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on 25 May 2016
Will Thorp gets David's voice perfectly, as all ways, in this fun story.
Really good fun.
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on 17 May 2015
Very good.
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on 8 February 2013
Delivered to time and cost.

Bought for family members who are fans of the show. They like it.

Recomend especially to fans of the programme.
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on 25 July 2016
There are several intriguing concepts within this novel from an alien species that consumes planets to a self-sufficient artificial environment run by AI. They should be though provoking, but somehow they’re not. Not enough effort has gone into exploring or evaluating these ideas. It feels like the author had scope to look at such things as how humans interact with their environment and attempt to assert control over it or the moral aspects of utilising artificial intelligence and what it means for humankind. This doesn’t really happen though and such things bubble in the background to no effect, unfortunately. Instead what is left becomes a rather limp story where various elements fail to coalesce into something satisfying.

The book’s locale is essentially its most interesting aspect. Just as the Voracious Craw taps into giant monster movies, the automated home utilises the idea of a possessed haunted house, but, of course, while providing it with a science fiction technology based explanation. Naming the artificial intelligence that controls the house after a mythical household spirit helps to enforce this atmosphere. As does the manifestation as a green flame; although why it should exert this effect is not adequately explained.

Having the threat come from three areas; the mad scientist, the demonic artificial intelligence and the mindless, all consuming beast; gives the plot plenty to play with but, once again, the novel doesn’t really capitalise on this set up. If more was made of the nature of humankind’s interaction and relationship with machines then the confrontation between Tiermann and his creation would have been more meaningful and dramatic, instead of being somewhat farcical.

The Voracious Craw is effectively a giant worm creature that roams the cosmos consuming planets. Supposedly, with its overly ominous title, it is intended to be the main threat of the story. However, it is all a bit of a disappointment. For the vast bulk of the novel it is used simply as threat that lurks in the background, serving as a plot device to inspire the events of the book. By the resolution of these events the Craw is defeated so easily that it devalues any threat it earlier posed. Also, if it can be overcome such a simple way why did the Doctor not think of it and act earlier. It makes the whole scenario of the novel feel a little pointless.

The Tenth Doctor receives a reasonable characterisation but that of Martha is fairly weak. The problem being that Martha doesn’t really have a lot to do in the story apart from hang around waiting for the Doctor to save the day. In this way her portrayal becomes quite limited. There is a scene where Solin has a crush on her that seems to have potential to expand Martha’s role. It has connotations with Martha’s own crush on the Doctor and, perhaps, some nice comparisons could have been explored. It is not really optimised, however, and seems to be soon forgotten to all intents and purposes, making the reader question why it was included in the first place. It feels like the remains of a redundant subplot.
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 February 2012
Ten's voice and manic, gurning energy is absolutely spot on in this book. I thought I'd get that observation out of the way first because I hate to be negative but it's the only good thing I have to say about Sick Building.

Paul Magrs has long been my favourite writer of Eight-Doctor novels and his name on the cover was what encouraged me to branch out and try a new-Who novel. This is the first time I've read a book based on the new series so I'm not sure whether it's a lapse in Paul Magrs hitherto magnificent form or the range as a whole, but Sick Building - a Ten and Martha novel set on a planet inhabited only by one super-rich family and their robots - is so terribly simplistic and childish in tone it made me cringe from start to finish.

I don't know if there's a conscious decision behind this, to write the range of Doctor Who books as children's lit, or if it's something specific to this title but gosh golly, if it's typical, I doubt I'll be reading any more. As someone who loved the EDA and PDA's, the change of gear is terribly grating.

I do love Paul Magrs writing and was looking forward to a new Who novel from him, but this was a real disappointment.
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on 1 May 2010
This book stands out from the series because of the originality of the monsters. The monster the Doctor was intending to deal with is continent sized, and reminiscent of the sand worms in Dune. The other monsters are the household objects that the mad genius has imbued with intelligence. They are full of personality, well used in the story and the idea of them kept me chuckling to the end.The sun bed, vacuum cleaners and living fireplace were especially notable, and despite a bit of a sudden ending left me pleased that I had read the book.
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VINE VOICEon 24 February 2008
A seemingly unstoppable eating machine called (appropriately enough) the Voracious Craw is the ever-present threat in this 16th novel in BBC Book's New Series range, but the real danger comes in the form of the Artificial Intelligence controlling the dream home of would-be evacuee Professor Tiermann and his family, which is understandably peeved when it finds out that the Tiermann's are planning to leave it to it's fate. As with much of Magrs previous Doctor Who novels and audios, 'Sick Building' is quite light, campy and offbeat, and with a robot sunbed and vending machine being major suppoting characters this feels not unlike one of the early Doctor Who Weekly comicstrips.

With time the novels 'murderous house vs humans' plot does get a little repetetive, but this is a light and breezy fun read, and the scenario is bizarre enough to make thisworthwhile. 'Sick Building' may not be an all-time Dotor Who classic, but it is different in a good way.

3.5 out of 5
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a doctor who novel telling an all new story for the tenth doctor and his companion martha jones not seen on tv. it runs for 243 pages and can be read by readers of all ages. the characterisation of the two lead characters is well in keeping with the way they're portrayed on tv.

The story involves the doctor and martha discovering a giant creature is devouring everything on a planet, and trying to warn the man who lives in a large and almost entirely automated house there of the impending danger. But his desire not to leave and the secrets of home turn things into a race against time.

like some in this range it does take about one hundred pages to really get going. during those first one hundred pages the pace is a bit leisurely and you wonder how the idea will stretch to full book length. but then with the main characters put into jeopardy everything goes up a nocth and it turns into quite a gripping page turner.

the setting and many of the supporting characters - mostly intelligent machines - are well realised and quite imaginative, making it one of the more alien settings seen in the books. but it succeeds in presenting this very well.

a good little read.
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on 25 July 2009
this is one of those storys i tend to think what were they doing when comming up with this story ( same for the idiots lantern ) first of all a unbeteble killing thing that eats everything in its path is a great idea unfortunetly its just an excuse to get the doctor and martha to the real danger the terimin house

when they get inside weird things begin to happen and the house becomes mad and the secret with the family is a nice twist a very nice twist indeed unfortunetly all of it is just padding untill the craw comes in to it i relize it would become tiresome if the thing features in every chapter but the wrrtier could have made this story intresting saying that there are some good bits

the robot whos smokes for the kid and martha is nice imagery as i said the twist with the family is awsome as you never expected it you supsect it but you think theres got to be more to it

the house takin over is another great part too unfortunetly as i said and i will say again the whole thing is padding untill the showdown the doctor and martha is seperated for most of the book ( i know it happens in most books but some of those are entetaining )

the wrritng is very good here and what happens in the end dose shock you but its diffrent the way the craw is defeted is way below doctor who and feels too childish for my taste

so yea i didnt enjoy it unfortunetly but it has its moments

so half recomended
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on 30 June 2009
Even though the idea of the voracious craw, an unstoppable eating machine, is a good one and could have made for an interesting story, most of the book feels underdeveloped and repetetive. The members of the "family in distress" come across as cardbord characters and even though one crisis follows another the plot is boring and predictable. I've read most of the New Who - novels but this is the first one I found so disappointing I only skimmed through at the end.
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