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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'You're not going to save everyone wallowing in the dust and grime'
The Time Lord previously known as The Doctor (boy that's a mouthful) has been fighting the Time War for hundreds of years, so what happens that will make him willing to destroy his own people to end it? The journey starts on the Dalek-ravaged world of Moldox...

The story opens pretty much as you would expect, with an epic battle between the Daleks and the...
Published 12 months ago by P. Kennard

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engines of War
I think the phrase is "poisoned chalice". I'm not sure where it comes from, it's probably Hamlet or something similar. Sort of ironic too actually, given how Eight regenerated.

I'm digressing though, heavily. I should backtrack a bit.

Engines of War is The Time War Novel. It's so important that you capitalise The Time War Novel. It's the...
Published 11 months ago by Alex


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'You're not going to save everyone wallowing in the dust and grime', 31 July 2014
By 
P. Kennard (Worcestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Who: Engines of War (Doctor Who: New Series Adventures Specials Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
The Time Lord previously known as The Doctor (boy that's a mouthful) has been fighting the Time War for hundreds of years, so what happens that will make him willing to destroy his own people to end it? The journey starts on the Dalek-ravaged world of Moldox...

The story opens pretty much as you would expect, with an epic battle between the Daleks and the Time-Lords. Amidst this, the Doctor accidentally discovers a remarkably effective way to kill a Special Weapons type Dalek: throw a TARDIS at it, preferably from orbit. Having made his unorthodox landing, the Doctor's attempts to avoid picking up a new companion prove laughably inneffective, for despite being battle-hardened and weary beyond his years, and however much he denies it, this is still recognisablly the Doctor. He tries to be the good warrior, a clever and strategic front-line soldier, but he can't quite escape his nature, which is why, when he finds out what the Daleks are up to, he foolishly tries to do the right thing...

The Doctor arguing with the Time-Lords may sound familiar, primarily because it is. We spend a good chunk of the narrative on a Gallifrey familiar from both the classic and new series, glimpsing panoramas from The End of Time before visiting Council Chambers from The Five Doctors. Characters old and new appear, their introductions carefully balanced so those readers new to them get a solid background, without so much info-dump that a regular viewer would get bored.
George Mann has tried to encompass both the old and the new throughout, without overloading on either. It is a shiny new tale, full of adventure and adversity, but with just a tincture of the familiar. We are reassured by these blasts from the past (and future) that what we have is a PROPER Doctor Who book, despite it featuring a little-seen incarnation and a completely new companion.
And Cinder is another element that draws from both series but relies on neither: she is damaged goods, like the War Doctor and Ace, yet she is also feisty and independant, like Sarah Jane and Rose, but most importantly, she still manages to be her own character. For while she is drawn with familiar traits, she is a new and well-rounded foil to this particular Doctor and you find yourself drawn into her world, caring about how she will turn out.

Perhaps the greatest achievement is the portrayal of the War Doctor himself. From the outset, it is clear that this is very much the John Hurt character we see in The Day of the Doctor. He has been fighting the war for centuries and the fire that lit the warrior within him has started to fade, allowing the old Doctor to begin to resurface. This is a character tired of fighting and tired of apparently making no real difference. Quite how he got to where we see him on screen is explored within these pages, where the long journey begins. Whether it ends here is another matter.

This book has been written to act as the perfect bridge, a traditional yet modern story, close to the new series in timeframe and style, but with more than enough of the classic series to appeal to long-term fans. Entertaining, powerful and moving, this could only be made better if they got John Hurt to do the audiobook version!

When's the next one coming out?

Full disclosure: Akin to Amazon Vine, the publisher provided a free eARC (Advance Review Copy) in exhange for this independent and unbiased review.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Doctor no more...", 3 Aug. 2014
By 
R. Wood "ryecroftwood2" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary last year knocked everyone for six. All the various means of celebration were wonderful, but it was the events of `The Day of the Doctor' - and `The Name of the Doctor' & `The Night of the Doctor' - that shattered everything we thought we knew about the infamous Time War, the Doctor's previously unknown regeneration and his role in those events.

