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on 9 September 1999
As the series of novels featuring the Eighth Doctor continues, his personal history (thanks to the continuing story arcs which encompass all of these novels) gets more and more murky. This is the most vulnerable and tortured Doctor since the fifth incarnation. This book features the introduction of the "obverse": a concept which I hope they'll clarify in further editions. It also hints at major surprises connected with some of the incidental characters appearing from time to time (such as Iris Wildthyme). I am a fan of continuing character development, although it also makes me feel somewhat sorry for the Doctor's much-abused companions, but this book, even more so than some of the previous ones, ends unsatisfyingly, and raises more questions than it answers. This isn't a book to read unless you have followed the Eighth Doctor's adventures in detail, and even if you have, you will find yourself hoping that the loose ends are tied up in the next novel. But, if you're a Who fan, it's another must-read. His adventures really have become a modern epic.
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on 19 February 2000
I think personally that this book should have been better. I loved it's prose and descriptiveness, and also it's general overall sci-fi fantasy wierdness. I liked especially the scenes with the Doctor as a normal human on Earth, and the resolution of that particular story strand. unfortunately it was the resolution of the main story which served to fail me. It was, previously, undeniably expertly crafted. I could see the events spiralling toward their final conclusion and particularly liked the Doctor's frantic attempts to save the day, even when it was too late. The way the last chapter was told was interesting and inspired, typical of the genius behind Paul's last book, but it featured the Doctor very little, the main character actually having failed in every aspect of everything he was trying to achieve. All in all I was considerably less impressed with this book than the last. I originally intended to give it five stars on it's human Doctor sequence alone. That coupled with the almost perfect other plot strands fueled me further untill I reached the end. Not a Doctor Who adventure. Barely an adventure, which just happened to be witnessed by the Doctor. Still, if the ending had been different, it would have been superb. Read it and find out, I don't think I've spoiled too much.
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on 29 September 1999
Interesting experiment in writing a modern fairy tale. It's intricate and very clever, even though the authors use some devices that are never resolved, or, if they are, went way over my head! It veers between Star Trek satire and Babar the Elephant, with a pause to do Sapphire & Steel in Milton Keynes, this is one of those books that entertains and challenges through sheer force of personality. And then it ends, very suddenly, using a neat, original dramatic device. You'll be as charmed as you are cross, believe me.
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on 27 February 2001
Very poor. Most of the ideas in the book seem to be taken from other areas of the science fiction Genre. Not very original and not very interesting
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