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on 1 March 2014
Over the last year or so there have been several ebooks released which have been related to recent television episodes. It therefore comes as no surprise that the Eleventh Doctor’s last outing should receive the same treatment. The vast period of time that ‘The Time of the Doctor’ stretches over gives it a lot of potential to fit in extra stories. Hence this ebook being a collection of four stories and hence almost four times the size of the usual Doctor Who ebook releases. However, the disadvantage of this large gap of time to feature stories in is that the Doctor is basically in situ the whole time waiting for the enemies to come to him rather than wandering space and time encountering them. This takes away some of the essence of Doctor Who and drastically limits the variety, type and content of the tales.

All four books in this collection feature the more aged Doctor towards the latter end of his time on Trenzalore. They are all orientated around various aliens/monsters finding some way around the Papal Mainframe’s ‘force field’ that prevents ‘technology’ reaching the planet so that they can invade the town of Christmas. And each see the Doctor defeat these foes with the help of the townspeople, often with one of the children of Christmas fulfilling the role of sidekick/companion. Even though this inevitably makes these stories somewhat similar the authors do a reasonable job of diversifying them as much as possible through their choice of aliens.

The first short story focuses on the Ice Warriors. They have got to be the most obvious choice for the snowy landscape of Trenzalore and a village called Christmas. It is written by Justin Richards who runs the Doctor novels and wrote several of last year’s ebooks. His characterisation of the Ice Warriors is pretty strong, exhibiting influence from across their previous appearances. All three Ice Warriors to appear are individualised as characters rather than being generic lumbering monsters and they plan and orchestrate their assault. They also sem to be much more like the traditional Ice Warriors rather than being modelled on that more recently seen in ‘Cold War’. Thankfully there are no spindly creatures crawling out of them. However, there is finally the return of and Ice Lord. With their individual names and roles in the mission they are probably most similar to their first appearance. They are also practically relying on the same plan – using a sonic cannon. How exactly the parts for this are smuggled through the shield is a little dubious but for the pruposes of the story that doesn’t matter too much. The focus is on how the Doctor thwarts them with cunning and trickery. The Doctor’s ploy, although basic and predictable, is a good use for the Doctor in a collection which risks his usage being a bit similar.

Next to be featured are the Krynoids. Even though it is great to see these quite under used monsters being featured it is a little puzzling as to what they would be doing at Trenzlore. From what we have previously learnt about them they seem to travel through the depths of space in a state of suspended animation/hibernation until they arrive on a planet by chance, They then germinate and by what seems to be little more than a voracious, instinctive reaction consume all non-vegetable life on the planet. This raises questions about why and how they would have any interest in Trenzalore. Their presence aside, this is a well written and enjoyable story. The Krynoid does exactly what it does best and the Doctor and his child companion for this story work well together with a credible relationship. This is possibly the best story of the four.

The essence of the Auton story is perhaps the most predictable but the Autons lebnd themselves quite well to the Trenzalore set up. Their spheres getting through the Mainframe’s shield makes reasonable sense, even though it is a similar infiltration technique to that used by the Ice Warriors in this collection. The story tails off into a bit of a tedious run around but it has a reasonably tense and action based finale. Annoyingly it doesn’t really explain why the Autons appear as facsimiles of the Doctor as not much deception is used by them. More could probably have been made of this.

The Mara probably have the most imaginative way of reaching the surface of Trenzalore and it is somewhat in keeping with their previous appearances. Their actual presence at Trenzalore is a bit dubious though. Their involvement doesn’t really seem to fit in with what we know about them. The use of dreams and possession does make the story stand out a bit from the other three more straight forward invasions.

The four stories on offer do succeed in fitting in well to the ideas and plot of ‘The Time of the Doctor’. They enable the episode to be elaborated in a way the programme never had the airspace to do. They also establish the precedent for further collections of stories from the last days of the Eleventh Doctor.
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on 29 September 2014
(Review by my 15-Year-Old son)
This book was released earlier in the year, previously only an e-book exclusive. At the time, this saddened me because I'm not a fan of e-books and really wanted to see a paperback of hardcover release. A few months later, and thankfully, a paperback version was released. I bought it the day it was released and have just got around to reading it. Now that I've finished, I'm not sure what to think ...

Firstly, I did have high expectations of this book as I thought it was a nice finishing touch to Matt Smith's Doctor and a good idea in general. Technically, there are limitless plots that you could have for the 900 years that the Doctor spent on Trenzalore. However, these four short-stories prove that they might not all make a good read. The first two stories involve the Ice Warriors followed by the Krynoids. These first two stories were actually really great reads and quite enjoyable. If you think about it, the Ice Warriors would be right at home in the cold environment of Trenzalore. It would also be interesting to see how the Krynoids cope, considering they need a warm environment to survive.

However, things start going sour in the third and fourth stories. The third and fourth stories feature the Autons and Mara. While both of these are great villains, they don't make the best of villains for the advenutres on Trenzalore. Frankly, I felt a bit bored by both of these stories in comparison to the first two. I might have felt better about them if they were the first two stories instead. However, I think the problem is that the Doctor's universe should always be vast and wide, but being confined to one planet, stories can grate very quickly.

