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Reviews for Professor Bernice Summerfield: Life During Wartime

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Part 1

By:Piers, Lancashire
Date:Monday 23 August 2004
Rating:   9

First off, I fell for Big Finish's marketing ploy completely, but then I'm glad I did! I was drawn to the Bernice Summerfield range by the 'Death & The Daleks' audio play, but when I opened the sleeve I realised that the CD was the second part of the story. Hence I forked out for this book before I gave it a listen. I was a bit worried that I would be jumping into this story part the way through, but thanks to the recap/character outlines in the introduction, newcomers such as myself can read this book and completely understand the scenario. The parallels between the Fifth Axis and the Nazis are clear from the beginning, and I guess the Braxiatel Collection is an allegory for the German Occupation of the Channel Islands: both are small pieces of land, but are symbollically important to those that possess them. By exploring the themes arising from Nazi Occupation against the backdrop of the 'Doctor Who/Bernice Universe' makes them refreshing here. This book is largely character driven, and my favourite story here is 'The Traitors', where military orders and love tragically clash. One of the best aspects of this book is Jason's character development: without giving anything away I was very surprised! It is the final story, 'A Bell Ringing In An Empty Sky' that seems to have split other reviewers. I found the story interesting, but how it fits in with the rest of the book is ultimately up to you. The story proper finishes with the final 'Lockdown Conversation': the cliffhanger will have you rushing over to your stereo!

I can't recommend this book enough!

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