Learn more Download now Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Playlist - Acoustic Christmas Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's

on 9 September 2017
A well written adventure featuring the second doctor.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 18 July 2017
Sorry to bring a bit of negativity but I was disappointed by this book. I tackled it having just read and thoroughly enjoyed "The Harvest of Time" by Alastair Reynolds (a real page turner). I did not think was as well written or as engaging. I was especially disappointed that it was touted as serious science fiction but there are at least two glaring mistakes: "Pluto, the furthest planet" (page 51) and "There's an elevated level of ozone in the air ... like the seaside" on page 261. There are many thoroughly enjoyable Doctor Who novels, but for me this does not rank among them. Sorry.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 21 September 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In Stephen Baxter the team behind the Doctor Who tie in novels have got themselves a proper science fiction writer of note, who has had many good books out himself. Having pedigree does not always guarantee success, but in Baxter's case he brings his skills as a narrator and someone who knows science fiction. The reader is immediately intrigued as the Doctor and companions land of a future Saturn where early pioneers from Earth are mining an off world moon for rare minerals. This being Dr Who the mining is bound to uncover some type of meanie and this case they start in the form of cute little blue creatures ...

Who is always best when tackling a morally ambiguous conundrum - what rights do we have as humans over another race? Do they not have the same rights as we do? `Wheel of Ice', tackles these questions of freedom on two levels; from the POV of the miners forced to work under a harsh regime, but also the alien entity that may or may not exist in the moon they are mining. Baxter paints the 2nd Doctor in a great light as he is torn between his fondness for humans, but also his responsibility for the universe as a whole.

`Wheel' has some great set pieces, a chase through a Swiss cheesed moon, space skiing and a final battle. The Doctor is written well, as are the inhabitants of Saturn. It is the Doctor's companions who are a little flat, especially the Scot, Jamie. I did not mind the character, but Baxter's insistence of writing a Scottish brogue whenever Jamie spoke was irritating - none of the other foreign characters had regional dialect, not Saturnese. It is a pet hate of mine when an author forgoes centuries of adequate prose as they think they know better. Just tell me a character's origin and I will imagine what they sound like.

Although a small issue, this written dialect is enough to continually draw me out of the book and reduce the entertainment value held therein. A 5 stars book, drops to 4.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 25 December 2014
An original Doctor Who novel, which tells an all new story for the character that has never appeared before in any other medium.

As with some other BBC volumes of this kind, whereas most of them feature the current tv Doctor and are aimed at those of all ages, this is one that tries to be more a novel than a bit of franchise fiction.

This is written by renowned British science fiction writer Stephen Baxter.

It features the Second Doctor. Jamie and Zoe.

It runs for three hundred and fifty seven pages. There are forty seven chapters and a prologue and epilogue. Plus several interludes.

The story is set on the Wheel. A space station in orbit of a moon of Saturn. Where there's a mining operation going on. The TARDIS has detected something strange which is a threat to more than just the colony. Tensions abound between the local workers, their children, and the mining company.

Can the Doctor find out what's going on? Because something has been waiting for a very very long time...

Usually, franchise fiction will tell a story that could work quite easily within the confines of a programme. But this avoid that trap by doing a story that the tv show might struggle to do, even with it's current budget and cgi visuals. Because it's so big and so broad.

Some who try do novels rather than just franchise books fail because they go too far towards the former, producing something that isn't really a story from the tv show, or one that would work fine without it's characters.

But this does get the balance right. Because whenever the TARDIS crew are on the page, it really does capture the feel of it's era. The dialogue for the time travellers is perfect, and you can imagine it being said by the actors who played them. It also lets Jamie and Zoe have some more introspective moments, showing you what drives them in certain situations. Which is good characterisation.

The setting is also genuine science fiction. Scientifically accurate and one that inspires a real sense of wonder.

The supporting characters also feel as if they could have come from the Troughton era on tv. Few really stand out, but all are solid characterisation.

The interludes do allow the book to give depth to the more alien of the cast.

There are also some nice continuity references that fans who know this kind of thing will appreciate.

The first hundred or so pages really sink in thanks to all this. But once past that, the pace does rather pick up, to an extent that although it becomes a page turner, what happens next isn't quite as compelling reading as what came before.

That's only a minor complaint though, because there's a lot to like about this. And it's a very good read. So it's well worth a look.
11 Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 15 May 2016
The picture shows The Wheel of Ice which I already owned. Wanted The Wheel in Space.
11 Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 31 July 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Fans of Baxter will appreciate The Wheel of Ice as another excellent novel. This is not written as a "children's book" any more than other Sci-Fi is written for adults, but all too often in recent years the Doctor Who range of books has been written-for and marketed-at the children's book-shelves. It is a refreshing change to have a master of Sci-Fi writing an intelligent story with authority.

Troughton's Doctor - the second Doctor - is no "celeb" doctor but a complex paradox whose wit an intellect come through in story. He relates well with the other characters in the story and his voice comes through clearly.

An excellent and engaging story, based in an alien world, the story flies along. Baxter's writing is, as ever, descriptive and detailed, but never boring. He is a master of Sci-Fi writing, and here he writes at his best.

A real page-turner, this is a step-change in the Doctor Who book range. Intelligent, well written and thought provoking I loved this novel.

The hard-back format of the novel is beautifully produced, and the typeface is ideal for younger readers getting used to "adult" books.

