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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Silent Stars Go By
A book that truly feels like it could be the novelisation of a TV episode. The key word for this book is danger, there are elements of it everywhere in the prose be it the threat of the human race dieing out or from the villains' in the chase sequences of the book. I wouldn't quite say its dark but its definitely not of the "jolly" nature of post comeback Who books...
Published on 9 Dec. 2011 by R. Thomas

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as engaging as it could have been
Even though it was far longer before the Ice Warriors returned on television, it has been some time since they appeared in the Doctor Who books (their audio appearances have been much more frequent however). If anything, the Ice Warriors are a little under represented. For much of the story they are merely lumbering monsters; slowly and ineffectively chasing various...
Published 23 months ago by Alaran


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping well written story, 7 Jan. 2012
By 
Paolo Sammut - See all my reviews
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I really enjoyed listening to "The silent stars go by". As someone who does a lot of travelling I love nothing more than to slap a good story onto my iPod and let the miles fly by. This story will certainly do that and the eight cd's holding this story will keep your attention for a good many hours - longer in fact since I plan on relistening to it very soon.

The story is one which was specially written to feature the eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory and is clearly not a recycled science fiction story placed within the Doctor Who context. So we see Doctorish features such as his psychic paper used in a way which is integral to the whole storyline. I am not one to spoil the plot of such tales by announcing in a review that "The butler did it" so I do not really want to say much more about the story here; except to say that I found it exciting and gripping throughout. The characterisation is very strong and it is clear that Abnett understands Doctor Who and the characters very well. The story is also read well and clearly and a joy to listen to.

One thing to note with this CD set as an audiobook is that it is basically a a story being read out, rather than a radioplay. Since it is based upon a paper book form it is quite long and descriptive. So you might find yourself listening to a verbose description of (say) a snowy landscape which might take several minutes to listen to. Some listeners might find this boring, however please remember that when reading we can read a lot faster that we can listen, so this is just a consequence of the book being read out. It is nice that the author has such an evocative way of telling the story and listening and letting go makes all this a pure pleasure.

Highly recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brrr! Ice Warriors just in time for Christmas!, 17 Dec. 2011
By 
R. Wood "ryecroftwood2" - See all my reviews
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One of the reasons why we really should be thanking Russell T Davies for the success of the Doctor Who revival is for the overwhelming popularity surge it created. Tie-in merchandise was inevitable as a result, and because of just how good the revived series turned out to be, we were subjected to novels and audiobooks. Some very good (Pest Control), really great (The Resurrection Casket) and utterly essential (i.e. The Forever Trap, Prisoner of the Daleks).

Because of the success of various hardback novels and BBC audiobooks, this trend has carried over well for Doctor Who merchandising when Steve Moffat took over. The new wave of hardback novels and audiobooks arrived, featuring the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) and his companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill). And with the new wave of books, came something else; mainstream hardcover novels, much larger than the smaller series of books, complete with a cover sleeve and presumably aimed at a more older demographic.

Last year, we had Michael Moorcock's The Coming of the Terraphiles. This year, we have Dan Abnett (YES!) writing The Silent Stars Go By. And because this is the Audiobook telling of the novel, we can also expect Michael Maloney's narration.

The setting is far into the future, where our solar system has long gone and humans (now known as Maintainers) are struggling to make their `plant nation' habitable. The worst possible time, then...for the coldest Winter imaginable threatening to drive the Maintainers toward extinction. As the Doctor, Amy and Rory arrive hoping for a Christmas celebration, more uninvited guests arrive; the Time Lord's old foes, The Ice Warriors.

There's good reason why I'm a Dan Abnett fan. His works spans across so much science fiction, and he's one of the most prolific writers in Britain. Having read so much of his books, it's no surprise that I was looking forward to The Silent Stars Go By. Again, Dan writes a highly engaging story, reeling the reader and (in this case) the listener with a multi-layered plot and a faithful understanding of the Who universe and its continuity.

