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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unseen stories from the siege of Trenzalore, 1 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Last Stand (Kindle Edition)
Over the last year or so there have been several ebooks released which have been related to recent television episodes. It therefore comes as no surprise that the Eleventh Doctor’s last outing should receive the same treatment. The vast period of time that ‘The Time of the Doctor’ stretches over gives it a lot of potential to fit in extra stories. Hence this ebook being a collection of four stories and hence almost four times the size of the usual Doctor Who ebook releases. However, the disadvantage of this large gap of time to feature stories in is that the Doctor is basically in situ the whole time waiting for the enemies to come to him rather than wandering space and time encountering them. This takes away some of the essence of Doctor Who and drastically limits the variety, type and content of the tales.

All four books in this collection feature the more aged Doctor towards the latter end of his time on Trenzalore. They are all orientated around various aliens/monsters finding some way around the Papal Mainframe’s ‘force field’ that prevents ‘technology’ reaching the planet so that they can invade the town of Christmas. And each see the Doctor defeat these foes with the help of the townspeople, often with one of the children of Christmas fulfilling the role of sidekick/companion. Even though this inevitably makes these stories somewhat similar the authors do a reasonable job of diversifying them as much as possible through their choice of aliens.

The first short story focuses on the Ice Warriors. They have got to be the most obvious choice for the snowy landscape of Trenzalore and a village called Christmas. It is written by Justin Richards who runs the Doctor novels and wrote several of last year’s ebooks. His characterisation of the Ice Warriors is pretty strong, exhibiting influence from across their previous appearances. All three Ice Warriors to appear are individualised as characters rather than being generic lumbering monsters and they plan and orchestrate their assault. They also sem to be much more like the traditional Ice Warriors rather than being modelled on that more recently seen in ‘Cold War’. Thankfully there are no spindly creatures crawling out of them. However, there is finally the return of and Ice Lord. With their individual names and roles in the mission they are probably most similar to their first appearance. They are also practically relying on the same plan – using a sonic cannon. How exactly the parts for this are smuggled through the shield is a little dubious but for the pruposes of the story that doesn’t matter too much. The focus is on how the Doctor thwarts them with cunning and trickery. The Doctor’s ploy, although basic and predictable, is a good use for the Doctor in a collection which risks his usage being a bit similar.

Next to be featured are the Krynoids. Even though it is great to see these quite under used monsters being featured it is a little puzzling as to what they would be doing at Trenzlore. From what we have previously learnt about them they seem to travel through the depths of space in a state of suspended animation/hibernation until they arrive on a planet by chance, They then germinate and by what seems to be little more than a voracious, instinctive reaction consume all non-vegetable life on the planet. This raises questions about why and how they would have any interest in Trenzalore. Their presence aside, this is a well written and enjoyable story. The Krynoid does exactly what it does best and the Doctor and his child companion for this story work well together with a credible relationship. This is possibly the best story of the four.

The essence of the Auton story is perhaps the most predictable but the Autons lebnd themselves quite well to the Trenzalore set up. Their spheres getting through the Mainframe’s shield makes reasonable sense, even though it is a similar infiltration technique to that used by the Ice Warriors in this collection. The story tails off into a bit of a tedious run around but it has a reasonably tense and action based finale. Annoyingly it doesn’t really explain why the Autons appear as facsimiles of the Doctor as not much deception is used by them. More could probably have been made of this.

The Mara probably have the most imaginative way of reaching the surface of Trenzalore and it is somewhat in keeping with their previous appearances. Their actual presence at Trenzalore is a bit dubious though. Their involvement doesn’t really seem to fit in with what we know about them. The use of dreams and possession does make the story stand out a bit from the other three more straight forward invasions.

