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Reviews for Fear of the Dark

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Seriously creepy!

By:Gail Carey, England
Date:Thursday 9 January 2003
Rating:   10

Imagine that between "Arc of Infinity" and "Snakedance", that Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton had gone off and filmed a Doctor Who movie. Now imagine that that Dr. Who movie was an out and out horror movie which would keep you awake after you got back home from watching it at the cinema. That movie would be "Fear of the Dark". I just read the book in one sitting an I'm still tingling with the excitement from it.

I have no hesitation in giving this book 10 out of 10. All Doctor Who novels should be this good!


By:Holly Carver, England
Date:Sunday 2 February 2003
Rating:   10

Typical Tegan, typical Nyssa, fifth doctor nicely handled and most of all no confusing plots relating to Gallifrey, God-like beings or the Doctors past (not that those types of stories aren't great, i just seem to have had rather too many of them lately)- overall, nice, standard Dr Who at it's best, with the added bonus of being able to take the situation slightly further than was possible with the TV series at the time. True, there is probably slightly more violence than was strictly necessary, but then again in terms of deaths the story is not dissimilar to "Warriors of the Deep" except that the absence of having the monsters visualised for you makes them much more convincing! one of the better fifth doctor past adventures so far.

A classic Doctor who Yarn

By:Clive Wright, Jersey
Date:Tuesday 9 September 2003
Rating:   8

This story offers all what you would expect from a good doctor who ripper. Dark corridors, body count slowly rising, lots of screams and a realistic plot and monster.

Good First Half

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Monday 4 April 2005
Rating:   6

The previous reviewers liked this book much more than I did. The book does have some things going for it. First, it is very much in the traditional Doctor Who style - a small cast of characters isolated in a limited number of places; a gradually gathering evil; characters with conflicting motives. The first half of the novel is quite good, very creepy. The trouble with it, in my view, is in the second half. For instance, Baxendale seems to forget that a ship has a crew, so that the Doctor makes a foolhardy rescue of one, but totally ignores the rest. The Dark, the villain of the story, is evil to no greater degree than any other DW villain, yet there is repeated insistence on just how evil it is, as though saying evil forty times makes it forty times more evil. Pointlessly, everyone but the three main characters dies. There are numerous overly melodramatic scenes in the second half, which conflicts with the ruthless, level realism of the first half. Still, Baxendale knows how to keep the story moving at a brisk pace, build to cliffhangers, and slip in teasers.

Good but Gore

By:The Voter from Vortos, Vortos, Nebula Galaxy
Date:Sunday 10 April 2005
Rating:   6

A good book: something always happens in a chapter (even if its a ship crashing or a scream from a corridor), it makes scenes with the Dark creepy. A good read, that is, if you can escape the blood: smouldering bodies, blood gushing down tombs, cricket balls turning into spheres of blood, take a breath, a creature sucking blood, then spurting mountains of the stuff against the wall? Eewwwwwww (that is not meant to be a compliment).

If you skim over those parts, its a good book.

PS: skim like hell

He died a death...

By:Hatman, From Russia with hats
Date:Saturday 5 August 2006
Rating:   7

Suspiciously similar plot to Drift. Maybe open to philisophical mumble about repetition of events. Anyway, Why do I keep saying that? The book itself was good... I like triple dots...

technology smology

By:Ron, England
Date:Monday 21 December 2009
Rating:   7

Can someone tell me what has happened to night vision goggles in the DW universe?
I wonder why rabbits never took off and smeg did. Not a bad read if you suspend your disbelief and you haven't just eaten. Try not to read this book in the dark it could damage your eyes.

Chilling and Close.

By:Mark Jones, Cornwall, Texas
Date:Wednesday 19 January 2011
Rating:   10

This is an excellent book. The living Dark and the gathering black. A world of bleak secrets. The fifth Doctor is a good choice for this story. Events simply knot around his innocent neck tighter and tighter.

The author has clearly thought through the claustrophobia of darkness. He understands the ambiance. The fear and the philosophy of shadow. The setting is bleak and enhances the everything in a hushed expectation, as if the stillness itself is potentially ready to eat the characters. And the threat eventually turns out to be unusual and effective.

I specifically watch for novels whose authors try to recreate a genuinely suspenseful, threatening atmosphere in words. Not many such books exist. Fewer still succeed. It is an rare talent, and I treasure such books when they occasionally do rise out of the rest.

This will give you nightmares. One or two, at least. Blundering about in shadow with something that wants the eat you has a way of gripping the mind. The Doctor barely has enough light to see what is around him - in every way. Even the TARDIS isn't safe. Everything is seen from a slightly fearful angle. The familiar becomes threatening and hostile. I wish there were more novels in the range like this.

What a story. It was exactly what I needed. A treasure.

A solid horror adventure

By:Ellie Acheson, Charlotte, United States
Date:Friday 16 August 2013
Rating:   7

The Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, and Tegan get stuck in a claustrophobic horror story with a disembodied terror from the dawn of time chasing after them. Don't get too attached to the well-characterized secondary cast or you'll be quite upset by their grisly deaths. But if you want to read a DW horror story, check this book out.

Lots of atmosphere and horror, love it!

By:Devin Harvey, Syracuse, United States
Date:Friday 22 November 2013
Rating:   10

This was the first Doctor Who book I've read and it was totally amazing. The author writes the Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa so perfectly you can almost hear them talking to each other, and the setting is one of the most creepy and awesome settings in all of Doctor Who in my opinion. A moss-covered moon, with a horrible secret at it's heart on the outskirts of a Planet made entirely of boiling mud and lava. It's just such a cool idea. And of course the whole idea of 'the Dark' was just so cool, i can't say much without giving it away. The only disappointment I had was that the romance that forms near the end of the book feels forced and kind of awkward to read, but as it goes along it gets a bit more bearable, even if a bit cliche. Otherwise it's a definite must read!

Heart of darkness.

By:Trevor Smith, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Date:Saturday 4 March 2017
Rating:   9

I really, really enjoyed this. A cracking tale, told at a terrific pace. It has a real sense of dread all the way through with echoes of Alien/Aliens films. Loved the way Nyssa and Tegan are used in thus book, so much better than in a lot of the TV stories and the fifth Doctor feels very vulnerable. All in all a superb novel.

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