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Reviews for The Sands of Time

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A Fitting Sequel To A Superb TV Serial

By:Yumchan, Doncaster, England
Date:Tuesday 15 July 2003
Rating:   9

A story, similar to 'Festival Of Death', where most of the end of the adventure happens before the beginning has started. Here though it is done flawlessly.
The Doctor is obviously the 5th with his little quirky mannerisms, though Tegan is just Tegan. There is the odd moan from her here and there, as usual, but she doesn't really seem to come out of her shell.
My only other negative thought about the book was that after such a complex tale of events (Sometimes I had to pop back to one of the little joining passages to check on little details) the end seemed to be a little rushed.
Apart from this, this really does deserve to be on the top of the Missing Adventure list. A Superb book.


By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Thursday 10 February 2005
Rating:   7

"The Sands Of Time" is a sequel of sorts to "The Pyramids Of Mars," though the only repeat character from the TV series is Marcus Scarman as a walk-on. Two characters from "Black Orchid" make longer, though not long, appearances in this novel. The novel involves the bizarre kidnapping of Nyssa and the attempts to recover her. As such, Nyssa's role is greatly reduced, only slightly larger than in "Kinda." As in that serial, Nyssa spends most of the story "asleep." The novel's plot is rather typical of Davison-era stories, in which a long buildup ends in a threat that turns out to be not much. Think of "Snakedance" and "The Awakening" as templates. Strangely, this formula actually seems to work quite well. "The Sands Of Time" is one of the most atmospheric and mood dominated of the Who novels. Full of shadowy figures and mysterious motivations, punctuated by brief scenes of violence, it is one suspenseful read. The strength is in the plotting. Richards has managed a complex interweaving of different times and neatly tied together all the ends.


By:Admiral, Perth, Australia
Date:Friday 10 March 2006
Rating:   10

It's funny how even though the Doctor can move in time, there are very few stories that use time travel to tell a story out of it's chronological order. For that alone, "Sands of Time" would stand out as a great Doctor Who novel. However, there's more than that to make this novel one of the best Doctor Who novels I ever read.

This book is chilling and complex. The Osirians take on more of a role in this story without becoming too much and losing their mysteriousness. The characters are brilliant. The High Priest commits the actions that start the whole story in motion based on one word from the condemned woman. The chilling part is when you are finally told what that word is. A writer can try to be chilling by using zombies and mummies and other Hammer monsters but some of the most chilling things can also be the most simple.

This book is a page turner that has you turning back to prior pages to re-read certain sections because what happened is viewed completely differently when you're given more information about the characters and plot.

All in all, my review is one word: WOW!

Dry, dry, dry as a Desert.

By:Michael McGovern, Edmonton, Canada
Date:Thursday 8 February 2007
Rating:   1

I tried so hard to like this book. It got such good reviews, I thought it just HAD to be good. I've had it for years, and I finally finished it after hearing people rave about the intricate plot.

And I learned the hard way that plot isn't everything.

The prose is some of the driest I've ever seen. There is absolutely no charm, wit, warmth or human feeling in it. It is truly unpleasant to read, as if the author isn't even interested in what he is creating.

I guess a sense of awkwardness best sums up this book. Just the right amount of details were left out of virtually every scene to make me feel really, really uncomfortable.

The ideas are not half-bad, but the EXECUTION of it all is what really drags. If the book was written, dare I say it, in the style of Terrence Dicks, it would probably have turned out superbly. Sadly, it was not to be.

The Cranleigh scene, for example, is done with such a lack of flair and charm that it takes my breath away. How a writer can actually strip the intensely pleasant English warmth from such a charming country scene is beyond me, but it is done here. One wonders if Justin Richards drudged up this episode simply to ruin it.The rest of the book just kind of follows from there.

I think I heard somewhere that Justin Richards is a computer programmer, and he structured the plot of this book like a complex computer program with a flow chart to go with it. Unfortunately, reading it is almost as dull as reading a computer program, and for the same reasons.

I must confess myself to be profoundly disappointed.

Worth the time.

By:Trevor Smith, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Date:Wednesday 17 April 2013
Rating:   8

Really enjoyed this book. A cracking story that paces itself really well & has an excellent twist at the end.
The writer cures the Doctor & Tegan really well, Nyssa is hardly in it.
There's lots of timey wimey stuff in it that expands & adds to the story.

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