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4.2 out of 5 stars13
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 1 February 2009
The Eyeless feels like a hybrid of Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible, Vanderdeken's Children and Beltempest whilst being miles better than all three of them. It takes the breathless scale and beautifully imaginative landscapes from Marc Platt's near impenetrable opus, the exploration of a deadly trap from Christopher Bulis' puzzle book and the astonishing death toll and the taste of defeat from Jim Mortimore's massacre in print. I am surprised that it was published as a part of this series because it lacks the humour we have come to expect, has long stretches of prose without dialogue and pushes the Doctor to his limits both physically and psychologically. If you have been disappointed by the lack of depth in the NSAs then this is the book for you, there is some stunning development of the Doctor's character that is tied directly into the root of the series. This is the book that affords a brief glimpse at the Time War and allows the Doctor a shockingly racist moment. A book that brings home the pain of loss and the scars that won't heal on the one man who lives on.

No allowances are made for a child audience. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that a child could not read this but it has not been lobotomised like so many of the earlier NSAs. Take the setting, which is beautifully realised in the first six pages and detailed on a huge scale so you can easily visualise this alien metropolis. Parkin then spends the first third of the book taking the audience on a trip through this ruined paradise, painting a shocking picture of poverty and plenty sitting side by side. Take the guest characters who reveal new shades every time we meet them. Some of whom are bumped off unpredictably to further the plot. Or even the pace of the book which enjoys several breathers to flesh out this world some more. This is as far from a TV rip off like Feast of the Drowned as you can get.

The Eyeless is written with a great deal of care and passion. It is tightly written and does not waste a paragraph. The characterisation is stronger than we have seen in this range ever and the last third is unputdownably good.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 13 August 2011
Hmm .. .disappointing overall I think. Don't get me wrong, there were elements that I enjoyed in this story. The Doctor is on his own, so no companions to distract from the `Doctor'iness of the story (if I can put it like that). But overall, I was left feeling that something wasn't altogether right.

The book starts abruptly - there is never, unless I blinked and missed it, any exposition as to how the Doctor knew about this planet and the potentially destructive Fortress and still active weapon. There is never any justification for his having turned up there, nor any reason for him to think, as he obviously does, that nobody else will be there.

I really really could not like Alsa, who plays such a part in the story - I'd prefer to think the Doctor would not have been so accommodating to her psycopathic nature and nasty temperament. As a character, I found her intensely annoying; and the fact that she faces no consequences for her behaviour and betrayals really bugged me.

The other characters, we never really got to hear their stories - what made Jennver the way she was? And Jeffip? And Dela? And who really was Gyll? Maybe some more time spent on theirr backstories would have helped me to be more empathetic towards them. As it was, they largely felt just like plot devices - there, but expendable.

And The Eyeless? Really? All the words in the universe to think of to call some aliens, and The Eyeless? That's the best Mr Parkin could think of?

All in all, a bit of a mishmash - good bits, and bad bits. The Doctor, as played by David Tennant, is well portrayed here - cheeky, irreverent, serious and slightly angry and sad all in one trainer-shod Timelord. But overall, left me thinking it could have been much better than it ultimately turned out to be.
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on 19 March 2009
The last of the Timelords is alone once more. Donna has returned to Chiswick; all memories of her time with The Doctor removed permanently. Arriving in the ruins of Arcopolis, a once proud city on an unnamed planet, he is immediately ambushed by a gang of well-dressed semi-feral kids and a ghost; a ghost with a deadly touch. We soon discover that The Doctor has come with a purpose, to locate and destroy the deadliest weapon ever created; first though he needs to negotiate the lethal sentient fortress in which the weapon is housed, at the same time avoiding the enigmatic titular beings, `The Eyeless', who want the weapon for themselves and who will stop at nothing to prevent The Doctor from getting to it before them...
One of the more sophisticated books in the range, writer Lance Parkin gives the reader plenty to think about; sometimes dazzling us with science but always entertaining. The action is seen either through the eyes of The Doctor or or the hardened leader of the gang of troubled adolescents, Alsa, in the absence of the Timelord's usual travelling companion. The story is fast-paced and gripping, whilst managing to project well-worn Doctor Who themes such as decayed civilisations, struggling colonists/villagers and what it means to take responsibility for one's actions, with freshness and flair.
I think that younger readers may struggle with keeping track of events, but the book is brave and successful attempt to go deeper into The Doctor's psyche and challenge the reader's assumptions, as well as simply being a cracking good read.
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one of the latest releases in the series of doctor who novels published by bbc books, telling an original story not seen on tv. featuring the tenth doctor as played by david tennant on screen. Presumably somewhere after the end of the fourth season on tv, as the character is travelling without a companion here.

the book runs for 248 pages, and is divided into fifteen chapters split into two parts of equal length, and it also has a short prologue. It can be read and enjoyed by readers of all ages. and a certain familarity with the tv shows helps as there's not really any concession to those who've not seen it.

the story involves the doctor arriving on a world where civilisation collapsed years before when a strange dark tower appeared out of nowhere. those who survived struggle to maintain an existence, strange ghosts haunt the ruins of their city, and in the tower lurks an incredibly powerful weapon. the doctor is determined to destroy the weapon. but there are strange aliens out there that would like to get their hands on it. and it may also be the key to salvation for the planet.

