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Very good.

What:Evolution (Missing Adventures novels)
By:C G Harwood, Dunedin, NZ, New Zealand
Date:Monday 8 May 2023
Rating:   8

This toke me straight back to the Hinchcliff years. Fantaatic book. Is by John peel so you can't go wrong. If you haven't read any of this series then this is a great one to start with.

Relevance of Title Unclear

What:Deceit (New Adventures novels)
By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Tuesday 2 May 2023
Rating:   7

This novel by The New Doctor Who Main Adventures editor has plenty of action, but I am unsure of what it is all for. It does, then, give a bit of insight into where the New Adventures are heading and some of the problems with that direction. The main points are these. Ace is back. It has been three years for her, but only a few months for The Doctor and Benny. In those three years, Ace has joined the forces and become a fighter in the Second Dalek War. She is now a rough and ready, tooled up, explosives expert itching for a fight. Darvill-Evans has fixed the running plot through the New Adventures novels up to this point of the TARDIS being contaminated and The Doctor being confused and distracted. So, about 1/3 into this book, this whole thing gets fixed, a welcome relief as distracted Doctor was getting annoying. The focus of the main plot is the planet Arcadia. The planet is an outpost, supposedly, run by the Spinward Corporation, a shady organization pulling government strings. A space force, with Ace among them, is going to Arcadia so that a government agent can get some dirt on Spinward. The Doctor agrees to meet Ace there, but Benny doesn't know about it. Arcadia, it turns out, is actually an experiment run by the brains behind Spinward Corporation. It is a world kept in an artificial medieval culture, the people used essentially so that the corporation can harvest brains. The corporation itself is controlled from a space station orbiting Arcadia. The station houses the gestalt of minds that runs Spinward (though exactly how is never clear, as it seems pretty remote from the main galactic action), called Pool. This gestalt has gone insane, and is now letting Arcadia run down, essentially shutting down the experiment. Thus, there are two lines of actors moving toward a confrontation with Pool - an assault force with Ace, plus The Doctor and Benny.

The problems I detect in this novel mostly involve the main conception and the character of Ace. The main conception could work, perhaps, if more attention were paid to the background. Darvill-Evans has some nifty ideas, such as tortured faces floating in space, a giant space station with twisted and useless appendages, brain harvesting, and so on. He seems determined to shove every nifty idea into the novel and not concern himself too much about answering why the thing is in there. Plus, he pulls the old "It's The Doctor's fault" routine, which is even by 1993 too tiresome to bear. Ace's character is more problematic. Like many of the novelists for Doctor Who, he seems to have latched onto just the idea that she likes explosions. Other aspects of Ace's character are touched on, but not really developed. So now, she is an explosives expert in the army. She is now constantly looking for a fight, uses sex as a deception to get what she wants, talks "tough" all of the time, and generally acts like someone's idea of a "soldier." I have been around enough military and ex-military personnel to know that they really do not act that way. So, rather than making Ace's character more interesting and deep, Darvill-Evans has made the character more caricatured and shallow.

To summarize, this is a novel with many nifty ideas, but also with many defects and plot holes.

Mixed reviews, but...

What:The Adventuress of Henrietta Street (BBC Eighth Doctor novels)
By:Wolfgang Bailey, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Date:Thursday 30 March 2023
Rating:   9

The reviews may be mixed, but this is a massive breath of fresh air after I have become extremely bored with the EDA series of late, especially with the "The Doctor had amnesia" as a replacement for a story arc (I literally gave up on Grimm Reality)

I understand that some people prefer some simple, standalone, by the numbers, pulp Sci-Fi novels that feature a character they know, but I definitely need things to either be done in an interesting way, or to have a continuous story going through them to keep my interest.

That's where Adventuress comes in.

This is not only a good story, but it's told in a really interesting style.

