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Reviews for The Eye of the Giant

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Whovian King Kong

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Thursday 10 February 2005
Rating:   6

Using the magic of time travel, Christopher Bulis has managed to reconfigure "King Kong" in Whovian terms. The Doctor, Mike Yates, and Liz get transported to the 1930s, where a private ship (movie star on board) has found an island of gigantic creatures (note the threatening crab on the cover) ruled over by one in particular, this time an alien and not a gorilla. There is more about UNIT in this book than in the TV series (more about which see below) and the UNIT squad seems less ineffective than in the TV series. Bulis is, like McIntee, a dependable thought not original writer. The story moves a good pace, has the right amount of action, but is highly predicatable.

Apparently, the editors at Virgin thought that it would be a good idea to have all the UNIT officers advance from the ranks, contravening all standards and protocols in the British Military. Thus, we improbably get a "Sergeant" Mike Yates and hints of a "Private" Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart. Of course, this turn of events is utterly preposterous. Both Yates and Lethbridge-Stewart are clearly among the educated officer class, and always were. Lethbridge-Stewart, in particular, would have been officer corps from his school days, perhaps even having a military family history. Yates strikes me as recruited from university. I got over the problem of "Sergeant" Yates simply by rereading it as "Captain."

Military Intelligence - not here.

By:simon, Bristol
Date:Sunday 22 April 2007
Rating:   6

This is a well written and well plotted novel. The King Kong-esque pastiche is fun (although its humorous potential is never quite developed to the full). I'm particularly fond of the series of endings. Just as you think the end has arrived, a new twist (normally of 'the future's changed, but now into what we wanted' variety). All this adds to the fun, and reminded me a bit of the various ways of ending 'Wayne's World'. It would have been fun to change 'now' more by interference in the past. This would, of course, bring the added joy that the Doctor was exiled to earth precisely because of such interference.

But The Eye of the Giant never reaches the heights it promises (or that Bulis attains elsewhere) because it never feels comfortable with the humour of the situations it sets up. A great shame, as there are some wonderful possibilities.

And the idea that Mike Yates worked his way up from the rank of Sargeant is so ludicrous as to be laughable. The army, even an international force like UNIT, simply doesn't work that way. Do some basic research, or just ask a soldier. A shame really, that such a seemingly little thing can grate all the way through the book and seriously undermine the whole.

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