As shown with his previous Doctor Who story, 2008 audio exclusive The Forever Trap (featuring the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble), Abnett understands the characters and world he's dealing with, capturing the personalities of the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory perfectly. And the same can be said of the Ice Warriors. Having never actually seen any of the old TV episodes featuring them - only reading of them and remembering their honorary mention in 2009's The Waters of Mars - I really enjoyed being properly introduced to them in this story.

True to their history, the Ice Warriors are indeed honourable foes. Formidable, yet wise. Not true villains, the Ice Warriors are bound by their code, yet employ questionable methods which prevents them from being the great species they should be. It's a fascinating concept, and one that the author clearly relishes in telling, particularly through the Ice Warriors' interaction with the Doctor.

The Silent Stars Go By is both wonderfully engaging and absolutely thrilling. The author (again) knows how to balance intelligent plotting with describing the action. The chase sequences, the danger scenes, character interaction and the unravelling of dark secrets are all so eloquently done and nothing short of captivating.

The story doesn't have the same impact as say Trevor Baxendale's Prisoner of the Daleks...or the psychological perfection of The Forever Trap. You feel for the Doctor, Amy and Rory, but few of the other characters have the same emotional gravitas that they or the Ice Warriors do. But the atmosphere that Dan Abnett paints is deliciously cold, the elements of Christmas are comforting and the great references to the Cybermen, the Second Doctor's (Patrick Troughton) first encounter with the Ice Warriors and old companions Zoe Heriot and Jamie McCrimmon are just brilliant to hear.

The audiobook release is completely unabridged, spanning approximately six hours across six discs. Michael Maloney delivers a soft-spoken narration of Dan Abnett's story and although sometimes he speaks TOO softly to be heard, he does a fine job of bringing Dan's words to life, being just as engaging as the original text. Fine impersonations of the Doctor and his companions, suitable voices for the Ice Warriors and a chilling narrative of the book's atmosphere and scenery make Maloney's voice work the ideal match for the novel.

Doctor Who: The Silent Stars Go By isn't something that all fans MUST own, but be it hardback or audiobook, this is a tale that fans certainly won't regret. For fans who've never really been exposed to the Ice Warriors before, it's an excellent introduction and a great tale in its own right. Like fellow reviewer Pelaphus has said, this is much stronger than a lot of the episodes that occurred in the `ho-hum' Series 6. Strongly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Going Down Quietly, 14 Dec. 2011
By 
L. A. Hardy (Newcastle Upon Tyne) - See all my reviews
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I'd heard good things about Dan Abnett on the Doctor Who grapevine and I do enjoy audiobooks and dramas, and given its Christmassy theme (-ish), I thought this would be the perfect time of year to give this particular adaptation a go.

The Doctor, Amy and Rory are trying to get back to Leadworth for Christmas (presumably before the events of Series Six) but, as is always the case with the Doctor, things don't quite turn out as planned and they end up somewhere very different indeed...

Abnett has done a superb job in capturing the tone and mannerisms of the characters. The Doctor is all boyish charm and sharp as a knife dialogue; Amy is headstrong, gobby and determined and Rory is, as always, Rory: sweet, kind and so very patient and wonderful. I'm a big fan of Rory and he's marvellous in this story; the understated, slightly hopeless hero, loyal and brave no matter what.

The story is good as well; it's impossible not to work out part of what's going on from the front cover, although the monster reveal is handled very well, with some lovely in-jokes for long-time fans of the series that won't alienate new fans who are not so well-versed in the programme's history. The use of language to evoke a future society is very clever, showing how words are corrupted over time to have new meaning and how context is key to understanding the world around you. And of course, there's a twist and a lot of misunderstandings and running about and cliff-hanger peril in true Doctor Who style.