Overall, none of these four stories are particularly bad, but they can get a bit dull if read all in one go. As I said, this might be because the Doctor is stuck on one planet.
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on 2 June 2017
Excellent book
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on 6 April 2017
The Eleventh Doctor's final TV outing felt like a bit of a mess, all told. There were some Daleks, some Weeping Angels, a wooden Cyberman (awesome), and a dramatic ending, but given that Matt Smith's departure had been telegraphed almost two years previously with a reference to Trenzalore and the fall of the Eleventh, and then Peter Capaldi's eyebrows had, along with Tom Baker's cameo, stolen the final ten minutes of 50th anniversary shindig Day of the Doctor, I was left with a bit of a feeling of "look, just go, would you?"

And then he was gone.

But amid the slightly confusing mess of his final episode, there was a central idea, that the Doctor spent centuries depending the people of Christmas from the massed armies of the universe, which was rather sweet, and very much the sort of thing the Doctor would do. So Tales of Trenzalore filled in a few of the gaps in this long space of time.

Written by safe hands who know their onions, the four stories in this collection see the Doctor on top trickster form, wrangling his way around the planet's "truth field" to manipulate old foes, or running from monsters with a young human in tow.

Tales of Trenzalore is a great collection of fun romps with familiar faces. In a setting shorn of technological elements, it's perhaps inevitable that the resolution of at least two stories revolves around snow, but that's the sort of thing that occurs only after you've finished reading. This is Doctor Who fiction at its friendliest for younger audiences, and the writing is no-nonsense and fast-paced. I do wish there'd been a story about the Taran Wood Beast, but that's just me.

Best read in a comfy armchair on a winter's evening - possibly this December while waiting for the 12th Doctor to go to the big TARDIS in the sky...
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on 22 March 2017
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on 28 September 2016
Thank you
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 9 October 2014
This book, published by the BBC in 2014, contains four stories telling of the time of the Eleventh Doctor, trapped on Trenzalore to stop the armies of the Universe gathered there. For nine hundred years, he defends the planet. Some of the events of those nine hundred years are told in these four tales.

Let it Snow by Justin Richards – this story features the Ice Warriors.
An Apple a Day by George Mann – this story features the Krynoids.
Strangers in the Outland by Paul Finch – this story features the Autons.
The Dreaming by Mark Morris – this story features the Mara.

These were good stories; given that they were each only about 55 pages long, they really are ‘short stories’. Given the format, there is not much time for great tension to build, so there’s not a lot of suspense. We are shown the approaching enemy, and the Doctor must find a way to stop them.

There are several outstanding features of these stories. One is the setting. Yes, they are all on Trenzalore, but they are for the most part outside the small town of Christmas which is where we have, up to now, seen most of the Trenzalore-based action on tv. So there is a good opportunity to get more of a feeling for Trenzalore as a whole, rather than just the chocolate-box town of Christmas with ruddy-cheeked inhabitants.

Second, the authors. These are all excellent Doctor Who authors, and George Mann has just recently written the War Doctor book, Engines of War. The Doctor is captured perfectly by every author in this selection of stories, both in the personality that he portrays, and in the toll that his efforts take on him over the centuries.

Third, the ‘bad guys’ in these stories are all tried and true, and a reader familiar with the Doctor Who universe will have no trouble recognising their traits and their approaches to conquest. The authors have all approached their subjects well, and portrayed them well. The stories are cohesive both individually and as a whole offering. While the stories add up to a whole narrative that may be more appealing to a younger audience, than those looking for a ‘grittier’ Doctor Who story, they are all well worth reading. Hopefully there will be more Tales from Trenzalore coming; after all, four stories does not add up to nine hundred years yet!
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*I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Random House UK, Ebury Publishing and Netgalley*

Tales of Trenzalore includes four short stories of some of the many times that the Eleventh Doctor protected the town of Christmas from alien invaders during his 900 year stay on Trenzalore.

I enjoyed all four of these short stories - They were all unique tales that grabbed my attention.
I especially liked that Handles was mentioned in some of the stories.
My favourite was the first story - Let it Snow by Justin Richards.
This is a must read for all Doctor Who fans.
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VINE VOICEon 18 April 2014
A fun high quality collection of short stories set during the 11th Doctors time on Trenzalore. Where as the TV episode had a lot to do this collection allows us a look into the Doctors life on Trenzalore and a handful of tales on how he defended Christmas from the mass hordes of villains kept at bay by the technology barrier. The stories themselves are quite different from each other, have differing protagonists and supporting casts and more importantly the Doctor changes as we get to see him quite young and as the aged protector we saw during Time of the Doctor.
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on 3 March 2014
Simple stories without a lot of development, probably aimed at a junior market. Still enjoyable enough and great price. Not keen on reading on a screen, would have preffered paper.
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