The four stories on offer do succeed in fitting in well to the ideas and plot of ‘The Time of the Doctor’. They enable the episode to be elaborated in a way the programme never had the airspace to do. They also establish the precedent for further collections of stories from the last days of the Eleventh Doctor.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who: Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Last Stand, 9 April 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who: Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Last Stand (Kindle Edition)
Tales of Trenzalore does what it says on the tin. It's four stories that are set during the centuries that the Eleventh Doctor defended the town of Christmas, featuring an insight into the brief sieges that we witnessed in the terrific 2013 Christmas special, The Time of the Doctor.

Each story has the same premise; an enemy of the Doctor seeks to bypass the Papal Mainframe's technology detectors, therefore allowing them to land on Trenzalore to kill the Doctor, thus preventing him revealing his name. The Doctor revealing his true name would then alert the Time Lords and they will know they are in the right place and come through the crack, and all the alien species above will descend on the planet and begin the Time War anew. The Doctor refuses to allow his enemies to destroy Trenzalore, so stays there, in the town of Christmas, and so begins his last stand...

Let it Snow - by Justin Richards - This story features the Ice Warriors and uses some clever techniques, particularly in regards to bypassing the Truth Field that is put in place on Trenzalore. However, the Ice Warriors plan is a little unimaginative and the climax of the story underwhelming. 7/10.

An Apple a Day - by George Mann - A highlight of the book. This story features my personal favourite monster, the Krynoid. Now, the Krynoid aren't an enemy of the Doctor, so they're not out to kill him specifically, but are wanting to inhabit Trenzalore and consume all life on the planet. This means the story offers something different to the others and it's very well done. George Mann manages to capture the Krynoid very well and the portrayal is faithful to their appearance in 1976's The Seeds of Doom. The Doctors companion in this story is a young lad called Theol and it works well, reminiscent of the Eleventh Doctor and Amelia in The Eleventh Hour, which further brings this incarnations era full circle. The conclusion isn't the best, but it's a great story nonetheless. 9/10.

Strangers in the Outland - by Paul Finch - My favourite story of the four included in this book. Strangers in the Outland features the Autons and it's a very clever and a rather chilling story. Paul Finch offers a new take on the Autons and it works brilliantly, something that could only really be done in prose and not on screen. Finch's prose is really good and his descriptions really paint a full picture in this readers head, making for a very enjoyable read. I'd love for him to do some more Doctor Who. 10/10.

The Dreaming - by Mark Morris - This story isn't bad as such, but it's rather lacking, I feel. First of all, I was reading this and it just seemed blindingly obvious that the story was originally meant to feature the Fendahl and not the Mara, so the latter monster was added in as a last minute substitute and it doesn't really work as a result. I think had it been the Fendahl then the story would have been a lot better, but it doesn't quite work as it is. I'm not sure why the sudden change, but perhaps it was to have monsters represented from the various decades of the show? The Ice Warriors from the 60's, Krynoid from the 70's, Mara from the 80's and the Autons from the 00's & 10's. Alas, I didn't enjoy the story a great deal. 6/10.

It's interesting to note that the Doctor loses his leg throughout his life on Trenzalore [which is cleverly used in one of the stories] and we never do hear the story behind it. The Doctor does tell the story to the children of Christmas, but we don't actually get to read about it. I believe that the reason behind loss of the Doctors leg was in the script for The Time of the Doctor, but it was ultimately cut from the final edit, so I suppose that is why we aren't told in one of the four stories comprising Tales of Trenzalore. In reality, Matt Smith badly injured his leg and had to see a physical therapist as a result, so I imagine the cane [which it emerges is carved from a Krynoid tentacle!] and the Doctors increasing lack of mobility as he ages were worked into the storyline accordingly. The leg loss sounds like a reason behind the cane and lack of mobility, but obviously didn't make it on screen in the end, so it'd be nice to read the story behind the Doctors leg loss.

