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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )


Now there's a blast, albeit, an icy one from the past!

The Ice Warriors from cold, cold Mars were always a favourite of mine from the second Doctor Period.

We saw them resurface with the third Doctor on Peladon.... Twice and they are up there with the Cybermen , Sea Devils and Daleks as the best foes of the Doctor.

So now it's the eleventh Doctor's turn.
Aided by the current set of companions the couple Amy and Rory .
A married couple doesn't to my jaded eye sit well with the crew of the good ship Tardis but each to his own.

The book itself is a 'quick read' type of book and the six CDS each have a running time of 1 hour each making a grand total of six hours total.

So it's great for car journeys and you can easily listen to one CD per day.

And the whole in 6 days flat.

The general opinion of Abnett's book from other reviewers of the Hardback is that it's not an `adult' book so it's safe to let the kids listen and I would agree with them on this point.

It's written by Dan Abnett who has written some well received books for Warhammer so he has form and it's all good.

The story with out giving away too much of the plot to much concerns The Maintainers who grown just enough food to live on their cool world until it starts to get colder, the crops and livestock begin to fail. They view technology as being a little.. well a lot suspect (SO Peladon chimed a bell there)

The Good 11th cavalry of the 11th Doctor and the Ponds arrive to find the Ice warriors are up to no good (or are they? remember the surprise we had from the Monster of Peladon when the Ice Lords turned out not to be the bad guys??) Behind every plot there's another and the plot and story race along with quips aplenty.
Now a lot of other reviews have complained about this a little but I say make your own mind up on this one.

It's well read by Michael Maloney who handles the voices and actions well.
I recognized his voiceovers from Walking with Dinosaurs and he has a good voice that makes the 6 hours never outstay their welcome.
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on 22 December 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been enjoying the series of one-CD Doctor Who stories featuring the eleventh Doctor and I wondered if a six-CD story would be six times as good, or six times as long as it should be. Would writer Dan Abnett be able to sustain a good story over such a length of time? The answer to that, in my mind at least, has to be a resounding almost. The overall story is generally a good one, helped out by a surprise twist as you approach the end, but there is far too much running about and running away and falling down holes for my liking. That's not to say I didn't enjoy the story, because I did, and although I did enjoy having more time to get to know the world of this story and its characters, this could well have been accomplished in three or four CDs instead of six. I'm guessing that this is an unabridged reading of a book, but what irritates me about audio books also irritates me about written books.

The most difficult part of any Doctor Who audio story is getting the voices right. Sometimes the actors reading the script do a good job, and sometimes they do a fairly average job, but if the story is only an hour long, you can get past that. Michael Maloney's largely unconvincing portrayal of the Doctor and Amy really starts to grate as you put in the third CD. By the sixth you're looking forward to that aspect of the audiobook being over.

That being said, the story is a reasonably enjoyable one and I liked being able to get into a much longer Doctor Who audio story, despite my opinion that there was room to abridge at least two CDs worth of filler from it.
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VINE VOICEon 29 November 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I had gotten a little bored with some of the Doctor who audio cd's but this is a welcome return to cracking form.

The Doctor is supposed to be getting Rory and Amy back to Leadworth for Christmas but of course this doesn't happen. They have landed on a snow covered plant that is is earthesque (listen to the audio cd and you'll get this joke) and no sooner have they arrived then Rory gets seperated from the other two and they each get into trouble. Amy and the Doctor meet the locals who are sooned spooked by them and lock them up only for them to escape with the sister of a girl who has gone missing. Rory spooked by a figures in the distance is running from them when he bumps into locals out searching for the missing girl and then they meet the strange giant who has a sonic gun that kills.
Running from the Giants seeking out safety from a blizzard the trio have several things to figure out before being caught by the Giants, who the Giants, What they are doing on this planet, why the winters are getting worse and how to get everything back to normal and the trio back together in time so they can make it back to Leadworth for Christmas.

