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Reviews for Empire of Death

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A good read, but not perfect

By:Piers, Lancashire
Date:Sunday 11 July 2004
Rating:   7

After reading the previews for the book, I was really looking forward to reading this novel. There was something about the premise that I found interesting, but having read the book it doesn't go into as much detail about the Victorian attitudes to death and the afterlife as I thought it might. Queen Victoria came across as a little one dimensional, as she was driven solely by grief and not much else. The explanation to the paranormal side of the story was a bit of a let down after 200 or so pages of build up, but the twist regarding James Lees was really unexpected and probably the most rewarding part of the story. The ending was a little rushed and it became a headache to work out who was who (or what!). This book was atmospheric and the premise a great idea, but it would have benefited with being longer, allowing some of the lesser (and more interesting characters) more time to grow. The time James spends between the prologue and his appearance before Queen Victoria should have been expanded upon, his time in the asylum sounds more hoffific than anything else approached in this novel, yet is only covered by a few throwaway lines of flashback.

I enjoyed this book as it combined a dark period of British History with an equally dark story, even if it didn't live up to my initial expectations.

A Bit Of Victoriana

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Thursday 10 February 2005
Rating:   6

David Bishop in "Empire Of Death" attempts to capture the spirit of Victorian England. Some of the common social practices of the day, such as sceances, charlatan mentalists, mills, and the attempt to conquer every available piece of land including Heaven itself, gets mixed in somehow or another. The Davison doctor here is typical of the TV series: patient, cautious, observant. He sizes up the options before springing into action in a last-minute desperate plan. The previous reviewer mentioned many of the novel's flaws, and I agree with these assessments. Queen Victoria is not developed enough as a character. The ending gets rather too complicated, mainly because Bishop does not add the few words necessary to uncomplicate it. The basic premise regarding the aliens who were good but are now evil, absolute split personality beings from other dimensions, has been handled elsewhere in Who, such as "Time-flight" and the CD "Storm Warning." It has interesting parts not well joined.

Victory for Victoria...

Date:Thursday 22 October 2009
Rating:   8

Pretty interesting story mixing historical stuff like Victoria's over the top mourning of Albert and the period's interest in sceances and afterlife, with nice DW plots twists and mystery aliens. Good writing as well, unlike some other entries of this series...

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