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Reviews for Casualties of War

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Most interesting and exciting novel

By:John, Rugby, England
Date:Sunday 3 August 2003
Rating:   9

One of the most interesting and exciting novel i have read so far

Absolutely Wonderful!

By:ShatteredRoses, North Wales
Date:Monday 31 July 2006
Rating:   9

‘Casualties of War’ is not only one of the best Doctor Who books I’ve read, it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read full stop. It’s written in this wonderful, rich language that makes it a joy and an honour to turn every page, the storyline is wonderfully thought-out and keeps you guessing right the way through without being too complicated. It’s genuinely frightening and full of atmosphere and suspense, and I’d recommend it to absolutely anyone.

I can’t believe that this is Emmerson’s first novel, it sure as hell doesn’t read like one. There’s a kind of confidence in the way he writes: He doesn’t seem to fall into the trap of trying to explain everything too much or resolve every plotline, but at the same time leaves the reader with the strong feeling that they understand what’s going on and can read a lot more into the events than the characters themselves. The presence of Mary’s brother among the dead soldiers that is only ever implied and never really developed is pure genius.

Also, this is the first EDA novel which really gave me a good idea of the Eighth Doctor’s character. He’s superbly portrayed in this book and bursting with all that enthusiasm and love of life that’s hinted at in the other books and the ill-fated TV movie.

There are only a couple of reasons that I’m not giving this book a perfect 10/10, a couple of small points that are probably more just a result of Emmerson’s lack of experience rather than anything else. The first is that I felt there were either too many characters in this novel, or they just weren’t developed well enough. There are so many with so little characterisation that it’s very easy to get confused and I had to keep flicking back and forth to work out who was who. The second is that, towards the end, events seem to get a little repetitive. Something bad happens, there’s some small realisation, someone passes out, cut to the next scene. Really, the book could have done with being a few dozen pages shorter and clumping all the action together a little closer rather than interposing so many snapshots where people pass out/we’re supposed to presume them dead. I know the technique is supposed to build suspense, but it’s done so often towards the end of this book that it stops being suspenseful and starts being annoying, because we’re already pretty certain that, as this is the 18th time this character has blacked out, they’re not going to die this time either.

Other than that, however, this really was a masterpiece of modern fiction and I’m suitably impressed with it. It’s just such a terrible shame that Emmerson hasn’t written more. I shall be making sure I read his other Who novel ‘Dark Progeny’ very soon indeed.

A thrilling story

By:Trevor Smith, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Date:Wednesday 21 November 2007
Rating:   8

A really excting gothic ghost story for the 8th Doctor. Recommended.

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