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Reviews for The Well-Mannered War

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A Book With A Reputation

By:Yumchan, Doncaster, England
Date:Thursday 12 June 2003
Rating:   8

Hmm. This book has a reputation for being a very good book. This combined with its low print run has turned it into quite an expensive read.
(Luckily its now available 'free' from !)
Frankly, I was a tiny bit disappointed. I was expecting an utter masterpiece. It is still a very good read and I would recommend it thoroughly , but the hype that surrounds it still hasn't really done it any favours.
However it is a very well thought out book. You are never really sure who the real bad guys are and the end was definitely a surprise!
Hopefully Gareth will one day write another book in the BBC Books range. I will definitely try to be at the front of the queue!


By:John Bullock, Hoylake, United Kingdom
Date:Wednesday 17 March 2021
Rating:   10

The Well-mannered War (SPOILERS)

The TARDIS thrown of course into the very distance future arrives on the planetoid of Barclow. Here two opposing armies are engaged in a war. The humans from the nearby colony of Metralubit are at 'war' with the Chelonians who also claim the planetoid. However the armies on friendly terms never engage in combat as they await the publication of a report to resolve the conflict. Meanwhile a mysterious darkness is determined to turn this 'well-mannered' war into something much more discourteous.

It's with much sadness that I reach the 33rd and final book in the Missing Adventures. There has been highs and lows, thankfully far more highs. Well-mannered war certainly finishes the series on a high. Gareth Roberts is a master at writing season 17 style stories, this being his 3rd new adventure featuring this TARDIS team. He perfectly recreates all the TARDIS crew and captures the humour of the era perfectly. Lovely little touches like the Tea Lady. I love the Chelonians and it's great to have them back for a final story in the virgin range.

When the book starts off and you assume it's going to be about keeping the war going for political gain and the politics are probably more relevant today than 24 years ago when the book was written, a couple of examples:

'A predicted election result after a vigorous and costly programme of disinformation, scandal mongering and general besmirching of theOpposition.' She smiled again. 'A totally negative campaign.'

'He saw Rabley's entire career compressed
into a few seconds. Rallies, extremist meetings, his youth as a long- haired dissenter, his membership of the Rebel Labourers' Party. All of this was set
to a threatening, rumbling piece of music. And then six words appeared, one after the other, outlined in throbbing red, each one accompanied by a thunderclap. DO YOU TRUST THIS EVIL MAN?
Excellent, Liris,' said Harmock, rubbing his hands together. 'It says absolutely nothing about me or my policies. You've done very well. Have it
released immediately'

The book quickly moves away from politics and introduces a new enemy. The flies make for a grotesque villian, possessing dead rotting bodies and animating a truly horrifying talking decapitated head. The flies really worked as a monster and totally play on my own fears of being caught in a swarm. The story twists and turns and you kept guessing as to who the real enemy is. The final reveal of who is behind everything I certainty wasn't expecting and makes for a marvelous final twist (that I won't reveal here).

Well-Mannered War is Gareth Roberts at his best, proving him to be a fantastic writer of Doctor Who. This is a definite must read in the MAs. Copies are quite hard to come by (and expensive) so If you can't get a physical copy pdfs are available. What a way to to finish a series, leave them on a cliffhanger wanting more. Fantastic stuff 10 /10.

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