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Reviews for Dancing the Code

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Invasion of the Cyborg Termites

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Thursday 31 July 2014
Rating:   5

"Dancing the Code" is a particularly gory novel that I think is supposed to be an anti-war statement. The story centers on the fictional north African country of Kebiria, which is in the midst of a civil war. The country is run by a typical strong-man dictator who wants to wipe out (read genocide) the tribal peoples fighting against him. He believes he has a novel way to do this by using some alien cyborg insects that have been lying in the desert for centuries. This description perhaps gives away too much, because Leonard keeps so much of the what is going on well hidden. The story does involve the insects making copies of people and technology. This creates much confusion in a country at war.

The main idea itself is interesting, but the story is not well executed. It is all pretty gory and violent, just to begin with. Leonard wants to insist on just how horrible war is by turning the reader's stomach, often. He also describes just about everyone else's turned stomachs. Through the first half of the novel, just about everyone is in a constant state of nausea, apparently. UNIT proves utterly worthless, and pretty much gets wiped out. The Doctor is unduly harsh with the Brigadier, who here proves rather tame. Also, in the last few chapters, Leonard forgets that the Brigadier had a dodgy ankle as a result of a helicopter crash. Leonard's prose is serviceable, but not scintillating. Still, I do have to say that the main idea for the story, of a world over-run by cyborg termites, is handled with some logic.

Good UNIT Story

By:Harry Ross Gorman, Bromborough, United Kingdom
Date:Wednesday 17 June 2015
Rating:   7

A good unit story but I thought it was a bit hard to follow and had too many characters.

Well-written & under-rated.

By:Hugh E. Oxburgh, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 29 July 2018
Rating:   6

I was a bit puzzled by Harry-Ross Gorman's review. How can you give a pretty good rating & then try to justify it in one sentence? By way of contrast, although David's review is too hard on the story, he does at least try to justify his stance. While I don't agree with his second paragraph (especially), he does at least show you where he's coming from. I don't enjoy criticising other people's literary styles, but I really can't see how you can sum up a book in just one sentence. This is Paul's best "Doctor Who novel.

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