John Hurt's outstanding performance as the mysterious `War Doctor' truly added to the prestige and lineage of the Doctor's history. So when Engines of War was announced - shedding more light on the darkest period in the Time Lord's life - I knew I just had to purchase.

Ever since his Eighth Incarnation regenerated, the Doctor has been leading his people into arduous, devastating conflict with the Daleks, fighting on the front-line. Realities have been torn asunder by the two almighty species, with humans and other races caught right-in-the middle. Centuries of god-awful war have taken their heavy toll on the man who has long renounced the name of the Doctor. And after his TARDIS crash-lands on the planet Moldox, the events that follow will be the final straw for the renegade Time Lord.

"No more."

George Mann had a BIG assignment given to him. Could he write a story that is worthy of the nightmarish events constantly alluded to and/or (occasionally) actually revealed on Doctor Who ever since its 2005 revival? The answer is simply `yes'. Mann writes a tale that is most worthy of the creative visions of both Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat. The happenings of the Time War are not only detailed in dark and horrific fashion, but the consequences of the Time Lord/Dalek conflict are also clearly stressed for the unfortunate humans. Their fear and hatred for Time Lord and Dalek alike is not only understandable, it's justified.

And this is one of many things that has clearly scarred the War Doctor. Too many innocents and civilizations have been caught in the crossfire, and it's not just the Daleks, but himself and the Time Lords that are to blame. George captures the essence of the Doctor's War Incarnation SO well, that you can perfectly envision John Hurt back in the swing of things. The Doctor here is clearly bitter, tired and ashamed, and feebly trying to hang onto the quirks and ideals that made him who he was. You can't help but feel sympathetic towards him.

But it's not just the Doctor's personality and the horrors of the Time War that George Mann writes with panache. The author's writing style is so imaginative, with a clear (and exciting) understanding of how a Time War WOULD be fought. How the Daleks evolved and advanced to a point where they could use time & space to exterminate all life is most ruthless and extreme, and in a manner that completely befits them. Likewise, the Time Lords' fear of the Daleks has grown to the point where their change from a peace-loving, orderly and wise society, into a selfish, sinister and morally corrupt is also understandable. Nothing is black-and-white here; only a deep, deep grey. It's so intelligent that the writer deserves the highest commendation.

As Whovians will remember, there were TWO camps of Time Lords created in the Time War; the corrupt High-Council (as lead by Rassilon) who favoured their own survival above all else, and Gallifrey High Command (lead by the Time Lord General) who retained their honour and moral-codes, while fighting tooth & nail to ensure the safety of innocent people. For Engines of War, Mann wisely chooses the corrupt High-Council and Rassilon for the antagonistic side of the Time Lords. Rassilon is just as we remember him from The End of Time; almighty, full-of-self-importance/preservation and all ethics thrown right out the window. His portrayal here is so good that you can actually visualise John Hurt and Timothy Dalton going at it!

Then of course, there's Cinder. As a one-shot companion written exclusively for this story, the author writes her as impeccably as everything else. Like the Doctor, Cinder has lost everything, with only hatred against the Daleks and Time Lords to show for it. Like all other companions before and after her, she NEEDS saving. Throughout the story, Cinder grows to realise the enormity of the Time War beyond her own world, and is able to change for the better, and help the Doctor bear his own burdens as well. Cinder's role here is not only a reminder of how much the Doctor needs a companion, but also showcases what a three-dimensional character she is.

As other reviewers have said, the plot of Engines of War is that of a typical adventure book, and there's plenty of good twists-and-turns, with the best shockers coming from revelations behind characters themselves, and the machinations of the Daleks. The prose is beautiful and accessible, with some brilliant utilisation of events like `The Night of the Doctor', `Genesis of the Daleks' and `The Five Doctors' to help drive the story. The events here also steamroll nicely towards the cataclysmic events of `The End of Time' and `The Day of the Doctor', coming across naturally instead of force-feeding us.

