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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smart, snappy and cool...., 28 May 2012
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Silent Stars Go By (Audio CD)
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Dan Abnett has a good reputation in genre franchise circles, largely due to his continually solid entries in the Warhammer 40,000 canon. As such, it was interesting to see what he'd do with Doctor Who - another long term franchise with considerable backstory, but with fewer opportunities for mass-murder than Abnett's typical bailiwick.

With that out of the way, Abnett is a good writer, sometimes a great writer. His scene setting, especially in the initial chapters, is vivid and impressive. The vista of ice is articulated very well - the listener can practically taste the snow, and feel the freezing winds. His dialogue is perhaps a bit quip-heavy, but it's short, sharp, punchy and memorable. The Moorcock outing that preceded this one ("The Coming of the Terraphiles"), was laced with languid and baroque verbiage, and the two styles contrast nicely. I tend to find Abnett's writing tighter, more compact, and think it makes for a faster paced, compelling read. It certainly does here.

This may, in part, be because Abnett has had an opportunity to see Matt Smith fill the role of The Doctor whilst writing - and the dialogue and style do seem to fit with the role as Smith plays it (though like another reviewer, I can see echoes of Tom Baker in some of the repartee). One complaint is that we hear rather less of Amy and Rory than one might expect - though this might also be something of a benefit, depending on how you feel about the companions.

Michael Maloney's reading is, as ever, solid. He manages to put range and character into each individual in the story. For once, it was fairly easy to tell which character was talking during dialogue heavy periods, with no need to rewind just to work out which character was saying what. A sterling job by this veteran narrator was to be expected, but is no less pleasant for that.

The audio version is presented in a brick-thick CD case, sufficient to carry all 6 CD's on a single spindle. As ever, I'd prefer each CD were on a separate leaf, as it makes them much easier to get at when listening on-the-move, but this is a relatively minor complaint. The cover is done up in the same art style as the Terraphiles outing, and the two will match nicely on your shelf. Unfortunately, the box is too thick to fit into a double-CD space on a standard CD rack, but that's a minor complain really.

Overall, this is a sharp, snappy, smart and above all entertaining return to form for the series, and one which is well worth listening to - though at around 8 hours of audio, it may take a while to do so. At any rate, highly recommended!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Sep 2014 11:40:03 BDT
Excellent detailed review of this brilliant audiobook.
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Location: York, UK

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