everyone involved has a lot of hard choices to make.

the first part of this grabs instantly with an excellently portrayed civilsation. the life the survivors life and the choices they have had to make are very believable. one character looks as if she will be the doctor's companion for the story but things don't quite work out that way. her motivations are very believable. and this is all told in very good and very readable prose, making it a real page turner.

come part two of the book the doctor enters the fortress and the aliens, a race of scavengers called the eyeless, come into play. these are quite an original creation also with some very believable motivations. and again characters have to make hard and believable choices to obtain what they think is best for their worlds. this part isn't quite as strong as the first because like a fair few original who novels there is a lot of running around involved, and it probably would have worked quite well without the eyeless. but it's still very good.

the ending is well tnought out and does arise out of the actions of the characters.

this is a very good read and one of the best I've come across in the bbc range, almost on a par at times with the best of the novels featuring the eighth doctor that they used to publish. If part two had been quite as good as part one this would have merited five stars, but it's still very good indeed and well worth reading
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VINE VOICEon 13 March 2009
Barcode: 9781846075629

Having finished reading The Eyeless, one word ran through my mind - Amazing.

The New Series Adventures have been a notoriously mixed bag, trying to strike the balance right between imaginative stories that further expand the Doctor Who universe and something that will easily appeal to the young target audience the books are primarily aimed it.

Where The Eyeless suceeds is that it feels like a book for adults. The scale of the story is epic, the characters rich and the plot filled with a vast manner of, at times, complex themes. While this might confuse the average NSA younger reader, for the older Doctor Who fan this novel comes as a breath of fresh air.

Set in a beautiful futuristic landscape of a deserted city destroyed by an all-powerful weapon, the story has an overwhelming sense of the melancholy to it, a theme added to by the fact the Doctor is travelling alone. Here we really sense the burden and responsibility he carries as he single-handedly takes on the mission, infiltrating a sentient fortress to destroy this 'weapon'. You really get a feeling of the Doctor being completely alone here.

With mysterious glass-like aliens that communicate by thought, ghosts that are deadly to the touch and a small supporting cast of humans (all that remains of city's inhabitants) there is an unsettling nature to this story that hasn't been done so well in Doctor Who for a long time. Even more impressively, the pace never slackens either and there is even a bit of Indiana-Jones 'escaping traps' scenes thrown in for good measure.

All in all, The Eyeless is thought-provoking, imaginative and above all a great read.
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Lance Parkin, one of Doctor Who's best writers, does a brilliant job of balancing the adult tone of previous BBC books with the slightly 'lighter', more kid-friendly recent novels, and the result is really gripping.

It's got elements of horror, so if you are buying it for a kid and if you felt TV stories like "Ghost In The Library" were too scary, then stay clear. As the name "The Eyeless" suggests, there are some slightly brutal bits.

The Doctor's on his own, companionless, and reading this story, you begin to wish that this happened more often, both in the books and on TV. The Doctor doesn't have to spend half his time rescueing his companions, and equally when he gets himself into a tight spot, there really is nobody to help him. Parkin's writing is so slick that the companion-as-somebody-to-explain-the-story-to really isn't needed.

The best recent Doctor Who book I've read by a long way.
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on 19 May 2009
This is one of my favorite's in the Doctor Who books, every page just kept me hooked as the story strolled along with thrills and tension, I would love to see this as an episode, it was also nice to see the Doctor's darker side, the author captured his character really well.
As a reader of fan fiction and this book was worth the pennies! and I'm sure I'll be reading it again soon!
So, if your like me and love the Doctor, but arnt too bothered about companions, this is a MUST read! GO BUY IT NOW! you wont be disappointed ^_^
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VINE VOICEon 19 May 2009
I was very disappointed in this novel by Lance Parkin. For the first 120 pages, the story was made up of words with absolutely no direction. All we know about is a Fortress stuck in a decimated city and a group of humans who survive with little direction. I think Lance Parkin must have found it difficult to write a solo story of the Doctor with no companion - maybe if there had been, the banter between the couple might have helped the first part of the story along!
The second part takes solely in the Fortress with the Doctor attempting to purloin the universe-destroying weapon - yes, THAT old chestnut again! How nice it would have been for something original! Needless to say, the Doctor wins the day - the Universe is saved...yada, yada, yada!
I have been reading Doctor Who novels since the Target and Virgin days and I have to say this was the worst Doctor Who novel I have read to date. I don't have a problem with Lance's narrative, just the fact the book was boring for about the first 2/3rds and I was pleased when I finally finished it so I could write this review. Come on, BBC Books, you can do better!
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on 12 March 2012
The best thing about this book is the mystery. There are a variety of monsters - ghosts, glass men, kid gangs, adults - but their intentions are not revealed too soon and even the Doctor is unsure who or what they are which made the story intriguing. The main enemy is also not even partly revealed until half way through the story. The location in a ruined city was used to great effect. The ending is a bit disappointing as the weapon is a bit of an anticlimax and not fully explained, but overall there is much to recommend the book and in the series it is well worth a read.
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on 29 April 2014
Interesting story for the 10th Doctor, for the first time he is on his own. No companion. Wasn't sure how the story would pan out, but, I found it a very good, gripping story, and the reader, Russell Tovey, was great.
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