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Reviews for History 101

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Intriguing...and a 3 dimensional Fitz!

By:John Ellison, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Date:Monday 19 August 2002
Rating:   8

If I remember correctly from the "about the author" page, this is Halliday's first Who novel. I am, to say the least, quite impressed and pleased.

She has woven a story I found to be both original and satisfying. She also managed to bring Fitz more depth than I recall seeing since "Revolution Man". Bravo! It is about time we saw an author treat him as more than just a comic foil (or worse the bumbling, loveable fool). Also, the interaction between Fitz and Anji is well written--their grudging concern for each other is clearly evident.

At times, I did find myself wondering when some of the "players" had entered. Perhaps a little more development on their parts could have been helpful. On the whole though, I find myself dangerously close to having to eat my words from a previous review (see Book of the Still) and mail a formal apology to Jac Rayner. The line seems to be on an upswing!

History was never my favourite subject

By:Piers, Lancashire
Date:Wednesday 8 September 2004
Rating:   5

This book is disadvantaged merely by its position in this range - any title following the excellent 'Crooked World' has a tough act to follow. This novel is such a change of pace, and not a particularly easy one. When I was doing GCSE History, I seem to remember a large part of the course devoted to the reliability of historical sources (which source is more reliable than another etc...); this book takes those ideas further by questioning which reality is representative of historical fact. As such the plot here can feel a little ponderous sometimes, although there are numerous set pieces along the way to pep up the action. I have to admit that the Spanish Civil War is a period of history that I am unfamiliar with, and perhaps I would have enjoyed this book more if I was more aware of the political/historical backdrop.

The main drawback for me with this novel were the numerous characters that populate Barcelona and its environs. A lot of the time I wasn't sure who was on which side or what their individual motives were. I feel some of the characters could have been trimmed out and nothing would have been lost from the plot. Eleana only seems to have a brother for the Absolute to 'murder' - she barely dwells on his death. Another gripe I had with the plot is that Fitz and Sasha managed to make a somewhat implausible journey across the Pyrennes on foot in a page or so!!

There are however some strong points in this story. The highlights for me were: Fitz's journey to Guernica and his relationship with Sasha; the scene when Anji stands up to the racist abuse she receives; when the Doctor first encounters the Absolute. The Absolute as a monster is in keeping with the story - the way it is described is obviously derived from the style of Picasso. Was this an in-joke??!

There are plenty of other things I could mention (whinge about?!) with this book, but as a first novel for this author it could be a lot worse!

History should be Interesting!

By:Mike McGovern , Edmonton, Alberta
Date:Monday 30 January 2006
Rating:   1

Where to begin? The writing is slow, lacks vibrancy, and I gave up caring by page 5. After skimming this thoroughly unremarkable book,I found I hated Sabbath, whoever that is, and discovered that I will never read another Mags L. Halliday book again. Truly mind-numbing. No real bits with the TARDIS either.

I can get a feeling for the worth of a story from the very first few pages, and one thing that I've discovered is that if a book is boring from the start, the author probably won't have the skill to change that in the rest of the work. With this book I was entirely right.

I write these reviews sincerely to help people. Please avoid this dreadful book!

More Russians!

By:Hatman, Gangsta's paradise
Date:Wednesday 26 July 2006
Rating:   6

In Spain, there are more Russians. Did you know that the country with the most Russians in it is Russia? you learn a new thing every day...

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