit Chelsea 426, an artificial world the size of a city which is orbiting Saturn. It's a place that is about to host a very important flower show. But some of the residents are acting very strangely.

When the colony erupts into chaos as a result of strange influences, things then get even worse. The Sontarans show up. And they have their own methods of dealing with the problems...

The Sontarans don't show till over a third of the way in. Before that it does take a while before anything major happens, as the narrative takes it's time to establish the setting and the supporting characters. But all the set up is very readable. The setting is an interesting one. The cast are the right mix of ordinary and eccentric individuals. And the former are decently characterised so they do feel like three dimensional creations. The Doctor's appearance in the narrative is a gentle one and it keeps him a strong presence by not letting you into too many of his thought processes.

The Sontarans do add extra life to proceedings at just the right point thanks to a clash of personalities and style and method between some. This also adds very good characterisation.

With more surprises and twists and some good set pieces to follow, it keeps going nicely and remains very readable throughout.

This is a well above average entry in this range and well worth getting.
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on 17 February 2010
One of the better recent tie-in Tenth Doctor novels; this is in part due to its inclusion of the brilliantly simple aliens the Sontarans, and their under-used nemesis the gelatinous shape-changing Rutan host. Bearing in mind the target audience the novel is perfectly paced and suitably light-hearted; The Doctor is again travelling alone, but is this time aided by twins Vienna and Jake, who prove to be as resourceful and intelligent as any former companions, and who ultimately enable the Time Lord to save the day.
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on 19 February 2014
Two real reasons why I bought this book, firstly the rather enigmatic title and secondly it features Sontarans which always guarantees a good story. The story was very well paced with a good balance between character development and the eventual action. The book would be suitable for most ages and reading abilities.
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on 19 April 2016
Essentially this is the Doctor visits the Chelsea Flower Show; only this time the flower show takes place in a colony that floats across the gaseous surface of Saturn, features a dangerous alien plant as its main attraction and is about to be invaded by not one but two races of aliens.

Chelsea 426 is a colony somewhat cut off from modern times, choosing to dwell on old fashioned and traditional values. Their insular approach has given them a prejudice against outsiders; thousands of which are descending upon them for the flower show. This makes for some quite prejudiced characters, some so caught up in avoiding perceived moral corruption that they are more concerned with visitors to the flower show than they are with the alien invaders. This scenario also provides two bored children, unfulfilled with life in the colony who sort of act as guest companions for the Doctor; both of whom are instrumental in saving the day.

***SPOILERS BELOW***

The main attraction of this story is that it features a clash between the Sontarans and the Rutans. Even though their conflict is referred to multiple times during the programme and has occasionally been the subject of a few novels and the two species have never appeared together onscreen; or not at least in the programme, as the straight to video spin off, ‘Shakedown’ involves Sontarans hunting down a Rutan. Although this makes the prospect of the book exciting there isn’t, unfortunately, that much conflict or interaction between the two.

‘The Taking of Chelsea 426’ loosely forms a sequel to the televised Tenth Doctor episodes ‘The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky’ where the Sontarans attempt to convert the Earth into a cloning facility. Due to the Doctor, of course, they fail in this endeavour. However, the Rutan contingency plan has already been put into effect and five centuries later begins to bear fruition leading to the events of this novel.

The Sontarans are portrayed as their usual aggressive, war orientated selves. Enjoyable as this is they are, however, supposed to be an intelligence division dedicated to devising more cunning ways of dealing with the Rutans. Only their leader, General Kade, actually seems to fit the bill though, his troops being no more than typical Sontarans.

The Rutans don’t seem to be exhibiting very typical behaviour. There are no dissected bodies and they seem to practicing possession rather than metamorphosis in their infiltration of the colony. Their seeding plan is fine as far as the plot goes but it doesn’t seem to be their usual raison d’etre.
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on 2 June 2013
Its another great adventure for the doctor played by David Tennant, I would recommend the book to other doctor who fans.
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on 16 October 2013
ive read nearly all the Who books from the RTD era... a good story ... well worth a read ,
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on 23 November 2015
Good story, great book condition. Happy with the service
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on 11 October 2009
This book was a very enjoyable book. This is the fourth novel to be realeased in 209. The Doctor gets three new one of companions young than 18. Much like the Sarah Jane Adventures. The Book also has Sontarans in it they first appeared in 1973 doctor who episode the Time Warrior. Which is also referenced. The rutans though dont make a full appeaernece but do have a virus which the sontarans want to get rid of. The Only Problem with this book is that is very slow paced at thge beginning. But on the other hand it gets very fast at the end.
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on 17 October 2009
i was looking forward to this book waited months found it in wh smith and snaped it up streaght away . started reading it right away, and to be fair it is a good book lots of nice moments and imagery and i love the idea of what done they done with the rutans ( not saying anything ) altrough i would have loved to read with them actully in it

the above poster is right it,s very slow in fact it takes 70s pages to get going in the meantime we got to contend with two very anoying ( but not in extreme cases say like forever autumn ) teenagers. and their parents a major who rambles and a captain and a mayor so much padding but that said the doctor is well wrriten and he dose bring some fun to the teenagers they would have been bland without him

the sontarans themselfs ok lets get it out of the way first i love them they can be a brutal force and take the daleks on and win but the sontarans here dont act like sontarans sure they got the code and everything but on more than once ocasion they let the doctor go they would rather die than let an enemy live they seem prity clueless to be honest and they are intelegence ( as the doctor pointed out ) they do lash out at some plants trough and thats a wonderfull image but i,d prefer it if they did some human killing saying that the cliffhangner befor one of the chapters where they butcher a whole army then march towards to the doctor is wonderfull stuff and this is as brutal as they get

the ending is one of the best in the new doctor who range and a nice twist too

it,s a nice idea perfect idea but a whole lot mor could be done with it with that all said i enjoyed reading it and would recomend it but dont expect too much

sonta ha

***
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on 18 October 2009
I'm a long standing fan of Doctor Who. No,more than a fan. I love,love, love, love, LOVE Doctor Who,and I have done since the days of Tom Baker - which gives you an idea how many wobbly sets, Fairy Liquid bottle spaceships, rubber monster suits and visible threads I've seen and accepted and overlooked in my time.
However I am taking the time out to review this book - the first time I have reviewed a Doctor Who book here - because I think it would waste many fans' time to read it.
The book is paced well but that's part of the problem. Personally, having reached page 202 with a mere 39 pages left to read I considered the option of not bothering to finish it. It contains no 'cliffhangers'; nothing to create suspense. In fact I found more suspense and mystery in the recent Famous Five book I've been reading with my daughter! The Doctor is well written,however there is no point in the book where there's ever even a glimmer of chance that he seems under pressure or in danger. The Sontarans are badly characterised here, for example one Sontaran leaping over the head of the other during combat. They have always been an unwieldy race who succeed by brute force in any previous engagement. The Rutans.. their involvement would have been an interesting idea had it come as some kind of surprise rather than spoonfed to us right from the start.
The book is a page turner, in that the author's style is easily read, there are a couple of amusing observations on the part of the Doctor; however it reads like a children's story - no intrigue at all, just a description of what the characters do, say and think from start to finish.
Massive potential missed on this one.
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