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on 14 June 2009
This book is in a very similar style to the other recent Doctor Who novels which I have read - clearly aimed at a younger audience, straying not far from simple language and simple themes. Unlike some however this one features a good amount of humour which will be appreciated by anyone who has ever met a child.

The set up is good, starting off with the old disappearing ship plot but evolving through unique plot devices to produce an amusing tale where the Doctor has to battle against time, childlike badgers and a group of humans who don't seem to appreciate his presence. There also features a lot of deaths in this one but as usual the Doctor manages to save the day in the end.

While the human characters are fairly two dimensional, the cast of aliens is much more admirable, with five standing out in particular. The pirate badgers who invade the starship are particularly cute in their depiction as naïve children who are eager to please - but from a more cynical viewpoint are easy for the Doctor to manipulate.

All in all probably one of the more interesting Doctor Who novels I have read, if only because the characters seemed so huggable.
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on 18 July 2008
wasnt too impressed, mainly read it as i wanted more Dr Who action after the end of the most excellent last series.
Parts of the book will date very quickly, the story seems to plod along for the first halp and get slighley more interesting, i was hoping this would have the same appeal as the series as in anyone can watch Dr Who from 8-80 but this book is firmly in the young reader/teenage section, not overly entertaining or gritty
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on 30 January 2009
So. Badger space pirates...hmmmm. But, you'll have to take my word for it, it works. My expectations dropped through the floor after listening to the first twenty minutes but they were soon boosted my some classic devices - tantalising clues to what might be happening, mighty risk taking, pseudo-science, moral dilemma, social comment and, of course, moments of high silliness. All ingredients of great Who.
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on 18 October 2016
Martha convinces the Doctor to visit the Brilliant, a starship infamous for vanishing without a trace. Knowing that he can’t save the ship or any of the crew or passengers without altering the timelines, the Doctor is initially reluctant. However, he is inevitably unable to resist the mystery and before long he and Martha become part of events, trapped in the same mystery as the Brilliant with some pretty odd aliens.

The novel is clearly intended as lightweight and humorous from the outset with a prologue of Martha and the Doctor escaping from a load of manic dancing robots. The main alien species featured are both on the silly side. The space pirates are some type of genetically engineered badger men that possess the rather dangerous combination of being quite incompetent and very trigger happy. Whereas the passengers of the Brilliant are equally ridiculous in being pompous, self-obsessed blobs that Martha adequately describes as resembling Mr. Tickle. Sometimes, particularly in the early stages, it all has a tendency to slip into something a bit farcical.

However, it is worth sticking with. Just as it begins to become a little irritating the plot moves on and the mystery of what has happened to the Brilliant begins to unfold in a satisfying way that feels like a lot more thought has gone into the plot rather than the aliens.

The various alien characters also start to become a little less annoying and more worthy of the reader’s sympathy as they are invested with a bit more personality. By the end some even become quite likeable.

Although for the most part this is quite a frivolous story, at its core is quite an interesting take on the time loop concept. There are some nice ideas utilising time dilation that structure the story well. They also allow for the Doctor, Martha and various characters to be constantly split up and cut off from each other without it feeling too contrived.

There also seems, perhaps, to be some type of philosophical argument about humankind’s relationship with slavery, but this seems to get lost a bit under everything and doesn’t quite gel with the light hearted nature of the book.

The humour becomes a little repetitive and tedious but in some way this reflects the time loop situation which is the basis of the plot. As a bit of a fun distraction the novel works quite well.
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Another Doctor Who novel telling an all new story for the character that hasn't been seen on the tv screen. This features the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones.

As ever with this range the book is suitable for all ages. It runs for two hundred and thirty seven pages, and the characterisation of the Doctor and companion is fine and well in keeping with the way they were portrayed on the show.

The story involves the Doctor and Martha visiting a legendary spaceship. Legendary because it disappeared and was never seen again. And nobody knows why. Their visit takes place shortly before the disappearance happened, and they're on a quest to find why it happened.

They find strange beings in engineering. An upper class robot. And passengers being held hostage as the ship has been boarded by pirates. Who are also Humanoid badgers.

All this and there's a problem with the engine and strange things happening with time itself. Will the Doctor and Martha solve the mystery or will they vanish as well?

The book gets going right from the off and manages a good pace throughout. An interesting and quite original setting plus a strong batch of supporting chsracters make for an engaging read. And the plotting is well handled. Unfolding gradually and at just the right pace with some surprising revelations along the way.

All the supporting characters do manage to grow and change over the course of the story, thanks to the influence of the Doctor, and the ending raises an interesting question in a manner that will leave you thinking about it afterwards.

An entertaining read - although you will have to pay close attention at points in the story when the problem with time occurs - and an above average entry in this range.
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on 19 April 2013
The Doctor's been everywhere and everywhen in the whole of the universe and seems to know all the answers. But ask him what happened to the Starship Brilliant and he hasn't the first idea. Did it fall into a sun or black hole? Was it shot down in the first moments of the galactic war? And what's this about a secret experimental drive?

The Doctor is skittish. But if Martha is so keen to find out he'll land the TARDIS on the Brilliant, a few days before it vanishes. Then they can see for themselves...

Soon the Doctor learns the awful truth. And Martha learns that you need to be careful what you wish for. She certainly wasn't hoping for mayhem, death, and badger-faced space pirates.

Featuring the Tenth Doctor and Martha as played by David Tennant and Freema Agyeman in the hit sci-fi series from BBC Television.
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on 19 September 2010
The premise and some details are a bit silly - pretend pirates, a timespace barrier of scrambled egg, the enemy leader being the only one with authority, but the story and its twists are intriguing, especially the deaths. There are very few locations too, all finely described, which is an advantage to following the action and incidents.
Written partly in two time streams, which can be briefly confusing and a bit irritating, it all comes together for a happy ending, though I still don't know how the engineers drink the milkshakes.
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on 2 March 2008
A straightforward comic space opera for young and old. Kids will love the humour and easily identifiable characters; adults will appreciate the joie-de-vivre of it all. Guerrier tells his audience a simple parable of emancipation and redemption, while mucking around with pink ray-guns, space badgers, and quantum scrambled egg - and for the "Doctor Who" fans, he gets the regular characters spot-on, particularly the it's-cool-to-be-clever Martha Jones. Enjoy!
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on 8 October 2008
This is my first Dr Who book (I always wait until they're twenty or more into a series run before hopping aboard), and a very enjoyable lark it is, too. As noted, Simon Guerrier has the characterisation of both the Doctor and his companion down pat from the off (the Martha's-eye view of the adventure itself lends the story very much to reading aloud - perhaps to a youngster). Plus, who can resist a tale of spaceships and buccaneering badgers? Not me. The somewhat Douglas Adams-ish plot is often, but not always, one step ahead of the reader (well, I didn't see the resolution coming, anyway) and the telling is, in turns, pacy, exciting, thoughtful and helpfully explanatory. I particularly liked the author's drawing of Martha's growing self-awareness. Very recommended.
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on 23 November 2015
Love this story, great for children and fans alike
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