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on 30 April 2007
Although a long-term Doctor Who fan, I have not always read the books, mainly because there are so many of them. However, I have kept up with the books since the new series started and, although they have been patchy at best, the most recent three have been the best so far.

The Doctor and Martha arrive on a space ship which seems to be filled with the corpses of prisoners on whom unspeakable experiments have been performed. Returning to the TARDIS, our intrepid duo find that a forest has mysteriously appeared where there was nothing previously. Entering the village, they find the locals in the grip of fear: the children are disappearing and there are monsters in the forest.

This is a gripping, well-written and ingenious novel which avoids the usual clichés of monsters on the rampage to present a character-based story with a good dash of "hard" science fiction ideas. The monsters in the forest reminded me of the film The Village, although the solution is very different. The main characters are well-presented and behave in character as we know them. All in all, very enjoyable.
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on 1 July 2016
Martha and the Doctor arrive on a remote space station drifting aimlessly through space. Aside from being full of corpses it is otherwise deserted much to Martha’s surprise. Meanwhile, in an isolated, rustic village the children are slowly being abducted in mysterious circumstances. Worse still there is something threatening in the mists.

There are two reasonable concepts within this story; although the whole prison ship experiment idea has too many similarities with ‘The Mind of Evil’. The problem being that these two ideas, and subsequent story threads, fails to coalesce in any meaningful way. It isn’t that they aren’t related, in fact they are quite closely, just that the writer fails to explain it in such a way that it doesn’t make the plot appear haphazard. The joining of the two storylines should have been far more of a revelation to the characters and especially the reader.

The characterisation of Martha is extremely poor; she is nothing like her onscreen counterpart. Perhaps, this is explained by this book probably having been written before the first Martha episodes were aired. The portrayal of the Doctor is also lacking. Some of the syntax of his speech and the described mannerisms seem fitting but he sometimes comes over as a bit stupid and at times unusually callous. He is somewhat unlikeable.

The Dazai is certainly an intriguing character, and part of the problem with the characterisation of the Doctor is that she overshadows him somewhat. She doesn’t have that substantial a role though and somehow feels under-utilised. There is also some potential in the two estranged brothers but this is never fully realised and left a bit emotionally flat.

The only other major character is Jude but there is a sense that she has just been included as a child role to appeal to younger readers. The mental journey she goes on during the course of the novel feels unfulfilling and juvenile and the Doctor is too blasé about the dangers of the physical journey she takes with him.

In some ways this is quite a frustrating read because with a bit more care and attention and a better structure this could have been a much better story.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 17 November 2013
"But I don't think either of us want to be standing right here when reality itself boils away, do you?"

This story features the Tenth Doctor, as played by David Tennant, and his companion Martha, as played by Freema Agyeman. I always enjoy stories with these two, as they seem to be a good pairing, and Martha stands up well as an individual alongside the charismatic Doctor.

Petr and Kristine's son Thom has disappeared, just like many others in their community. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Martha come across a drifting, apparently deserted Century-class research vessel, the Castor. Naturally, the Doctor feels compelled to take a look.

This is a really good Doctor Who story; spooky disappearances, unexplained technology, action and adventure, and it all takes place in a well thought out environment. Great stuff.
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Another novel in the bbc books range of doctor who stories, this one featuring the tenth doctor as played by david tennant, and his new companion martha jones.

The first batch of novels of each year have always faced the problem of writing for a new character - new doctors last two times and a new companion this time - who hasn't yet been seen on screen at the time of writing. In this case, writer martin day captures martha as a character pretty well. We are privy to a lot of her thoughts at first, and less as the book goes on, but this works fine and her dialogue, although perhaps not that different from rose at times, feels in keeping with the character based on what we've seen of her on television.

Plot wise, the tardis crew arrive on a deserted spaceship, and find a forest has suddenly appeared and is blocking their route back to the tardis. Their attempts to find what is going on lead to a page turning read. It's an intriguing mystery plot and I really wanted to know how it was going to turn out. The various supporting characters who appear in due course are quite well drawn. And the plot does bring in various issues of morality, which may go over the head of some younger readers, but are well handled and do make you think about them. And that's how it should be, rather than force the writer's opinion on the reader.

The resolution of the mystery doesn't hold too many surprises, but it was a good read getting there. A very strong entry in the range
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on 21 May 2009
Martin Day's latest Tenth Doctor novel is the first to feature companion Martha Jones. Although a little annoying on screen, Martha is presented well by Day and is a more rounded and interesting character as a result. Disppearing children, a forest that appears out of nowhere, sinister creatures in the woods and a spaceship full of corpses; plenty for The Doctor to get his teeth into - and he quickly does. Day also captures David Tennant's restless, enthusiastic and energetic Time Lord well, and he and Martha spark well off one another. A decent if occasionally slow entry in the BBC Books series of original novels.
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on 19 April 2013
The Castor, a vast starship, seemingly deserted and spinning slowly in the void of deep space. Martha and the Doctor explore the drifting tomb, and discover that they may not be alone after all...

Who survived the disaster that overcame the rest of the crew? What continues to power the vessel? And why has a stretch of wooded countryside suddenly appeared in the middle of the craft?

As the Doctor and Martha journey through the forest, they find a mysterious, fogbound village - a village traumatised by missing children and tales of its own destruction...

Featuring the Tenth Doctor and Martha as played by David Tennant and Freema Agyeman in the hit sci-fi series from BBC Television.
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on 1 March 2010
Fine book, which keeps you guessing until the end, and with some good environments. I especially liked the drifting spaceship at the start, and the scenario behind the whole thing. Couple of bad points were that some aspects were clichéd from other recent Doctor Who books - the children were affected differently to everyone else, and the monsters were random parts from many creatures - and also the action scenes were not very well explained. Distances and movement was confusing which got annoying after a couple of times. Overall though, a nice interesting read.
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on 12 August 2009
why is there aq forest in the middle of a spaceship and why is children disapering what is the creature stalking the ship with the dead

those are the qusitons posed in this book and i was very disapoitning with the anwsers the first part is awsomely spooky getting to the forrest part with the children is also as well but then you start getting anwsers and it,s well not all that great sorry but iam half and half on this book and the great half is the story bad half is the anwsers and how it just felt like it was the last minute
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VINE VOICEon 21 April 2007
The ninth in BBC Books series of 10th Doctor novels has the Doctor and Martha stumbling across a bizarre primitive villiage in the middle of a deserted spaceship, with children dissapearing and strange monsters patrolling the woods...

The story is admirable in it's attempt to tell a slightly different Doctor Who story - there's no villain here for a start - and has an intruiging central mystery to keep the pages turning, though this is somewhat offset by some rather heavy-handed moralizing and quite a slow story. Diverting enough, but not one of the better new series novels.
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on 20 March 2015
A good New Who audio book. Really worth a listen, though slightly reminiscent of a couple of televised stories.
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