I appreciate that not everyone is as keen on the style, and that's fine, but honestly I think they're missing out. Give me this over more of the same any day

The Doctor's amnesia is now tedious

What:Grimm Reality (BBC Eighth Doctor novels)
By:Wolfgang Bailey, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 26 March 2023
Rating:   3

I appreciated the need to have a bit of a roll back after having the Doctor and Fitz travelling around in a walking talking TARDIS that their sulky mate had turned into (although it at least made Compassion a less dull character), but the amnesia is boring now. I had intended to read every single one (except Vampire Science if that remains impossible to get hold of for under £60), but I'm not sure I can be bothered with this now.

Grimm Reality is the first one I've given up on, even some of the really rubbish ones I still finished.

I feel like perhaps the person who made the decision that the overarching narrative had become too prohibitive for new readers had a point, and they needed to make them a bit less "if you haven't read all the ones before you won't get it", but by this point I'm convinced they over-corrected. They went too far the other way. I thought maybe Miranda, and perhaps "the doctor's father" from Unnatural History might go somewhere (and on the father character, Sam's story and the Doctor's biodata were a really clever way to make the 8th doctor and the TV movie canon without changing anything from classic-Who) but now it seems like all of the last few have been extremely disposable. They're just Fitz meeting someone he fancies, the Doctor not remembering who he is, and Anji being a completely different character sometimes in between chapters depending on what the story requires.

I definitely feel like this book series needs some kind of story arc, or at least a succession of smaller ones.

I also miss Sam. Sam was great when she wasn't being written about by meb in a very creepy way given she was meant to be 16

If anyone has any recommendations or encouragement for me to finish the books I'll gladly hear it. Or if they can at least confirm that there is eventually something of a story arc/some smaller story arcs to keep me interested

DW goes supernatural instead of sci-fi

What:The City of the Dead (BBC Eighth Doctor novels)
By:Wolfgang Bailey, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 26 March 2023
Rating:   4

I don't like it when sci fi does Magic without giving it a proper sci fi explanation, and this didn't feel like it had enough of that for me.

Not a dreadful story, but needed to veer into the sci fi at the end instead of just accepting magic.

Slow is right

What:The Slow Empire (BBC Eighth Doctor novels)
By:Wolfgang Bailey, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 26 March 2023
Rating:   4

Crikey, this one felt like it went on a bit

Interesting subtexts

What:The Year of Intelligent Tigers (BBC Eighth Doctor novels)
By:Wolfgang Bailey, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 26 March 2023
Rating:   7

It's obviously common knowledge now that the relationship between The Doctor and Karl was deliberately coded as romantic, albeit not sexual, so it's not an insightful observation to say that, but I think it's played very well, without compromising what many Who fans (myself included) believe should be a red line in that "the Doctor is essentially asexual". It marries that up well with the Eighth's characterisation as something of a romantic, showing that romantic love can still be asexual.

Ahead of its time in that regard, and I think this is well observed by Orman

Story forgettable at best

What:Eater of Wasps (BBC Eighth Doctor novels)
By:Wolfgang Bailey, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 26 March 2023
Rating:   4

Not only is the story "meh", but it seems Baxendale is also a transphobe, so it makes it even harder to find the will to look for something good in it

Very strange to have read this post 2020

What:Escape Velocity (BBC Eighth Doctor novels)
By:Wolfgang Bailey, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 26 March 2023
Rating:   6

I imagine having rival obnoxious, repugnant billionaires engaged in a private sector space race as a form of developmentally arrested dick measuring contest seemed kind of strange to people back in 2000/2001. But the only part I found hard to suspend my disbelief for having read it for the first time in 2022/23 was the fact that the billionaire characters have any redeeming human traits whatsoever.

Clever outcome, but not how you expected

What:Unnatural History (BBC Eighth Doctor novels)
By:Wolfgang Bailey, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 26 March 2023
Rating:   8

So the actual story of this, as a self-contained book, is fairly average, but its role in the whole Eighth Doctor story is very clever indeed.