However, there is a problem. Michael Maloney is a very good actor and, for the most part, reads this story well. But (and it's a big but), his characterisations of Amy and the Doctor fall short in so many ways. The Doctor's voice is too deep and not always whimsically hair-brained enough; in fact, it's often like listening to the Doctor as played by Toby Stephens in laconic lush mode. And quite unbelievably, his impression of Amy is worse than Matt Smith's, and that's truly awful. Most of the time she sounds like another Doctor's companion altogether - Jamie McCrimmon, the Second Doctor's kilt-wearing sidekick, as played by Frazer Hines. Okay, that's somewhat appropriate given that Jamie spent a lot of his time battling Ice Warriors, but it does rather detract from what is otherwise a very good production.

Many of the Doctor Who audiobooks of late have lasted little more than an hour; they've barely had a chance to get going before they're over. This one is around six hours of entertainment and, bad accents aside, is well worth a listen. The extra time allows the plot to develop in a much more structured and satisfying way than in the shorter stories and allows for much richer character development and investment in those characters and their fates.

Happy Winter Season Festival, everyone - just watch out for those red-eyed monsters...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A 100% pure Who tale written by a master, 8 Dec. 2011
By 
Tony Jones "Tony" (UK) - See all my reviews
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As this is a review of the talking book version of Dan Abnett's story I will review first the story then the recording.

The Story
Dan Abnett has written for Big Finish and for various BBC publications (Torchwood and Who) so is no stranger to the genre. We have a tale of the eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory en route to Leadworth for Christmas landing instead on a wintry planet which is being terraformed. Inevitably there is a problem, in this case Ice Warriors who want to make the world Mars-like for their own use.

The tale moves along nicely though perhaps takes its time in the first two-thirds and plays for too long with the clever use of language (e.g. our Guide Emmanuel). I do like the Christmas Carol themed chapter titles though.

The plot splits the three protagonists apart with Amy perhaps having the least to do in terms of moving the story forward. In my view most Doctor/Amy/Rory stories could be two-handed.

The story picks up near the end when layers of complexity are revealed - how the terraforming equipment is fighting back against the Ice Warriors (the local humans being now somewhat peasant like in their culture and not understanding what the technology is) and also the deeper story behind the plan of the builders of the equipment.

Overall a very solid tale.

The Recording

The reading is by Michael Maloney and he reads very well. I have two gripes - the Amy voice he does is too Glaswegian to my ears and when the narration moves between protagonists their is often not enough gap to signal a change of scene.

I score this 4/5 - a good story maybe not classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid Christmas romp - enjoy!, 7 Dec. 2011
By 
Ms. R. L. A. Amelan "Rachel" (Wilmslow, Cheshire) - See all my reviews
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Do you want to give your Dr. Who enthusiast friends and family a gift to keep them happy and absorbed for hours? Well the "Silent Stars Go By" would be a brilliant suggestion and is a total delight.

The storyline is clever and concerns a civilisation that is going about its business completely unaware that they could meet a grizzly end on two fronts - at home and from the "Ice Warriors" who have decided to wipe them out and take over the planet for themselves. To do this, they are trying to create a winter all year round where, doubtless, Christmas never comes. This does rather remind me of C.S. Lewis's "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" but a sci fi version that is very high tech and "grown-up". The talking mammals here are not very nice, not particularly pretty and most have homicidal traits.

Anyway, along comes Dr. Who with his friends. He arrives in the Tardis intending to deliver Rory and Amy home for Christmas but soon finds that he has taken a wrong turning and arrived on an "earthesque" planet a rather long way from the intended destination. This occurrence appears to have dogged the Doctor quite a bit during his numerous incarnations and you would have thought that he would have mended his equipment or, at least, purchased a galactic sat nav. Still, the current planet is not without its amusement and urgent problems and the Doctor is experienced in remedying such matters, much to the delight of his terrestrial (and extra-terrestrial) audiences.

