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Certainly Lived Up To It's Title...

By:Piers, UK
Date:Tuesday 28 August 2007
Rating:   3

I approached this novel with some trepidation after reading other poor reviews of it. Now I can certainly see why it has its reputation...

After a prologue that seems reminiscent of the far superior Anachrophobia, the novel falls rapidly downhill. It's certainly nothing new that the Doctor and his companion get separated, but in this case you really wish they hadn't. Sam's adventure is so mind numbingly dull you wish you could fast forward it. The rebels she falls in with are so cliched; it is very hard to care about them, or even remember who is who. The Doctor's story is slightly more interesting, and his pairing up with the prissy Anstaar is probably the highlight of the book. It's a shame that she get's written out at the end, it would have made sense to keep her until the Doctor finds Sam again. There's also no real resolution to her storyline: the Doctor promises to help heal her after she rapidly ages, but she seems to leave him without her youth restored. The one problem with the Doctor storyline was the appearance of Nashaad. It was implied we should know who he was, but I had no recollection of him from earlier in the book. Was this a case of bad editing? Either way, the character was just as pointless as many others in the book.

Two other aspects really let down this novel: the planet Hirath, and the Kusks. The former makes little sense. The planet is split into different time zones. Fair enough. But how is this possible? Planets move in their orbits around the sun, therefore each piece of the planet should be located in different places within that orbit if they are temporally separated. Hirath should not be able to exist intact. Perhaps I am reading too much into this...! As for the Kusks, they really scrape the bottom of the barrel when it comes to alien villans. Their physical appearance is terribly cliched, and as for the skirts... Collier may have been aiming for Giger, but he ended up with villians from a Butlins panto.

My final gripe is the violence. There is so much of it that it becomes unrelenting in some places. And what happened to the leader of the moonbase has to be one of the most gratuitously sick things I have ever read in a Who novel. If the violence helps the story, OK, but in that instance I failed to see what the point of it was other than to terrify Vasid (who then gets killed anyway).

This book is only useful in setting up the subsequent story arc. If you know what that is (i.e. the Doctor has to find Sam), then there is little here of interest. One to avoid unless you are a completist.



not that bad!

By:a person, hayfield
Date:Friday 19 February 2010
Rating:   8

This book is not too bad, I agree the violence is very gory and disgusting and I probably would have given it a higher rating ahd it not been for this. But the actual plot isgood.




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