In closing, George Mann has done an impeccable job with Doctor Who: Engines of War. It's a beautiful book to hold and read. An utterly exceptional piece of work; one that makes me look forward to the audiobook release.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daleks and Timelords beware. The War Doctor comes to prose., 10 Aug. 2014
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John Hurt’s brief role as the Doctor has undoubtedly left fans with the desire to see more of this previously unknown incarnation. This is probably unlikely to ever happen on screen again and it is entirely possible (but let’s hope not) that this novel might be the only revisit to this version of the Doctor. ‘Engines of War’ is also of importance in that it gives the War Doctor an adventure all of his own.

Obviously a novel of this nature is heavily influenced by ‘The Day of the Doctor’. However, it can’t entirely be considered a prequel as such. ‘The Day of the Doctor’ is concerned with the last days of the Time War whereas ‘Engines of War’ is a story in its own right set sometime during said war.

However, much like ‘The Day of the Doctor’ it takes inspiration from across the history of the programme, effortlessly merging references to twenty first century Doctor Who with that which came before. It takes considerable influence from three of my personal favourite stories; ‘The Deadly Assassin’, ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ and ‘The Five Doctors’. Making use of such background material helps to make this, at least for me, a very enjoyable book. Although there is a large amount of content that relies on knowledge of many Doctor Who stories this knowledge isn’t essential to understand or follow the plot. The author has created a good balance of references that enrich the novel without making it continuity obsessed or too fan indulgent.

The characterisation of the Doctor is a little varied throughout. There are times when John Hurt’s portrayal comes to the surface but often this book’s Doctor is a more generic amalgamation of Doctorish traits, usually from the twenty-first century incarnations. That is fairly understandable, however, considering the limited screen time for the War Doctor. This is also still the Doctor before the act of genocide; before he has reached the point of “no more”. There are efforts by the author to distance the character of the War Doctor from the Doctor proper. He is heavily referred to as the Predator throughout and exhibits aggressive tendencies. However, the author’s main effort is to show that the War Doctor would behave differently to the Fourth if put in the famous dilemma the Fourth Doctor faces in ‘Genesis of the Daleks’. It is not that convincing an argument though considering that the similar situation the War Doctor finds himself in in this book is not actually the same situation at all with closer consideration. The War Doctor of this novel is still very much the Doctor and it could very well be the intention of the author to steer the reader to this conclusion.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the parallels it draws between the Daleks and the Timelords. It seems that as the Time War escalates both indulge in hideous genetic experiments (even on their own kind) and devise or use terrible weapons of mass destruction. Indeed the main plot of this novel is whether or how such a weapon, the Tear, should be applied. The High Council of the Timelords and the Eternity Circle of Daleks definitely bare similarities in outlooks and objectives and Rassalon appears to be no better than the Dalek Emperor. It can be assumed that by the end of this novel it is the author’s intention to bring us to the conclusion that the Daleks and the Timelords are now much the same thing. After all, that is the conclusion the Doctor will reach.

If this is, unfortunately, the only new story the War Doctor will get this one has at least done his incarnation proud. Action packed and exciting whilst thought provoking all at once. There is much to be enjoyed in this story and the author clearly knows his material.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engines of War, 13 Sept. 2014
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This is a review of the newly released novel, Engines of War by George Mann. There is an audio reading of the novelisation due out in December 2014, which I sincerely hope will be read by John Hurt; fingers crossed.

The story takes us up to the events in Day of the Doctor, where the tv audience first met the War Doctor, as played by John Hurt. A weary, cynical and less patient Doctor, this timelord strives to find an answer to the terrible toll being taken by the Time War between the Daleks and the Timelords, but without the cost being borne by the inhabitants of the rest of the universe for all time.

The first part of the action in the novel sees the Doctor crash-landing on the Dalek-inhabitated world of Moldox; there he meets a young Resistance fighter, Cinder, who has seen her family killed and her world ravaged by the Daleks; it's all she knows. Reluctantly taking her with him, the Doctor seeks out the reason for the Daleks being there. What they find will shock and horrify them, and the Doctor knows he has to take the information back to this homeworld - back to a Gallifrey ruled by a reincarnated Rassilon, a world where the Doctor knows his way of viewing the universe is not welcome. Can Cinder and the Doctor find a way to stop the Daleks, with or without the Timelords?

