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Top Contributor: Doctor WhoTOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 24 August 2014
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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Top Contributor: Doctor WhoTOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 May 2013
Even though it was far longer before the Ice Warriors returned on television, it has been some time since they appeared in the Doctor Who books (their audio appearances have been much more frequent however). If anything, the Ice Warriors are a little under represented. For much of the story they are merely lumbering monsters; slowly and ineffectively chasing various protagonists and making for repetitive and tedious reading. There should have been a bit more variation between these scenes. By the latter stages of the book the Ice Warriors actually get some character through the introduction of an Ice Lord. In fact, the best scene of the novel is probably the interaction between Ixyldir and the Doctor. But by this time the Ice Warriors are overshadowed by a more serious threat to both the human community and themselves. Therefore when the Ice Warriors finally become interesting they are side-lined into the role they play in the final episode of `the Curse of Peladon'. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, it is just that this is the same ploy that has been used before and that I can't help wanting the Ice Warriors to be out-and-out bad guys after all this time.

The novel is a little stilted despite a relatively fast paced style of prose and dialogue. There feels like a lot of needless deviation and repetition. Not much actually happens and it is sometimes frustratingly tiresome waiting for the plot to move on. There is also an annoying ongoing joke between Amy and the Doctor concerning whether things should be described as either ...like, ...ish or ...esque. It is a little too silly and frequently breaks up moments of tension.

In essence, though, the novel contains many elements that have previously been successful in Doctor Who stories. The splitting of the Tardis crew is done convincingly, not forced, and allows the author to provide a great characterisation of Rory. All the Ice Warrior talk of honour, even though a little overplayed in this book, is still quite entertaining. The general idea of a colony creating its own confused version of its own history still works, although it isn't as imaginative as similar ideas in `The Face of Evil' or `The Doctor's Daughter'.

The regulars are pretty accurate to their TV personas and Ixyldir is a perfect Ice Lord (although personality wise he is a bit similar to Izlyr from `The Curse of Peladon'). The other characters all feel a little bit incidental however. Vesta has potential but soon does little more than tag along behind Rory.

Overall the story is reasonably entertaining but it lacks depth and originality.
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VINE VOICEon 20 January 2012
When Doctor Who was cancelled just as it started to get interesting again, the only way for Who fans to get a regular fix was through the generally excellent Virgin New Adventures. These took McCoy's seventh incarnation and placed him in far more intricate, Machiavellian plots and - realising that the final audience that had seen the TV programme and therefore the majority of it's readers was growing up - introduced more obvious. adult themes. BBC took the licence back and turned McCoy into McGann, but kept the grown-up storylines.

Since it's return to our screens, the books have regressed into child friendly affairs to tie-in with backpack and lunch box sales for it's target audience of 5-12 year olds.

Then, last year the Beeb allowed Sci-fi/fantasy legend Michael Moorcock loose, releasing The Coming of the Terraphiles, a tale that takes the Doctor to his extreme mutli-faceted eternal champion guise.

This year, it's Dan Abnett's turn. Abnett, no stranger to the general genre nor specifically to 'Who' (having written several comic strips), turns in a simpler and more accessible tale. In many ways it harkens back to 'Classic' Who; Tom Baker stumbling on a future human colony that is stuck in the equivalent of the middle ages. Monster in the forest threaten the settlement and out of the cold snow, the Doctor appears. Yet this isn't Tom Baker, it's Matt Smith.

The Ice Warriors - a sadly underused old enemy appear, attempting to remove the settlers adn the inevitable conflict approaches.

Abnett's writing style sits well with what is a comparatively light and frothy story, with dark undercurrents. It flows well although the Ice Warriors are - again - used seemingly fleetingly. Sadly I don't think Abnett has a handle on his characters - the banter between the Doctor and his companions (Amy and Rory) grates after a while and as I have said previously, this feels much more like a fourth or fifth Doctor story that the current 22nd century incumbent.

Still, at it's heart is a good story, with enough twists to keep the reader happy til the end.
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on 26 November 2011
The first thing I should say is congratulations to Dan Abnett. Not only has he written a ripsnorter of a story, he's totally captured the Doctor, Amy and Rory's personalities and transfered them perfectly from script to page. His other characters, the descendents of the original human colonists, are clearly three dimensional, not just the cardboard cutouts a 45-minute show format sometimes has to settle for, and the complexities of Ice Warrior culture are brought to the fore. How they came by their popular moniker is brilliantly, if somewhat offhandedly, explained.

The second thing I should say is congratulations to Dan Abnett. He's taken a much loved (and much missed) Doctor Who staple, the Ice Warriors, and brought them triumphantly back onto our radar. Their history as sometime adversary/sometime ally means we are left guessing as to their ultimate purpose here: are they trying to wipe out the human colonists, or is something else going on? And no, this review does NOT contain spoilers... read it for yourself!

I have to agree with some of the earlier reviews; the series that supports the book has been occasionally disappointing. Matt Smith, who is an excellent Doctor, has to contend with some sloppy stories that similarly blighted the tenure of earlier Doctors (I'm thinking especially later Tom Baker episodes onwards). Stories like this show what the lead characters are capable of, as portrayed by some very talented actors. If only Dan was writing for the show... imagine how this would have played out! Yeah, a bit long, but surely the Ice Warriors are due a two-parter?

