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on 12 March 2015
Mickey Smith has something to show Rose and the Doctor in the British Museum. Amongst the classical antiquities is a life size statue of the goddess Fortuna that bears a more than striking resemblance to Rose.

It is an intriguing start that soon sees Rose and the Doctor propelled off to Rome in the second century. It makes it a good choice for this History Collection. Many of the books re-released for the series have been set in the twentieth century. This novel offers a period which is much further away in time and culture. Even so, we have seen the Doctor make several forays into the ancient Roman world. So this is not unfamiliar territory. The author has picked a period of Roman history that is relatively calm, during the middle of the age of ‘the five good emperors’. With no major political or military upheavals going on it is a fairly peaceful time which allows the Doctor and Rose to blend into Roman society and make their investigations. The Doctor even ditches his usual look for a traditional Roman tunic that lacks the pockets of his usual outfits.

A lot of the novel is taken up with the mystery of the statue. Rose and the Doctor ingratiate themselves into Roman society and have a lot of fun along the way. Much of this captures the early period of the Tenth Doctor. There is a lot to be enjoyed in the comparison between Rose’s and Vanessa’s misconceptions about Roman history and culture. It is a nice contrast that it is all amusing for Rose but utterly serious for Vanessa.
There is good characterisation of the Doctor and Rose. The novel successfully captures the dynamic of their relationship even though the book was written before their first series together. However, Mickey’s character and his relationship with the new Doctor is a little off.

There’s a fair amount of talk throughout about magic, prophecy and premonition not being real but when the explanation for what is happening is revealed it does seem very much like magic. The ‘scientific’ explanation for events is woefully inadequate. It is a struggle to believe that something could be genetically engineered to be able to perform magic. This also has an effect on the resolution of the plot. There might be some clever, well thought out, ‘timey wimey’ stuff but fundamentally is still relies on wishing things alright. Such a conclusion is a bit unsatisfying and too ‘fairy tale’ in essence.
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 February 2009
This year's doctor who quick reads novel. If you've not heard of quick reads, then a brief word of explanation. every year several very short books - about one hundred pages of short chapters and large print - are issued on national quick reads day. the aim of these is to get those who don't normally read to try it. since they're short and easy reads they're good things to try if you don't usually have the time or inclination for anything longer or more challenging.

but that doesn't mean those who do can't enjoy them as well.

the range is now in it's fourth year and a doctor who book has been included in the range every year.

this one involves the doctor arriving at a sports training facility to find there have been several mysterious deaths there. he befriends some of the students at the place and they find that it has been taken over by sontarans, aliens familiar to anyone who saw the 2008 season of the show on tv. the sontarans put the doctor and the students through some dangerous tests. can they survive? and what is the sontarans true purpose in being there?

This is definitely a book you can get into quickly and the prose is clear enough such that you won't find it a difficult read. story wise it's not bad. the supporting characters do have a reasonable amount of depth to them, and the plot does develop nicely. There are a few decent revelations to come along the way.

Nothing special, but if you want a good quick read, or a good quick doctor who story, or both, then it's well worth getting.
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on 20 July 2016
This is a very simple , straightforward but well written , entertaining book. The main action doesn't start until page 130 and its only 159 pages long. It lacks an intelligent enemy. There are some good characters. It reads well with dialogue you can imagine in an episode. I just hope they give us some longer adult aimed books in the future. It cost as much as a hardback and its short so not very good value.
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VINE VOICEon 15 September 2009
The latest in the 'quick reads' series, and like its predecessors, is a fast pacing book which can be easily read in a day or as an aide to reading, the latter being primarily the reason for this series of books.
The Doctor is the Doctor, the Sontarans are the Sontarans and the supporting cast are just that - there for support and someone for the Doctor to talk to and show off his cleverness and knowledge.
There is no real depth to the story - in fact the swimming pool mentioned in the text probably has more depth - but the short chapters mean you can read a chapter, go away for half an hour, come back and read another chapter and keep the same pace throughout the day, reading the final chapter just before turning out the light at bedtime. Alternatively, the book can be read to children at bedtime and so send them off into the dreamland worlds of Doctor Who - just make sure they know there is a sofa near by for them to hide behind, if need be!
All in all, a book well worth the money, and a fun read to boot!
Now, where did I put that sonic screwdriver...
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on 30 June 2013
I have read the book and listened the audio book narrated excellently by the 10th Doctor himself, David Tennant. While visiting the British Museum with Mickey and Jackie, Rose and the Doctor discover a statue that looks oddly familiar. So the Doctor and Rose find themselves in Ancient Rome. This is excellently written by Jacqueline Rayner, who is clearly a fan of the Doctor Who universe and researches her time periods very thoroughly.
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on 12 August 2015
In my role as a learning disability support worker I bought this book for a client of mine with a frontal lobe brain injury. The simplified syntax and vocabulary of the book helped him to keep him engaged with the narrative flow of the story, and so to persist with the task of reading.
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on 6 July 2013
This was really disappointing. I read another Doctor Who title by the same author which was definitely a 5 star, but this only scraped two because of the price.

Stilted writing with only one good twist and it really doesn't slot into the genre. A lot of out of character moments and plots.
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on 11 April 2015
I enjoyed this book.It's a lot of fun & a bit silly in places & its written very much in character with the 10th Doctor,Rose & her mum & Mickey.Good fun and doesn't take itself to seriously.
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on 26 May 2012
Liked this story, just a little disappointed with the quality of book sent, it was meant too have been new, but show's signs of being 2nd hand, but all in all needed this to complete my collection and it has done just that, but can't get away from the fact that it's another epic adventure with the Doctor and Rose.
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on 4 December 2017
This is a great book for all Whovians or anyone looking for a good read I would seriously recommend this to all of my friends!
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