I loved this, listening to it on my ipod whilst I was working I would get annoyed when I was interrupted by colleagues to answer the phone or deal with customers. Loved it. Bring on the next one Mr Abnett
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VINE VOICEon 6 December 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This six CD set is authentic Who. From the start of this Ice Warrior extravaganza to the bitter end you will find yourself turning up the heating in the house or car and waiting desperately to see what happens next. Plenty of tension and yet following a formula that makes you feel confortable and lets you know that you can depend on the hero triumphing.
Well written, well read, and well produced this set would make a really good present or a good treat for yourself too. This is so much more fulfilling than the typical 1 or 2 hour offerings and will satisfy the genuine Who aficionado.
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on 9 October 2011
There have been literally hundreds of DOCTOR WHO novels, but with the new millennium incarnation of the TV series, BBC Books (inevitably) renovated its line to match. The publishing "reboot" features three kinds of book: the main line of compact hardcovers sans dust jacket, technically marketed at YA readers, but written at a general audience level; a number of series *specifically* for younger readers, including annuals, Quick Reads and the 2in1 volumes of novellas; and what I guess might be called the "adult" line: mainstream hardcovers presumably written at a higher literary level.

The first book in that series, by science fantasy Master Michael Moorcock, THE COMING OF THE TERRAPHILES was, despite Moorcock's longtime and well documented affection for the show, a vastly disappointing affair, to put it mildly; rather than step into the DOCTOR WHO universe and continuity, he seemed to be appropriating the characters and some of the concepts to fit within his peculiar and legendary multi-verse. They bore little but surface resemblance to the authentic characters and more heartbreaking still, the book itself was a rambling, talky, discursive bit of twee high comedy, as if the setting were a drawing room in space.

But this second book by Dan Abnett, THE SILENT STARS GO BY, seems an aggressive attempt to reclaim the "adult" line's integrity. Abnett, though certainly a major player, does not represent the kind of high profile by-line Moorcock does, but clearly, this time, the editors were more concerned about getting it right than having a brand name on the package.

Abnett's book is really no more "adult" than the primary line of books, save for the fact that it's somewhat longer. Mostly, it's just a ripping good WHO yarn, featuring Matt Smith's incarnation of the Doctor, plus married companions Amelia Pond and Rory Williams. He has the characters, their voices, their internalization, exactly right; his prose is facile (he likes a good, showy effect) but also witty, and also -- and I don't mean this to diminish its sophistication -- easy to read. The flow appears effortless.

This is not to say it breaks any new ground -- as I say, this book is *not* a literary experiment, it's DOCTOR WHO served straight up, with suspense, cool monsters and expertly timed comedy. And it spins variations on a few familiar science fiction tropes (among them the backwoods colony of settlers descended from space travelers, who view artifacts of their ancestors' technology in a reinterpretive, religious context.) But I think that's exactly what was called for to save the line of books.

Flaws? Sometimes THE SILENT STARS GO BY is (despite its highly poetic title) cleverly quippy to a fault, and Abnett works the wisecracks a bit too hard. (When the original play version of THE ODD COUPLE was in out of town tryouts, a colleague asked director Mike Nichols how it was going. "Pretty good," said Nichols. "We're taking out the jokes." Meaning, of course, they were getting rid of distracting excess, that moved off the point of character and story. Here and there Abnett could do with similar restraint.) But all in all, that's a minor quibble.

The book is a brisk, fun read, it truly does come off as a credible DOCTOR WHO episode (and in comparison to the weak 6th season entries, a superior one at that) ... and it can (and will) be enjoyed by young readers as well as adults. Geronimo ...
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VINE VOICEon 9 December 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A book that truly feels like it could be the novelisation of a TV episode. The key word for this book is danger, there are elements of it everywhere in the prose be it the threat of the human race dieing out or from the villains' in the chase sequences of the book. I wouldn't quite say its dark but its definitely not of the "jolly" nature of post comeback Who books.

Featuring The Doctor, Amy and Rory the regulars are captured near perfectly, I especially enjoy Rory's self depreciation. Looking for Christmas they land on a future colony planet where things aren't going to well for the human race. The planets weather pattern is mysteriously becoming more winter like and the Ice Warriors are afoot. I especially enjoyed the fact that the Ice Warriors were allowed to be monsters for a large part of the book. Eventually they get into chatty mode but its enjoyable to see a monster be a monster.

Fully recommended and I give it five stars, very much an all action book with my favourite parts being the aforementioned chases. Although don't be fooled as its also got a good little plot with the odd twist and surprise late in play.
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VINE VOICEon 19 April 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We've listened to a fair number of the Doctor Who adventures over the years, and this one is fairly standard fare. Exciting adventure and hijinks for the Doctor, Amy & Rory.

