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Reviews for Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Glass Prison

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By:Piers, UK
Date:Monday 7 August 2006
Rating:   8

For some reason it took me ages to get around to reading this book - it must have been sat on my shelf for about a year before I read it. Once I started reading it, however, I was really hooked! Although the page count is relatively small, there is much to enjoy here.

The book I read before this (the terrible 'The Monsters Inside') was also prison based, but this novel handles prison-life so much better; probably because it can get away with a much more graphic content than the new series novels. What impressed me was how the titular Glass Prison was realised, and how the psychological effects such an environment had on the inmates was depicted. Also welcome was the inclusion of Straklant, the Fifth Axis officer last encountered in 'The Doomsday Manuscript'. For much of the novel he is just merely present in the cell above Benny, but you can see how he brings out Benny's paranoia in a way that her main adversaries (the cultists) cannot.

The feelings Benny has at the prospect of giving birth gave welcome insights into her character. It certainly made me think about what women have to go through mentally when it comes to 'having a part of themselves' taken away. Reading the acknowledgements at the end, it is almost hard to believe the author isn't writing from personal experience!

Although the novel is quite 'dark', it wouldn't be a Benny adventure without the odd silly moment thrown in. The best of these has to be when Joseph turns up towards the end. The reunion between the porter and Benny definitely had me smirking!!

The only downsides here for me were firstly that Benny's suspicions about being betrayed by Claire were never adequately resolved. I was secretly hoping that she was right and was waiting for a showdown that never happened. Secondly, the way the cultists are removed at the end seemed a little bit too convenient. These points can definitely be overlooked, as this is certainly one of the better full length Benny novels from Big Finish.

Well written and gripping

By:Mark Bailey, Nothern Ireland
Date:Saturday 28 June 2008
Rating:   9

Benny and the Glass Prison has to be one of the best Dr Who related novels.
The plot is gripping with excellent characterisation and a sense of humour.
It is recommended reading for anybody who follows the Benny audio plays (especially Seasons 8 & 9) to set the scene for what happens there.

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