At the time of arrival, the indigenous population is having difficulties with some of their number vanishing plus a depletion of livestock. They soon manage to take the Doctor prisoner and are suspicious of both him and his friends. Naturally the latter is keen to help and soon discovers that the Morphans, as they are known, need more urgent assistance than they can imagine. Through elegant negotiations and much action, involving trans humans (and trans rats, ugh) he soon has the situation under control and a happy ending is reached.

In my view the story is a total delight from beginning to end and six CDs did not at all feel long. I loved the humour and was thrilled by the action. Naturally, our hero emerges victorious and leaves the planet with the Ice Warriors truly content and on their way to a more suitable world and the Morphans now in control of their fate. (No, I shall not spoil the plot for you.) The reading, delivered by Michael Maloney was excellent and I truly forgot that this was a narration and not a play.

Yes, I give this CD set an enthusiastic "thumbs up". Come to think of it, I might even buy a copy for the local vicar as a truly heavenly experience!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ice Warriors- A Cool Comeback., 22 Nov. 2011
By 
Glenn Cook (South Cave, near Hull UK) - See all my reviews
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NOTE THIS IS A REVIEW FOR THE UNABRIDGED AUDI BOOK VERSION OF THE BOOK.

ICE WARRIORS!

Now there's a blast, albeit, an icy one from the past!

The Ice Warriors from cold, cold Mars were always a favourite of mine from the second Doctor Period.

We saw them resurface with the third Doctor on Peladon.... Twice and they are up there with the Cybermen , Sea Devils and Daleks as the best foes of the Doctor.

So now it's the eleventh Doctor's turn.
Aided by the current set of companions the couple Amy and Rory .
A married couple doesn't to my jaded eye sit well with the crew of the good ship Tardis but each to his own.

The book itself is a 'quick read' type of book and the six CDS each have a running time of 1 hour each making a grand total of six hours total.

So it's great for car journeys and you can easily listen to one CD per day.

And the whole in 6 days flat.

The general opinion of Abnett's book from other reviewers of the Hardback is that it's not an `adult' book so it's safe to let the kids listen and I would agree with them on this point.

It's written by Dan Abnett who has written some well received books for Warhammer so he has form and it's all good.

The story with out giving away too much of the plot to much concerns The Maintainers who grown just enough food to live on their cool world until it starts to get colder, the crops and livestock begin to fail. They view technology as being a little.. well a lot suspect (SO Peladon chimed a bell there)

The Good 11th cavalry of the 11th Doctor and the Ponds arrive to find the Ice warriors are up to no good (or are they? remember the surprise we had from the Monster of Peladon when the Ice Lords turned out not to be the bad guys??) Behind every plot there's another and the plot and story race along with quips aplenty.
Now a lot of other reviews have complained about this a little but I say make your own mind up on this one.

It's well read by Michael Maloney who handles the voices and actions well.
I recognized his voiceovers from Walking with Dinosaurs and he has a good voice that makes the 6 hours never outstay their welcome.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Who's Christmas audio special., 14 Dec. 2011
By 
Jack Chakotay "Ender Brazil" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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Having seen the book out in the stores, I was pleasantly surprised by the audiobook being available. As soon as I heard Dr Who, Amy and Rory bantering about getting home for Christmas, I tipped my hat to whoever thought of this cunning marketing tie in.

The trio are way off course and crash land the Tardis onto a failing terraforming project planet, instead of Ledworth. The plot line is engaging and the build up of suspense masterly. An old alien race "member of cast" makes a guest appearance integral to the storyline and corrects the clunky portrayal of the classic series.

The voiceover is credible: doing justice to our intrepid trio capturing the flippancy of the Doctor, seriousness of Rory and even the burr of Amy. The material itself puts quite a bit of emphasis that "Rory's other job" is being a qualified nurse.

I thought Amy's character was the flimsiest of the three, almost providing comic relief to the point where dialogue between her and the Doctor was deteriorating to a Blackadder scene (amatuerishly using the suffixes -ish, -esque, -like; as if it was supposed to be witty).