I think there's definitely enough potential for more tales from Trenzalore and I'll certainly be purchasing if so. The book brought us new stories from the more obscure monsters like the Krynoid and Mara, so I'd be interested to see some more obscure inventions tackled. I think there's also scope for a Tales from the Time War book featuring John Hurt's excellent War Doctor. I don't see a problem with the concept or having it limited to the Time War; all of the four Tales of Trenzalore stories have the same premise and each does something interesting with it, so I'd like to see that extended to another undocumented and long period of the Doctors life.

Tales of Trenzalore is a great read all in all and for 2, you can't really go wrong. It's essentially four of the 50th Anniversary Eleven Doctors, Eleven Months and Time Trips series in length for the exact same price as one story from the two series mentioned. I believe there's a paperback version of the book due out sometime later this year too, which is nice.

A well deserved 8/10 overall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!, 1 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Last Stand (Kindle Edition)
I downloaded this book in the early morning, and by evening I had read the whole thing......I just could not put it down!

We have here four tales of adventures the Doctor had on Trenzalore during his hundreds of years defending the town and the planet from invaders from without. Did you not wonder why the Doctor was limping and leaning upon a cane when Clara first returned to Trenzalore in Time of the Doctor? Here we are given a tantalizing explanation for that. Enough to whet your appetite even more for what might follow. The monsters featured are all familiar and have been underused in the past I think, and even though our hero is stranded without technology bar his sonic screwdriver and without even his Tardis, he triumphs magnificently and I can't help wishing the book could could have been four times longer than it is. I thoroughly enjoyed this....(my very first purchased e-book), and I hope some more tales of Trenzalore will follow soon.....after all he was there for around nine hundred years apparently!
You won't be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of trenzalore, 27 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Last Stand (Kindle Edition)
Amazing stories of dr who and his battles on trenzalore it is a shame these monsters weren't in time of the doctor.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who Tales of Trenzalore, 16 July 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who: Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Last Stand (Kindle Edition)
I have read many Doctor Who novels...all briliant..my favourite among them Prisoner Of The Daleks..I didnt think I would reed a novel as good as that...until now..The Tales of Trenzalore was briliant..all four stories..all writers got The Doctor perfectally. I loved the dialoge..and all four stories kept me glued..You got to know more about Trenzalore..than you did in Time of The Doctor..and even in his old age..The Doctor was still a force to be reconed..much recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tales of Trenzalore, 18 April 2014
By 
R. Thomas "unreadable" (S Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Last Stand (Kindle Edition)
A fun high quality collection of short stories set during the 11th Doctors time on Trenzalore. Where as the TV episode had a lot to do this collection allows us a look into the Doctors life on Trenzalore and a handful of tales on how he defended Christmas from the mass hordes of villains kept at bay by the technology barrier. The stories themselves are quite different from each other, have differing protagonists and supporting casts and more importantly the Doctor changes as we get to see him quite young and as the aged protector we saw during Time of the Doctor.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Must read for Doctor Who fans, 16 Mar 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who: Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Last Stand (Kindle Edition)
*I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Random House UK, Ebury Publishing and Netgalley*

Tales of Trenzalore includes four short stories of some of the many times that the Eleventh Doctor protected the town of Christmas from alien invaders during his 900 year stay on Trenzalore.

I enjoyed all four of these short stories - They were all unique tales that grabbed my attention.
I especially liked that Handles was mentioned in some of the stories.
My favourite was the first story - Let it Snow by Justin Richards.
This is a must read for all Doctor Who fans.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good to fill in the gaps, 15 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Last Stand (Kindle Edition)
4 short stories which have a nice common thread. How to get on to Trenzalore and get the Doctor. New and Old monsters alike.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Trenzalore, 10 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Last Stand (Kindle Edition)
An interesting collection of short stories of the Doctors 900years defending Christmas,as a whole the Doctor is in character and the four stories hold your attention.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Eleventh Doctor, 8 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Last Stand (Kindle Edition)
good stories good narrators listen to them a few time good buy.
If you like doctor Who you will enjoy the stories from each doctor and recognise each
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