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Reviews for The Adventuress of Henrietta Street

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A masterpiece

By:Joe Ford, London
Date:Monday 14 January 2002
Rating:   10

A densely plotted story full of shocking images and revelations that manages to stay the right side of greatness because of Lawrence Miles compelling style.
I have absolutely adored what BBC books have done with the range...twisted it away from the show and it's continuity baggage and made it something fresh and exciting again. The introduction of Sabbath, the wonderful Doctor/Master conversation and the shocking removal of the Doctor's heart are more steps in that direction!
Any flaws? Probably, but I was so wrapped up in this book that I didn't notice any. The characters are beautifully drawn, especially Scarlette and Lisa Beth but it's the Doctor who reigns supreme here.
A wonderful addition to an already strong range.

It never cast a spell...

By:John Ellison, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Date:Wednesday 6 February 2002
Rating:   1

Ordinarily, I enjoy Lawrence Miles' writing. Unfortunately, with this installment I was sadly disappointed. I can appreciate the artistic style, but I find "textbooks" to be difficult reading at the best of times. Sadly, the story was also lacking. The implications that "someone/something" must fill the void left by the destruction of Gallifrey is very intriguing but I never felt the book was really addressing the issue, only introducing more questions. I agree with Mr. Ford of London that it is good to see the books heading into truly uncharted territory; however, enough is enough. I want the DOCTOR to be more than human! I am tired of the constant "deconstruction" that seems to be the fashion of late. I long to see more of the "Time Lord" known as the Doctor along with the man the Doctor has become. But he never really made an appearance in "Adventuress..." My rating, a sad, sad 1.

One of the best!

By:Mark Corden, Birmingham, England
Date:Friday 8 March 2002
Rating:   9

After getting a bit bored with the range of late I was very pleasantly surprised by the new direction this novel took it in. The writing style was unique (for the series) and engaging, whilst creating an intriguing story. This book actually makes one think about what will happen next and the consequences of actions are dealt with. There is obviously not going to be a reset button at the end and one can only feel that the characters are all the more real for it. This literary version of the eigth Doctor is having a hard time but his adventures (if they continue along this vein) are unlike anything he's ever encounted before- that can only be a good thing to keep people interested.

In dealing with issues of witchcraft and magic in general the book does a good job, it doesn't specifically break the 'science comes first' rule of the series as the incantations are often representations of scientific concepts. There's also a neat explanation of the Doctor's use of 20th century technology on his advanced machine!

Twice the Bore

By:Jerry Lewandowski, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Date:Wednesday 19 June 2002
Rating:   4

Well, several months ago I picked up Adventuress (since I like reading the novels in order of release) only to find that it didn't appeal to me and I put it down before finishing the first chapter and went on to Mad Dogs. About 2 weeks ago, I decided to give Adventuress another try because I wanted to see the introduction of Sabbath and what he does to the Doctor.

Well, let me say that reading it through the second time, I was right to put it down the first time. This book is a total bore. The textbook style is not good for a book of fiction. You need the dialogue between the Doctor and the characters (atleast the companions) to make it exciting. The Doctor's characterization is lost in just the description since a man is more than how he looks.

I hope that this style of book does not become the norm for the Doctor Who books of the future. I agree that they need to explore new formats and possibilites, but the textbook style has got to go. It makes the stories drag on and puts one to sleep very fast.

150 pages too long

By:Phil Ince, Stoke Newington
Date:Monday 14 June 2004
Rating:   4

Alas, when I move on to The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, I find that mad old Lozzer Miles has bitten off more than he can chew.

Starts off knowledgeable and compelling but by page 180 it's become interminable and ponderous. Lozzer opted for historical reportage as the form of the book but it f***ing tiresome (notably the endless remarks that "no historical record survives", "such-and such's comments are not recorded" - well, Lozzer, you were the only one in a position to do anything about that, you lazy c***).