Five stars.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
VINE VOICEon 25 July 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
After having spent the last seven years having to make do with Doctor Who books that a two year old wouldn't find challenging, it's finally back to the subject matter that made the books such a success in the first place, the classic series.

The Virgin and BBC ranges of the '90's were the pinnacle of the Doctor Who novel and The Wheel of Ice fits that tonal feel that those prior books had.

A couple of years ago it was decided to do a series of hardback novels based on Doctor Who that were written by more mainstream science fiction authors, rather than the usual group that were used in the past. They have had mixed results because the authors have fallen into the trap of using hard sci fi concepts and shoehorning the Doctor and co into them, in short, they are not really Doctor Who books at all, despite being well written.

This one is different. It actually feels like the era in which it is set, Troughton's final year.

I'm not going to go into plot, as I hate spoilers and I'm sure most people do too. But briefly, the story is set on a moon within the rings of Saturn, where by there's a human colony set up to mine for minerals. The story is set in the late 21st Century, so the technology of the humans is very much in the dank, dark and fairly primitive stage rather than Star Trek' Enterprise high tech look. The TARDIS has been brought here by a temporal disaster that is somehow linked to an amulet that is worn by a sixteen year old girl, which has been in her family for centuries. There's sabotage and murder on a regular basis and the base has been infiltrated by a race known as the Blue Dolls, whose existance is denied by the authorities.

As said, the tone of the piece is very much in keeping with the TV equivalent and one can actually visualise Troughton, Hines and Padbury in the parts of the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe, and the book even has the single element that made the Troughton years so memorable, the 'base-under-siege' scenario.

There are wonderful descriptive space scenes and fascinating background passages detailing the history of the amulet, which do not interrupt the flow of the story, but rather add to it.

This is, without a doubt, the best single Doctor Who novel since, at least, 2005 and proves that, as good as the new series is, there's nothing quite like the classic era of the show, for great characters and fantastic stories.

I hope that this is going to become the first in a line of new novels set in the eras of the first eight Doctors, one thing's for sure, if they are half as good as this, we are in for a treat.

Absolutely, and wholeheartedly, recommended.
0Comment| 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 9 August 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I loved this book and I'm not even a huge Dr Who fan. Well, not of the current Doctor. As a small-ish child one of my first TV crushes was Jamie McCrimmon, (Frazer Hines), the Second Doctor's Scottish assistant, and I suspect I wasn't alone. I remember being particularly upset when Jamie was returned to Earth with his memory wiped and no chance of a comeback with the Third Doctor. He's here again with his character intact. Woo-hoo! Stephen Baxter has recreated his voice, along with Patrick Troughton's and Wendy Padbury's. I suppose I should mention them...
What lifts this above the usual TV-tie in is the sheer quality of the writing. Stephen Baxter is a fine sci-fi writer and this book is completely outside the cliche-ridden formulaic Doctor books of recent years (I buy those for my grandchildren.)
The story itself is a real page-turner, it's difficult to describe it without inserting spoilers. We're on an alien world, with our heroes under siege... it's classic.
Older children will appreciate this, but this is definitely in the adult /cross-over category. Highly recommended.
11 Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 23 August 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I want to say from the outset that I really enjoyed reading this-Stephen Baxter is a science-fiction writer of considerable skill and impeccable pedigree, and it shows in the quality of his writing and imagination. Attracting writers like him and Michael Moorcock produced two novels is a real coup, and should be encouraged. It was great to revisit the second Doctor again, rather than simply plough on with new adventures building on the current incarnation.

So what's my problem with this? Nothing serious really. I enjoyed the central McGuffin which was imaginatively realised and when introduced, although I did feel a little sense of anti-climax. Jamie's banter with a Glasgow-built robot was really touching and fun. I felt Jamie's character and Zoe's engaged me the most, and resonated with their on-screen personalities most effectively. There are a pleasing selection of fan in jokes and continuities in evidence, and their well deployed and delivered. I think when my main problems is I didn't really feel character of the second Doctor was used enough, or enough of his character portrayed. I did feel the late 21st/the 22nd century setting of space-base/expansion in the solar system was well realised, and provides a useful counterpoint to the character of Zoe.

I guess my feeling is that the worried a distinct set of contradictory elements yoked harmoniously together (to misquote Johnson) with hard 2012 science-fiction juxtaposed with rather more cuddly 1967 children's TV characters... But that sounds rather harsh, and I want to leave my review by saying I enjoyed reading it and will gladly reader another Doctor Who novel by Stephen Baxter.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
VINE VOICEon 18 April 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Wheel of Ice is an interesting mix. Using an old Doctor, in this case the 2nd Doctor, but feeling like one of the better Virgin New Adventures than the more recent 'Doctor Who lite' novels. It's certainly nothing to complain about, though.

The monsters of the piece, the Blue Dolls, seem a little familiar at times but it's probably due to using classic aspects of other monsters of the time rather than any particular character in classic Who. They do a good job of presenting the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe with a few problems of their own, though.

Based on some of the novels I've read, Jamie is a hard character to get right, often leading him into a pastiche of a period Scott, but here he seems to be a very recognisable character. That said, even the TV series still managed to make him slightly cringeworthy at times.

The only downside to this novel is the length of time between interesting events, usually to explain something or set up the next exciting set piece. But, in a way, this is mirroring some of the episodes of the time (and those well into the 70's as well).

The Wheel of Ice is certainly a worthy addition to the Classic Who stories and fans of the period should be pleased by the authentic feel of the story. Those new to Who may struggle with pacing here, but it's still a recommended read.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse