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Reviews for Blue Box

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By:Matt Bennett, Cardiff
Date:Thursday 25 August 2005
Rating:   10

I've been trying to put my finger on what it is that makes Kate Orman's novels so bloody good. The writing is crisp, the characterisation is always of a high standard, and the ideas are large and well developed. These things can be found in other DW authors works though. What separates Kate Orman is that her books have a real clarity to them, they're beautifully structured. Blue Box is a success on many levels; it's depiction of the Sixth Doctor and Peri, it's choice of location, it's supporting characters, and it's strong plot. I really don't think Kate Orman is capable of producing a novel that is anything less than engaging.

Unique viewpoint

By:Rachel, Sydney, Australia
Date:Friday 16 September 2005
Rating:   10

Kate Orman just gets better and better. This offering gives at different twist - seeing through the eyes of someone who doesn't know about the TARDIS, Timelords, that the Doctor is an alien. It isn't easy to remember that any given character, even the companions do NOT know the Doctor's full history. This is the sort of book I can imagine Companions such as Ian & Barbara, Victoria and others picking up, reading, and thinking "Naaah... can't be Him...."

fact or fiction?

By:Hatman, next to Ramez
Date:Tuesday 4 July 2006
Rating:   4






By:justin w richards, swansea, wales
Date:Wednesday 18 October 2006
Rating:   1

words cant express how bloody boring this book is ok the chactures of the doc and peri are right but oh my god dont wast your money on it to find your self wishing you'd got a better one.

Blue for you

By:Trevor Smith, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Date:Tuesday 5 August 2014
Rating:   5

This is yet another PDA that's well written, very clever and intreging book that for me fails because it just doesn't feel like a Dr Who novel at all. I just can't imagine this being on TV.

Not Quite What It's Supposed to Be

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Saturday 21 September 2019
Rating:   7

The title is right away misleading. Readers are likely to think that "blue box" refers to the TARDIS, but that device is nowhere to be seen in this book. Instead, "blue box" refers to a signal switching device used in telecommunications. That is the kind of bait and switch that Kate Orman is up to throughout this book. Orman has decided on a novel approach by making the book seem not to be a novel. Instead, the book we read is "written by" an Australian independent journalist reporting on events, publishing a non-fiction book about a great computer crime caper. We are supposedly reading that book. So, a blue box that is not the blue box we thought, and a novel that is not quite a novel. There are several other turns of this kind. The story places Doctor 6 and Peri in the Washington, D.C., area in 1982 or thereabouts. Doctor 6 is contacted to track down some alien technology (though our narrator believes throughout the book that it is secret Russian tech) that has gotten lost and is now in the hands of computer mastermind Sarah Swan. Our computer mastermind is not much of villain, being mostly just petty, lonely, and vindictive. The internet is only in its infancy, but Swan uses it and the telecommunications network to make hell out of the lives of people she doesn't like by doing things like planting rumors, changing their utility bills to astronomical figures, and so on. She's a towering figure of terror to the hacks and phreaks, but entirely unknown to the rest of the world. The plot has our heroes mainly hiding from Swan in motels, driving long distances in rented cars, breaking into computer systems, and generally reacting to Swan as if she is far more powerful than she really is. Through most of the novel, there is little sense of any actual danger, and I kept wondering as I read why The Doctor and crew were going to such extraordinary lengths to avoid this woman. Another problematic spot for me was in the novel pretending to be non-fiction premise. This is done regularly enough, and mostly done wrong. The problem is that the resulting book is still too much novel and not enough non-fiction. There are long passages of dialogue, which is novelistic, but not at all in the manner of independent reporting. Whole scenes are described in great detail when there is no way that the reporter-narrator had access to that information. I don't, however, want to give the impression that this novel is all that bad. The writing is crisp, and it is generally well paced. Orman does not stray beyond the bounds she has set for herself in the plot and format. She does a good job of making seemingly insignificant details have a surprising significance. Generally, the book is entertaining despite its flaws.

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