I was thoroughly engrossed and I think any Dr Who fan would be. A lot of effort went into this compared to most of the other Dr Who audiobooks. This made them seem run of the mill. This should have been an actual program but for the occasionally horrifying violence. As I write this, I feel despite my earlier grousing, it deserves 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good story but a tad long, 29 April 2012
By 
Junior Hornet "hornet123" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This story, despite featuring the 11th incarnation of the Doctor with Amy and Rory, feels more like one of the classic series 6 parters, maybe with the Tom Baker or Sylvester McCoy versions of the Doctor. So, despite it being a good story featuring Ice Warriors, it did, like the earlier six parters, seem to drag out to fit the time required when perhaps a four parter (or 4 CD) would have been tighter and more exciting. Also, as with the series, it was necessary to have a cliffhanger at the end of each CD and these often felt forced.

Despite my reservations, I did enjoy listening to this and the length of the story did enable the characters to be fully formed and developed. The Christmassy setting and use of lines from Carols in the chapter headings helped the atmosphere of the story.

Like all good Doctor Who stories, the main protagonists get split up and so we get two and later three main strands to follow. These are done very well and they don't jump about too much. There is also an interesting way of bringing them together whilst keeping them apart during the story (I won't say more - spoilers). As usual with recent ausiobook adaptations, Amy doesn't sound like Amy but more like a generic Scotswoman but I think the interpretation of her character is better than some.

So if you want a "classic" story with a modern Doctor, here you have it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Silent Stars Go By, 13 Dec. 2011
By 
L. M. Cowan (England) - See all my reviews
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In 'The Silent Stars Go By' the 11th Doctor has promised to take Rory and Amy home for Christmas but on landing the Tardis in a snowy landscape, it soon becomes clear they're no where near Leadworth and even worse, danger is afoot!

'The Silent Stars Go By' is an excellent Dr Who adventure; Dan Abnett captures the 11th Doctor and his companions brilliantly and really brings to life this new world and its inhabitants. The Dr's adversaries are equally well developed and described - the ice warriors making for a chilling enemy! (no pun intended!) The story has good pace and enough suspense to keep you guessing throughout too.

The audio book comes with 6CDs and runs for aprox 6hrs.
The story is read excellently by Michael Maloney who manages to capture each of the characters - particularly the ice warriors - perfectly. Although at times, Maloney didn't quite manage to portray the lively, slightly mad-cap performance of Matt Smith's Dr - in no way did it detract from the story or make the Dr's character any less believable or loveable!

A thoroughly enjoyable and gripping adventure, excellently read! Highly Recommended to fans of Dr Who!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Doctor Who novel - and some familiar 'friends' return., 20 Nov. 2011
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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While I have to admit I'm not a huge Eleventh Doctor fan, this story stands well in the Doctor Who genre. Really I felt reading it that it would have stood well as a Tenth Doctor story as well - the same level of action, irreverence, seriousness - and a good adventure story.

The Doctor, Amy and Rory are trying to find somewhere to celebrate Christmas but where they end up is anything but festive. The setting is well portrayed, as are in the inhabitants and visitors to the planet. Dan Abnett writes well - I'm a fan of his Black Library books, having read quite a few of the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 novels. And I must admit that I was drawn to this story primarily because it had the Ice Warriors in it - I much prefer the `classic' Doctor Who and the `classic' monsters and villains, and it's nice to see the Ice Warriors return.

All in all, I felt this was a good Doctor Who novel - a well-written story, and the Doctor and his companions were portrayed sympathetically and added to the story well. Recommended for a Doctor Who fan.
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Doctor Who: The Silent Stars Go By: 50th Anniversary Edition
Doctor Who: The Silent Stars Go By: 50th Anniversary Edition by Dan Abnett (Paperback - 7 Mar. 2013)
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