I must finish this one tonight and get it out of my life. Might be a better book than I reckon but he's shot himself in the foot big style, IMO, because he denies himself the opportunity to be opinionated, inventive and - crucially - funny.

As bland and unengaging as a lower school project on the local drains.

Written in a different way

By:Merlin, England
Date:Wednesday 28 September 2005
Rating:   5

I was expecting to find that this book was like the rest of the range but instead it was written in a historical way. Unique. The story is mostly good. There was a good introduction to the new villain Sabbath who is a good replacement for the Master. Though it is possible that he was the man in the rosette. The book got a bit tiring towards the end of it though. Well done Lawrence.

It never failed to bore...

By:Mike McGovern, Edmonton, Alberta
Date:Monday 27 March 2006
Rating:   1

I hate to be against a book as much as this, but I am. I should have put it down and contemplated my workbook. Pretty much the same thing. Does Lawrence Miles know how to entertain? You bet he does!

History lesson: who likes reading something that claims to be history, but isn't, yet is written like my incredibly exciting (boring) "Economics of Medieval France" history textbook? How did Lawrence Miles discover that people love reading textbooks in their spare time? How did he figure out how to write like one? It's just skill.

Once again the Doctor is nowhere to be seen, but that's all right, because Doctor Who isn't really about the Doctor, is it? It's about extremely essential extra characters who loiter in the street, people with no point who vaguely resemble a certain Vampire Slayer (ugh), and very slow, slow, slow prose that gives us that warm glow inside which tells us THIS AUTHOR REALLY CARES.

He knows how to tell a story (er, textbook,) to keep the reader rivetted with tons and tons of info. that we really might need, as in Sometime Never, and to give us the motivation to raise chickens, to start a farm, anything but to continue this idiotic book.

Who is this man? Where are the Irish? How did Lord Lucan escape?

The Adventuress of Henrietta Street is, obviously, fantastic. The most excellent thing ever written. It will bore you to death. That is, after all, what we're all after, isn't it?

Now for something completely different..

By:the Traveller, Henrietta Street
Date:Friday 7 April 2006
Rating:   6

A very different type of EDA. Although it made a change from the usual books, the text book type narrative is at times incredibly frustrating, with the inclusion of way too many irrelevant facts. Maybe this story would have worked better being told in the usual way, as the actual plot is pretty good, although credit must be given to Lawrence Miles for attempting to do something different.
Nevertheless, Sabbath makes a good impression as the new villain, and the implication that the man in the rosette is the Master is an intriguing idea.

Endurance challenge

By:Hatman, Eh eh eh!
Date:Thursday 3 August 2006
Rating:   2

this book is like a challenge. An endurance challenge. How many pages can YOU read before you die from boredom. Swear words and curses aside, there aren't that many words to describe it. I won't use any because I'm not a foul mouthed ro... I mean, person. It is written in the style of a school textbook. This only amplifies the rubbishness. This ses new standards for rubbish. Don't read it! Whatever you do, DON'T!


By:Ron, US
Date:Sunday 14 January 2007
Rating:   10

As you can see - there are a lot of differing opinions about this book.
Lawrence Miles submitted a piece of work that stands out starkly from the other instillations in this series - and for me, it was a welcome addition.
The best comparison that comes to mind is Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Its not soft fiction - and it is indirect in the extreme - but this book has so many important plot points in it that it became cause of endless debate among those of us who care to spend our time doing such things.

Its raw - and yet sublime - incredibly important things come to pass, and its a wonderful puzzle.
One previous reviewer mentioned that it is an endurance challenge - yes it is - it is also one of the very few EDAs that I read from start to finish in one sitting, I stayed up all night with it.
I loved it.
Don't be afraid of it because its not about charging about in corridors and getting put in a prison cell every 20 pages!

I tried to like it.