Well paced & plotted, but nothing particuarly new. If you like Who (and who doesn't), you'll like this.
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The classic baddies are back, in the shape of the Ice Warriors. The story written by Dan Abnett and the audio CD is narrated by Michael Maloney. This is my first listening from the collaboration between these two people and they do not disappoint. The story is set on a frozen inhospitable world where the people try to survive against the odds, where the food harvest is critical to their survival. They hope that one day they can change the world to one that more resembles mother Earth.

However, the crops begin to fail and the corresponding live stock are dying what was a harsh existence is even worse.

The action begins with some pace and there are moments of humour seeded here and there in the narrative. What is great about this audio CD, for those us who remember the Ice Warriors of old, on TV, is the way your imagination is engaged, and the fear you felt as child while not to the same degree now, but none the less does give slight goose bumps. The story is littered with character and framed well in what we know and would expect from a good Dr Who story. My only slight critic is that at 6 hours long the pacing and narration seem to dull a bit, as another reviewer has mentioned and I quote `part three seems padded out'. That said, the there is depth and detail to this tale, and unlike our all too short TV format Dr Who episodes the time taken to expand explain and back drop set up are what make some of these audio CDs. To best sum up the quality of this Who adventure. A quote from Homer, Homer Simpson that is, Ice Warriors Mmmmm, as he salivates.
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on 20 November 2011
I must admit that what attracted me to this book was The Ice Warriors on the cover. I just love the tardis in the snow flanked by Ice Warriors with broadswords! That said I found this book to be an engaging read, well written with a healthy respect for the show, but (more importantly) NOT dogged with super-continuity/history.
As a long time enthusiast I loved the 'old' series of BBC Dr. Who books from the 1990s which featured the 8th Doctor as well as all the past doctors which were aimed at a more adult readership which were unceremoniously dropped when the new show came out - it was like a slap in the face to all the people who had helped keep the show alive in the hiatus. Well if this book is anything to go by then that may have begun to be redressed.
Although Amy & Rory have their parts to play in this book the doctor comes to the fore and has a nice exchange with the Ice Warriors, where some of their history is explored and the Doctor's faux-pas in getting his time eras wrong certainly brought a smile to my face.
Although I find the characters of Amy & Rory on TV quite irritating they are (thankfully) underplayed in this book and therefore for me, more believable. I think therefore this book should appeal to new and long-time enthusiasts alike as a wonderful consolidation of old & new.
I like also that the cover has a timeless quality about it by not having images of the current doctor & companions which also reflects the latter policy of the books in the '90s, to allow the book to retain it's appeal once the actors decide to move on... indeed it appears that in the TV Xmas special Matt Smith will be going solo - Hurrah! It's been sometime coming but it appears Matt Smith has become a 'proper' Doctor! More excellent books like this one can only serve to underline this. Now, can we have an occasional past Doctor book please?
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A Doctor Who novel. Telling an all new story for the Doctor and friends that hasn't appeared before in any other medium.

It features the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory. It's set at a point somewhere early in their second season.

It runs for two hundred and seventy nine pages. It's divided into a prologue plus eighteen chapters.

There's also a short introduction from the writer which is worth a read.

Although this was originally published separately from the main range of these - which are suitable for all ages - as a hardback edition, which tend to be geared more towards slightly older readers, this one is pretty much suitable for all ages as well.

Set on the colony world of Hereafter, the colonists are people known as Morphans. Life is not going as well as it has been for them, as the weather seems to be getting worse all the time. Then a girl disappears. Strange creatures are seen in the woods.

Three strangers then arrive. One of them claims to be a Doctor. They might just be what the planet needs, in order to find the secrets that await...

This is written by a writer who does a lot of franchise fiction. And they are clearly a master of that craft. You can't write anything too sophisticated, or something that changes tv continuity. But you have to write a story that feels like an episode of the show, and also uses the medium of the printed page and the reader's imagination to conjure up visuals in the mind's eye that a tv budget possibly couldn't manage.

This more than succeeds in doing that. Getting the three main characters exactly right, with dialogue you can imagine the tv actors saying.

It's also good science fiction. The world is a good setting and the Morphans come over as people who have lived in such a setting for a long time, with language traits that show such signs.

There is an old monster involved. It handles them really well, keeping them a vague presence at the start. With some great visual descriptions of how those who don't know them react to them. Plus there's some really good plotting, that has clearly been worked out right from the start. Allowing for some excellent surprises and plot twists in the final quarter.

This is not great literature. But it's really good Doctor Who novel writing. So it's well worth a read if that's what you're looking for.
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