This is fantastic stuff; a great novel as well as a great Doctor Who novel. I tried to read this without expectations, hoping to find it was a great novel in its own right and not just because I wanted it to be a story about the War Doctor, one that would fill in the gaps and answer the questions that the Day of the Doctor left its audience with. I am delighted to find that this book ticks all the boxes. It is a triumph in continuity, characterisation, narrative and context; everything, in short that a Doctor Who fan could possibly want. Most importantly, it is immediately 'familiar' to the reader, in that it is easy to imagine it playing out on the small (or big) screen in front of you. I hope there are more books to come with the War Doctor, as there is a great characterisation being created of this incarnation of the Doctor who we are all so familiar with in previous incarnations. The War Doctor deserves to have all his tales told; I can't wait to hear/read more of them. In the meantime, George Mann has done a great job with this novel; I encourage every Doctor Who fan (whether a fan of the `classic' or `new' series) to read this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor When He Wasn't Himself, 14 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who: Engines of War (Doctor Who: New Series Adventures Specials Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
This was an awesome treat for me as I am a major Doctor Who fan girl! I always love reading what authors come up with for the Doctor when he is off stage :)

This book is the Doctor between. He is sometimes known as the War Doctor but he says he had a name and no longer uses it as he is not that person anymore. He is unworthy of his Name. He is jaded and gruff and completely disillusioned with his race and his people. The war has gone on too long and pushed him too far. He has had about enough.

Cinder lives on a planet under Dalek control . All she has done for as long as she can remember is run and hide or fight. Her people are in a war they cannot hope to win... Only hope they can take some Daleks down along the way and survive another day. She has no hope at all until she meets the strange man in the blue box who refuses to give her his name.

This highly imaginative action packed thrill ride takes place during the Time War after it has been going on for as long as anyone can remember. It is a grand sweeping adventure that gives you a peak at Gallifrey and the War Doctor. It was loads of fun to read and I will definitely read more Doctor Who books by this author!

***This book is suitable for young adult through adult readers
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No more ..., 17 Aug. 2014
It's hard to sum up why this title is so damn good! Exceptional writing by Mann, with a fantastic plot spanning a war-torn planet to Gallifrey (and back again!) The author clearly knows his classic Who, as several huge plot points and major characters in this novel are taken straight from the Doctor Who 20th anniversary "The Five Doctors" (spoilers!!) It's also great to see the making of the War Doctor and why he ultimately makes the fateful decision to destroy Gallifrey in the 50th special The Day of the Doctor. Sublime sci-fi, and an absolute must for all Whovians!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read!, 11 Aug. 2014
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Fantastic novel from George Mann! I've read around 10 Doctor who Novels so far (I will read more) and this is my favorite by far! I had to try and limit myself to read 2 chapters a day otherwise I would read it too quickly! I didn't want it to end as it was so good! More War Doctor novels please :D
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this book, 25 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Engines of War (Doctor Who: New Series Adventures Specials Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed this book. The insight into the often talked about but rarely glimpsed on T.V (apart from recent 50th anniversary special) time war is very welcome and is both gritty and gripping. The author really portrays the desperation and horror of the time war well throughout the novel, and captures the John Hurt incarnation of the Doctor accurately.

I don't often delve into Doctor Who novels, but I would recommend this one to any fan of the show, particularly the revived series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The missing story of the War Doctor- No More!, 5 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Engines of War (Doctor Who: New Series Adventures Specials Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
This should be made as a one off Dr Who TV movie. You can hear John Hurts "War" Doctor spitting out his lines at the Time Lords and see how they became the cruel and twisted race they were shown to be in David Tennants last shows. Great characters, and a real page turner, the story just make you want to read it as quickly as possible. I could almost see the show play out in my imagination. Great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable adventure and one of the better novels, 24 Aug. 2014
A fast paced exciting read which pads out the Day of the Doctor storyline very well bringing in themes from the Five Doctor's story. I have read every novel based on Doctor who and some target novelizations where necessary please may I recommend to you for consideration, Prisoner of the Dalek's, Palace of the Red Sun, and Players.
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