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"'Did the universe get out of the wrong side of bed this morning, or is it me?' he asked."

This book, first published in 2000, has been re-released as the representative Fourth Doctor story in the 50th anniversary celebrations of Doctor Who. This was written by Jonathan Morris, who has written quite a few Doctor Who and related books etc.

The story involves the Fourth Doctor and Romana II arriving in a hyperspace tunnel which has become the graveyard of a number of ships after an accident some two centuries earlier. Now it is where the Beautiful Death themepark is run, where tourists come to be treated to an experience featuring death itself. But when the Doctor and Romana arrive, they are surprised to find themselves known to people who are there. Have they been here before, and if so, what did they do? And how can they do it again?

This is a complicated time-travel back and forth in eddies of time kind of Doctor Who story, one which you have to keep your wits about you to keep track of who is where, why and when. But that makes for a satisfying read, and one in which the Doctor and Romana, and K-9, all have their own important parts to play in the story. The personification of the Fourth Doctor in this story is spot on. I liked the sly humour that is used in the story, and the characteristics of the Doctor and Romana were both well portrayed. The other characters in the story, including Evadne, Harken Batt and ERIC the computer are all well written in. I did think more could have been made of the backstory of the Rochfort and Byson, to see why they were the way they were, but that's just a small personal quibble. Great stuff; a great Fourth Doctor story, and totally recommended.
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on 11 October 2014
In fairness I should have given 4.5 or 5 stars. It's a great read and any one who likes a bit of science fiction should have a read especially if a fan of the 4th Doctor and Romana.

The central characters are true to their TV portrays and the theme fits nice into the era of the programme in which the novel is set.

I found some of the middle plodded along and took a break of a couple of weeks. But generally interested to know how events turn out.

The end is more than satisfying and all the ends very nicely tied up. Not just neatly but thoughtfully and deeply. I liked the reveal of the main protagonist toward the end. And the wY how only the reader knows his back story leaves us with a touch of sadness empathising with the enemy,
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on 16 September 2013
This was the 2nd Doctor Who novel I read, first being Shada. Promising as ever, the story is interesting, with twists and turns, makes the reader keep interested right from the beginning. Highly recommended for Doctor Who fans.
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on 17 March 2013
Like Shada (Which I had to say that shada is awsome book and you shoud read it) Festival of Death is another winner by letting your mind goe off form the real world and treat this book as if this was an doctor who episode you're watching and in the end you'll probably say fantasic. Yeah I might treat my copy of this book as another class doctor who story like the pyramids of mars or Genesis of the Daleks. But I might be too sure that's where steven moffat got his idea form this book and became one of the best writers of the show.

I don't want to revail too much of the plot which would even spoil your mood for getting this one and you would probably change your mind on ignoring it. OH NO, I DON'T WANT THAT. Well I can say that the story is very good and the characters are enjoyable (mine's is Hoopy), but what about the villains. Like I said I am not going into that either. As you'll read it, you'll be at the edge of your sits wondering how can this be and saying that's impossible that later on in the book all the answers are revailed. And everything all makes sense in the end as they are all been explored. But if they don't this book would have been horrible and I would get rid of it and give it away to someone else by never keeping this as a treasure.

Another thing I could say that it's nice for the BBC to reprint those books for people like me to have the chance to read them to keep them as a collection for the 50th Anniversary and start off which one we would like to read by picking our favourite Doctor.

So my final result is: Go get it. And I would give 10/10.

Form MiketheDalek.
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on 24 March 2013
Missed out on this classic fourth doctor book when it was first released in 2000,and so I was looking at £20 plus for a new copy.Very pleased to see it as part of the 50th anniversary at a bargain price for one of the best who books.
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on 26 May 2013
Oh, thank goodness that's over. There's a lot to like about this book, but it feels like it goes on forever. Republished to represent the fourth Doctor in the anniversary year of the show, it presents the man of teeth and curls with his companion the Time Lady Romana, and both are on great form (with Romana being particularly well portrayed as an equal to the title character). The writing is strong, and although it's occasionally self-conscious in how much it wants to be like Douglas Adams that's no great sin, and the results are fun. The plot is inventive too. The current show has made stories that play with the order of time - events happening out of sequence - a regular feature, but it's something that's surprisingly recent given this is a premise all about time travel.

When Morris wrote Festival of Death, it was still something that had yet to be done much. That's the book's biggest problem. The plot is clever, with the Doctor turning up at the end of an adventure he's yet to have and discovering that he averted death and disaster only by sacrificing himself, then travelling further and further back into the story to do the things he's already learned that he's going to do. What makes the story drag in the second half is that it's all over-explained. We end up seeing the same events several times, from the viewpoints of several characters, often in detail, because the story isn't entirely confident that you're following along. By the end, the repetition is insanely tedious, which lets down a very promising first half.
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on 11 April 2013
The Beautiful Death is the ultimate theme-park ride: a sightseeing tour of the afterlife. But something has gone wrong, and when the Fourth Doctor arrives in the aftermath of the disaster, he is congratulated for saving the population from destruction - something he hasn't actually done yet. He has no choice but to travel back in time and discover how he became a hero.

And then he finds out. He did it by sacrificing his life.

An adventure featuring the Fourth Doctor as played by Tom Baker and his companions Romana and K-9
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on 24 March 2015
This is amazing, and perfectly recaptures the feeling of the series 17/18 adventures!

Pity Jonathan Morris only wrote one Fourth Doctor, Romana II and K9 book
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on 1 October 2013
A very good read would recommend to any Who fan especially tom baker fans. A who story that will appeal to all fans
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on 15 July 2014
Fantastic Douglas Adams style era adventure, great story, like watching the show in the late 70's as you read it!
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