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Doctor Who: King of Terror Mass Market Paperback – 6 Nov 2000

3.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books (6 Nov. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563538023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563538028
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 10.8 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 584,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 1 Nov. 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Keith Topping's "The King Of Terror" is a good book, but it is not without it's problems.
The Fifth Doctor with companions Tegan and Turlough head to Los Angeles at the request of the Brigadier who suspects that a multimedia company are up to no good. Through in a band of terrorists and the prophecies of Nostradamus and the result is a quality book.
The plot is very good, even if the powerful company threatening world safety is an idea oft used in Doctor Who novels. Topping begins the novel with a couple of UNIT members, Paytner and Barrington, who seem very uncharacteristic of a Doctor Who novel and are a welcome inclusion. Both characters have strong characterisation which makes both of them likeable.
The regular characters fair well mostly. The Brigadier is in top form, although his appearance doesn't seem long enough. Turlough has some nasty surprises in store for him and Tegan is as fiery as ever. The main problem is that Topping hasn't quite got the Fifth Doctor's character right. It's fine at the beginning of the book but somewhere around the middle the character starts to slip and this results in some uncharacteristic behaviour.
Overall, "The King Of Terror" is a good, solid novel. It's first hundred pages or so are fantastic and kept me reading well into the early hours of the morning. But the last hundred and fify pages aren't as good, and the lapse led to me loosing interest in the plot. That said, the plot is good with waring aliens being at the heart of events. It moves along quickly but I felt the ending was a bit of an anticlimax. "The King Of Terror" is a good book, but it's not as good as "The Hollow Men" which Topping co-wrote with Martin Day as it fails to maintain the quality of the first hundred pages.
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By A Customer on 23 Mar. 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lust, vengence, corruption and greed. King of Terror has it all. A wonderfully sexy and dangerous mixture of spy story realism, technophobia and buddy-cop comedy, this is a novel that will make you laugh and laugh and laugh and then suddenly pull the rug from under you by killing a character you really liked. Topping's a star!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those Doctor Who novels that opts to focus heavily upon government agencies and military organisations that investigate alien activity and seek to utilise alien technology. Hence there is plenty of conspiracy with various parties pursuing their own secret, shady agendas during an alien invasion.

Much of the same ingredients are used in ‘The Devil Goblins from Neptune’, co-written by the author of ‘The King of Terror’ and featuring some of the same characters. Most of the themes and much of the subject matter are also quite similar without any worthwhile development. It is more of a case of repeat rather than continuation.

The Doctor has a relatively minor role. Rather than being a Doctor Who story this feels more like a Doctor Who spinoff where the Doctor makes the occasional appearance. When he is featured, the characterisation of the Fifth Doctor is usually quite off and really doesn’t capture his nuances.

Tegan and Turlough are both shoved off into subplots of their own with mixed results. Tegan is reasonably characterised and receives a reasonable storyline which actually develops her a bit, but the whole romance she is given doesn’t quite ring true. The author doesn’t seem to have much of a role for Turlough other than to leave him imprisoned and tortured. Although this ‘experimenting’ on him serves a minor role in the plot it is far too dominant and often unnecessarily gratuitous.

Being a novel that inevitably features UNIT (considering the subject and style) the Brigadier also plays a role in events. He is much better characterised than the others based on onscreen characters. Mainly this is the Brigadier post ‘Mawdryn Undead’ and, possibly, the spinoff ‘Downtime’.
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By A Customer on 9 Nov. 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dr Who Books 2000 releases come to and end with a highly solid read from Keith Topping, whose previous works were just as good as this. Characterisation and plot work very well together and the end result works very well indeed. Often laugh out loud funny, with a lot to please the casual fan. Recommended.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Didn't expect much from this one having read a couple of online reviews..This was really good - rattled along at a fair old pace with an international espionage plot and lots of aliens. I particularly liked the last couple of chapters where the author got all self-reflective and introverted. That showed a depth to the writing I hadn't expected. On the strength of this novel, I also picked up The Hollow Men by the same author and a co-writer which is, if anything, even better.
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