I'm familiar with Dan Abnett's work in the Warhammer FRP setting, and found him (and many of his colleagues) to be agile writers, weaving eminently readable stories in a genre that traditionally gets bogged down in RPG convention when it comes to novelisation of the game setting. His transition to Doctor Who has, in my view, been a complete success, and I look forward to his second foray into the Whoniverse.
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Top Contributor: Doctor WhoTOP 50 REVIEWERon 20 November 2011
While I have to admit I'm not a huge Eleventh Doctor fan, this story stands well in the Doctor Who genre. Really I felt reading it that it would have stood well as a Tenth Doctor story as well - the same level of action, irreverence, seriousness - and a good adventure story.

The Doctor, Amy and Rory are trying to find somewhere to celebrate Christmas but where they end up is anything but festive. The setting is well portrayed, as are in the inhabitants and visitors to the planet. Dan Abnett writes well - I'm a fan of his Black Library books, having read quite a few of the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 novels. And I must admit that I was drawn to this story primarily because it had the Ice Warriors in it - I much prefer the `classic' Doctor Who and the `classic' monsters and villains, and it's nice to see the Ice Warriors return.

All in all, I felt this was a good Doctor Who novel - a well-written story, and the Doctor and his companions were portrayed sympathetically and added to the story well. Recommended for a Doctor Who fan.
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on 16 December 2013
Of the various Doctor Who novels I've read, this is probably the most straightforward. Abnett absolutely nails Eleven, Rory, and Amy from the first page, and throws them into an adventure that's breathless and effective. It's very visual, so much so that it's hard not to see it as it would be on the tellybox, perhaps as a xmas special. That's both its great strength (it gives you exactly what you expect, to a compatible standard with the show that it's based on) and its great weakness (it tries nothing new, and doesn't use the expanded canvas of a novel to push the format). If you want an original story that's the same as the stuff on the telly, this is the book you should choose. I'd have preferred more ambition, but it's hard to fault a novel that's this much fun.
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VINE VOICEon 29 January 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
I have always held audio books in high regard as they are the perfect tool for those with a visual impairment. Also, a box of CDs is a lot lighter to carry around than its equivalent book and Doctor Who - The Silent Stars Go By is no exception.
Michael Maloney reads the book with a clear, precise voice and it was a delight to listen to the narrative as the story unfolds. I always think it is best to listen to audio books where there are no distractions and this is the case with this particular novel from Dan Abnett.
The Doctor is accompanied by Amy and Rory and waiting in the wings for their return are the Martian enemies, the Ice Warriors, not seen on tv since their last appearance with Jon Pertwee as the Doctor on a return trip to Peladon with Sarah Jane Smith, played by the late Elisabeth Sladen.
I recommend this particular audio novel but suggest setting aside some quality time for each CD. It's a bit of a hard slog but worth it just knowing the Ice Warriors are back!
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on 26 January 2012
This six disc audio book was a horror mystery requiring attentive listening in order to avoid becoming as confused as the protagionists. Hereafter is not a destination for the faint-hearted, a frozen world where the Morphins are struggling against unseasonal weather and several adversaries. The Doctor is wildly off course, of course, and the solar system as we know it no longer exists. All strangers are anathema to the Morphins whose lives are ruled by Guide and Emanuel. All else is Conjury, a Cat A crime. This is not "home for Christmas." Oh, red hair is decidedly unguidely.

To make things worse Rory becomes separated from the Dr and Amy. Now two plots proceed side by side, each with their own ration of fear, chases, hiding and nastiness. One moment we are in the assembly room, the next in the woods or amongst the giant terra firmers. Sometimes the Ice Warriors, two metre tall green lizards from Mars, led by Lord Ix whose code of honour is to win at all costs,are theadversaries,at others there are the trans rats, bred to clean up the terra firmers. Monstrous, part feline, part human creatures are about as bad as it can get, perhaps. Just wait to meet the ancestors! Is it any wonder that after twenty-seven generations the plantnations are going downhill. Even the Dr seems to be useless. The psychic paper makes things worse and the sonic screw driver needs recharging when it is most needed.

Is there any hope? Watch out for the carols. They are clues. Enjoy the evolved language - Beside = B site, Woodby = Wood B, Guide though in danger of becoming God is a book, an e-manual, shipskin, metal from the space ship. The Morphins have most suitable names e g Vesta (Harvester) Flourish. The strident Amy is as brave as ever and Nurse Rory rises to the challenge eventually. Even the Ice Warriors join with the Dr to fight the Beast.The E-manual is updated and the ancestors will meet the end they deserve.
The silent stars do go by and Rory and Amy are going home for Christmas.
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on 13 January 2014
I have not read many DW novels in recent years and while this one looked promesing it did deliver an nice tale of the Doctor, Rory and Amy. The characters were true to its television characters and this Doctor actuelly felt like Matt Smiths version.

The story was meant as a Christmas celebration for the Rory & Amy and true to form the TARDIS delivers them in a beautifull snowy world which turns out to be, surprise surprise, not to be Earth.
The crew have landed on a planet that is being terraformed but something has gone wrong in recent years as the longer and colder winters get worse with each year. And oddly enough what is hiding in the snowsorms?

Anybody knowing the Who-verse shall not be surprised who the culprits are.

The book does satisfy the Who-fan in me but lacks that special extra thing that makes it a great read. Nice on the beach or in front of a woodfire during a snowy winter.
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on 17 August 2016
A nice short-ish story featuring the 11 th doctor. I like to set up and the character and mannerism of the 11th doctor are definitely present.

I'm a fan of Dan Abnett already and he adapts himself well to the whovian universe.
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