By:Jeremy Brunton, Brisbane Aus
Date:Wednesday 24 February 2010
Rating:   2

I tried to like this book I really did but but after starting to read it I had to check the front cover to see if I had in fact picked up a doctor who book.
The style of the book Ill leave others better qualified to describe as either good or bad.
In my case I saw Dr who on the cover and so bought it and raced home to enjoy a usual Dr Who style adventure or brain racking detective type Who book.
It was neither of these, I mean lets face it Dr who is a cult classic because of the previous style story's if we wanted something different there is plenty of that on the other shelves.
Now I know the styles of writing can be be different from who book to who book so I said what the heck and tried to enjoy the book anyway.
As I said I tried but it just bogged me down trying to work out who is who and all these references to things that don't exist, and where is the doctor in most of the book any way.
No, literary experiments are well and good but this was too much, I did fight my way through the book and eventually worked out the bits of the story that could be worked out, but did I enjoy it ? NO

A Curiosity for All

By:Jake Johnson, Last Seen In, United States
Date:Monday 28 March 2011
Rating:   5

Adventuress is definitely a very controversial book- some fans love it, some fans hate it, and some fans get caught in between. Since the point of a review is to tell a prospective reader to read the book or not, any readers will be extremely confused about whether Adventuress is a masterpiece or not worth their time.
My personal feelings on Adventuress is that it was okay, because most of my complaints are intermingled with compliments.
The narrative is slow and monotonous, meandering around vaguely when interesting things start to happen, but it paints a mystical, broad picture which would be otherwise unattainable. The beginning gets a bit grueling, but the ending is distressing and epic. The side-characters are a bit boring, but the enemies are extremely original.
Still, this is definitely a book that every person will feel differently about, as is evidenced by the opinions expressed here.

Sadly Disappointing

By:Bruce Walcroft, London, United Kingdom
Date:Monday 25 February 2013
Rating:   5

I find Lawrence Miles' books to be very much a love it or hate it affair. Whilst I loved "Alien Bodies" and "Christmas...." I found Interference a very choppy affair, and not the defining novel it intended to be.

With "The Adventuress..." I found myself at times confused, at times bored, and others merely disinterested. Lawrence chooses to write from a mixture of third person views and report on facts akin to a factual historical report ("What was said at this point could not be known" etc.) This gave me a feeling of a very incomplete plot, and allowed the writer to circumvent narrative conventions whenever he chooses. Some people may view this as clever. Sadly, to me it comes across as lazy.

Fitz and Anji do nothing in the book, and the Doctor spends most of his time being sick. It's as if Lawrence didn't want to write a Doctor Who book, but has just used the range as a way of showcasing his own characters.

It's not an awful book, just long winded and lacking the hinted adventure. For me less Adventuress, and more Adventurezzzzzzzzzzzz (snore)

Strange writing style - disappointing

By:Emma Bowman, Sydney, Australia
Date:Friday 27 September 2013
Rating:   2

There are so many conflicting accounts of this book. So many people seemed to really love it, and I hoped that I would be one of them.

Unfortunately, in the end this book just didn't appeal to me. The concept was interesting and parts of it were reasonably well done. However, I couldn't get past the fact that there was no actual dialogue in the book at all, and in my opinion that reduced the plot to a dull two dimensional story that just dragged awfully. Quite a let down, sadly.

Mixed reviews, but...

By:Wolfgang Bailey, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Date:Thursday 30 March 2023
Rating:   9

The reviews may be mixed, but this is a massive breath of fresh air after I have become extremely bored with the EDA series of late, especially with the "The Doctor had amnesia" as a replacement for a story arc (I literally gave up on Grimm Reality)

I understand that some people prefer some simple, standalone, by the numbers, pulp Sci-Fi novels that feature a character they know, but I definitely need things to either be done in an interesting way, or to have a continuous story going through them to keep my interest.

That's where Adventuress comes in.

This is not only a good story, but it's told in a really interesting style.

I appreciate that not everyone is as keen on the style, and that's fine, but honestly I think they're missing out. Give me this over more of the same any day

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