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Reviews for Bunker Soldiers

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Compromised Bunker

By:James, Bristol, England
Date:Thursday 19 September 2002
Rating:   5

This book had a really intriuging cover and blurb that grabbed me right away. Sadly, the writing wasn't quite good enough to bare it out. The crew land in Kiev in 1240, just before its going to be sacked by the Mongols, and theres a nasty alien thing running around too. I don't want to reveal more than that. The plot of this book was very ambitious (a huge cast of characters and scenes ranging from alien-infested catacombs to the splendour of the Mongol army) and, to be fair, damn good. The historical setting was also quite well researched. However, the writing style let it down. The dialogue seemed stilted and the Doctor's actions were made to seem *senseless* rather than *mysterious* (he does several about-faces on changing history). There were surprisingly few action scenes. The author had the chance to make the scenes in Dmitri's house ones of suspense and paranoia, but this doesn't come across - the Russians seem content to *ignore* the alien. Some new tricks are tried, such as doing Steven's bit in the first-person, but the tone used felt wrong for Steven. None of the characters are really explored (with the exception of Yevhen). The end chapters are very cheesey, but the first few are quite good. The author should have waited longer before introducing the alien, though he did a good job of keeping you guessing about it's motives. The Mongol attack on Kiev is well told, and the alien's flashbacks are atmospheric, but overall I found this book disappointing, because it should have been absolutely amazing (Mongols, struggling not to change history and aliens - what more should you want?).

Why Dodo and why the alien?

By:Michael Baxter, Coalville, Leicestershire, UK
Date:Wednesday 23 October 2002
Rating:   8

I quite enjoyed this book and found nothing to complain of as regards the writing style. The explanation re the alien was clever and well thought out, and I liked the idea of Steven wielding the pen, as it were, for parts of the story. The historical background seemed well-researched and provided an excellent backdrop for the tale. From a purely personal point of view, I would have preferred a straight historical tale with no alien, but then I have never greatly cared for the 'monsters invade history' idea anyway. I wish the Doctor had shown more concern than he actually did over Mykola being tortured, or even made some attempt to save him - did I miss it or were we never told Mykola's eventual fate? I assume he died from the torture. As always, I found Dodo irritating: Steven and the Doctor by themselves would have been preferable. Why is the gap between the 'Dalek Masterplan' and 'The Massacre' never utilised by authors of these 'untold adventure' type novels? Oh, and Steven, as ever, was again denied any extra background, even in his narrating role. Overall, however, a worthwhile read.


By:Trevor Smith, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Date:Monday 28 January 2008
Rating:   9

A good, taught, exciting thriller.

Too Many Senseless Add-Ons

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Friday 12 August 2011
Rating:   5

"Bunker Soldiers" might have made a very good straight historical "Doctor Who." The setting of the sack of Kiev by the Mongols provides plenty of intrigue, action, and emotion all by itself. However, the setting is also a limitation. As with "The Massacre," in "Bunker Soldiers" the historical outcome is as inevitable as it is gruesome. There is no chance for our heroes to alter events or wrest some good from the situation. Kiev will be sacked and half or so of its population slaughtered. The situation presents the writer with limited opportunities. One is the fight against the inevitable. The Doctor and Steven seem to be doing this each in his own way. The Doctor's way, though, is a half-hearted attempt to change the minds of the Mongol generals, which he knows he can never do. Steven's way is just to keep hoping that in some way they make a difference. An alternative for the writer is to have our heroes trapped in a bad situation and spending most of their time trying to escape. This plot occupies more or less the first third of novel. All in all, the writer's possibilities are limited. So, Lucarotti handled the problem by bringing in a non sequitur, a complex plot involving the Doctor's having a double who is also a vicious church authority. Martin Day's non sequitur involves an alien cyborg weapon crash landed a century or so before the events, and known to only a few of the people of Kiev as their possible saving angel. The problem is that these inventions are non sequiturs. They are non-problems, needless complications that when resolved have no real bearing upon the main sequence of events. The sideshow takes more novelistic resources than the main show and thus drags down the whole theater. The ending leaves an intelligent reader wondering "what was that all about" and finding no answers.

A solid read

By:Chris Arnold, Bundaberg, Australia
Date:Wednesday 13 March 2013
Rating:   7

I was putting off reading this as the Kiev setting doesn't really inspire my imagination. I was pleasantly surprised by the actual novel. I found it easy to read with clear and concice characterisation.

I can see why others have said that the alien was not needed and served no real story purpose but I welcomed the brief breaks from the historical setting. It is a good little device to keep the non historical readers interested.

The regulars worked well and I only tired of Steven's first person narration right near the end of the story. Overall a nice novel not destined for classic status but nevertheless a worthwhile read.

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