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on 23 October 2013
The penultimate instalment in this 50th anniversary series of novellas sees the Tenth Doctor and Martha trapped inside a fictional world created out of books; mainly those read by Martha as a child. There are obvious connotations with the Second Doctor adventure, `The Mind Robber', and as such there can't help but be a few similarities. The author is obviously aware of this and addresses it himself on numerous occasions, stressing the differences between his story and that (even though more often than not it confirms what they have in common). However, he does this with an entertaining, wry sense of humour that also acknowledges the above.

Most of the action takes place in the world of `The Troubleseekers'; a `Famous Five' style series of books read by Martha as a child. Fortunately the child heroes of this series have, wisely, only been given a very superficial role by the author. They could easily have been very irritating (as no doubt they are intended to be). Other fictional works exert an influence as the story develops and many popular children and young adult novels are referenced; from `The Wizard of Oz' to `Twilight'. Quite a few Doctor Who stories are also referred to. None of this is overindulgent though and an entertaining tweak of humour runs through them. Spotting them all is actually quite fun.

With mainly only superficial characters filing this fictional world, Martha and the Doctor really carry the story. For the most part they are relatively close to their television counterparts. The alien responsible for this strange world is the only other main role. He is an interesting concept but is defeated in a way far too similar to several televised stories of recent years.

This is an exciting, good paced adventure that doesn't take itself too seriously. Adults and children should both find much to enjoy.
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on 3 November 2013
A fast, funny visit with the Tenth Doctor and Martha. It's a delirious trip into fiction and story, that's not blind to how much it is borrowing from the Second Doctor's own era (the Doctor makes several references to the Land of Fiction, which this isn't but which it might as well be). It's all so much fun that even the hardest Whovian would struggle to pick fault with the repetition. The dialogue is particularly good, and Ten's bouncy arrogance is played perfectly. An old idea, nicely repackaged and given a modern day shot of adrenaline.
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on 4 December 2013
I was really looking forward to this one, since David Tennant is my favourite Doctor, but I just couldn't get into this story. I started it three times before I finally forced myself to finish it. There was just something irritating and episodic about the first few pages, with The Doctor and Martha meeting a parade of pointless characters. I also didn't really `feel' any David Tennantness coming through. It's a pity, because Derek Landy is a really good writer, but no way is this Skullduggery Pleasant.
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VINE VOICEon 26 November 2013
I had thought it an odd choice to use Martha for this story but I found she made an interesting point of reference for a tale of children's stories coming to life. The Famous Five / Secret Seven / Five Found Outers pastiche was spiffing and the story, while resembling The Mind Robber, is sufficiently interesting to warrant attention.
As an adult this passed the time well on a commute and I believe children would be entertained
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on 22 February 2014
Not the fault of the book, but a little simplistic owing to being more of a YA. Jasper Fforde has rather covered the 'being inside a story' idea and, of course, in a more complex way. However, for young adults/older children, this is a fantastic romp of a story - David Tennant's Doctor and Martha are well characterised and the action cracks on. Slightly unsatisfactory ending, sometimes I tire of the Big Space Monster finale, but, as I said, it's not really a book written for adults wanting a subtle, character-led finish.
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on 25 October 2013
I am a bookworm and Doctor Who fan so this was a good choice for me to read. The Tenth Doctor and Martha visit a world where everyone they meet is a character from books that Martha has read. In short, this seems like a book lover's dream. But as always with the Doctor, it's not that simple. This was a good, quick, humourous read and the characters of Martha and the Doctor were portrayed similarly to their televised counterparts. I particularly liked the Doctor's sarcastic manner and the links to other Doctor Who episodes. When I read the Enid Blyton reference, I immediately thought of Donna Noble asking if Noddy was real. The only criticism I have is that it was a bit short and so there was not much chance of development. Definitely worth a read though.
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on 19 May 2015
This short is easily the most charming, and laugh out loud funny episode of the entire collection. The quote of the 12 book set (not just this short) can be found on page 413 of the BBC produced Penguin edition. I wont quote it here for obvious reasons, but essentially, the Doctor and Friend find themselves sort of trapped in a children's fairy take with all sorts of strange goings on. This story is charming, and profound, funny, clever and sweet. Not bad, for fifty pages, huh? Full marks for this gem.

BFN Greggorio
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on 14 November 2014
As I Iiked the Patrick Troughton story..The Mind Robber..I really liked this story..as it was on similar lines...The Doctor and Martha find themselves in a world created from entirely fictional characters...To be exact from Martha's childhood book memories..but it gets dangerious..as the characters get darker..The Doctor and Martha's existence is at threath...There was alot of exitement and tension in the story..I liked the various characters from Martha's book memories..and the enemy Cotteril was very original..an alien who needed peoples imagination to survive...You certainally were willing The Doctor and Martha on to win...Their characters were written spot on...and the story as a whole was very entertaining...and a great one for all Doctor Who fans to enjoy.
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on 20 November 2013
Haven't read a book like it in a while.
As an adult reader the book echoed stories of past with subtle references to popular or classic stories.
As a teacher this would also make a wealth of resources incorporating other story book characters or stories of imagination.
Also a good starting point for young Whovians, short and to the point.

My advice.... read it, you won't regret it :-)
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on 8 November 2013
Didn't catch the characters could have been about any of the Doctors. Derivative plot, read until the end hoping for improvement but it didn't come. Potboiler.
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