*Spoilers hereafter*

The way that this story links the Faction Paradox arc, Sam Jones, and makes the whole Eighth Doctor story fit with pre-existing canon (or what passes therefore), including little nods to the pre-tv Movie "Leekley Bible" etc. This book was essentially the point at which it became basically impossible for any future relaunch of the show to just ignore the TV movie and pretend McGann was never the Doctor.

In that regard I think it's excellent!

As a story of its own?

Well I quite like Sam's story in it. I'm aware that a lot of people have a squeamishness about its depiction of sex and drugs, but I think it's a really good, albeit hardly original, look into how small decisions can completely change the course of your life.

I think the arguments against this book fall into two main categories:
1) people who don't like DW having grand story arcs, especially not when they make any changes or elaborations into the show's lore. And that's fine, but I personally disagree and quite like those stories when handled well

2) people who don't like depictions of sex or drug taking in their media (or maybe just in DW). This one I have mixed feelings about, because IMO if you're going to do it, you should do it properly, and this is done in a very BBC way. But equally I have absolutely no issues with depictions of sex and drugs more broadly because I am a person who has sex and has taken drugs and has enjoyed both a lot. I feel like to ignore those two innately human behaviours always limited Classic Who's ability to develop 3 dimensional companion characters (not at all saying that it always failed, and even less that simply having the companions have sexual/romantic feelings or engaging in recreationally altering their state of consciousness would have achieved it alone. Just both are things humans have done since long before the written word existed and statistically were likely to have cropped up at some point or other).

This is a rambling mess of a review, but I'm basically just quite defensive of this book, because I know a lot of people who would prefer every story to be completely self-contained and rated U, whereas I like the bigger stories and I've never minded a bit of less than child friendly behaviour

When a longrunning series...

What:The Eight Doctors (BBC Eighth Doctor novels)
By:Wolfgang Bailey, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 26 March 2023
Rating:   5

...Does a cheesy clip show

This was like having Doctor Who explained to me by Peter Kay.

"D'yuh 'member The Master? Duh Yuh? D'yer 'member? What aboowt the brigerdeeuh?! D'yer 'member the brigerdeeuh?!"

Sorry Terry.

Issue with the Season 2-American Version

What:The Collection: Season 2 (The Collection Blu-ray box sets)
By:Charles G. Dietz, San Jose, CA, United States
Date:Saturday 25 March 2023
Rating:   8

On the back cover of the bluray, it says it comes with a booklet but that is only true I believe if you have the region 2 copy and not the region 1 copy. Other than missing the beetles in the Chase, it is a very good to have especially if you like the Behind the Sofa feature that is a must to watch for these collection series. (Maureen O'Brien is with Peter Purves and Caroline Ann Ford, Sophie is with Bonnie and Wendy is with Janet and Sarah)
Telesnaps are used for the Crusade since it was not animated.

One for TV

What:The Lost Stories: The Hollows of Time (The Lost Stories audio dramas)
By:Andrew Munro, Corby, United Kingdom
Date:Thursday 23 March 2023
Rating:   5

You can tell that a lot of work has gone into turning this script from made for TV into the audio medium but in some ways its a poorer story for it.

I lot of explaining and visualising from Colin to make up the fact we cant see the action.

A very confusing story, which had me lost most of the time.

However, as always Colin and Nicola turn out great performances and the sound and score are spot on.

Would I be in a hurry to listen again, no.

Classic Doctor Who

What:The Bounty of Ceres (The Early Adventures audio dramas)
By:Andrew Munro, Corby, United Kingdom
Date:Wednesday 22 March 2023
Rating:   7

As has been mentioned by others this is a typical Doctor Who story which would have easily been picked out of the 1960's.
I believe the story is stretched too far and would have made a good 3 parts, keeping the action and suspense compact.
However, the acting is great including the supporting cast and Peter's 1st Doctor.
Would I listen again in a hurry?
No but that doesn't mean to say I didn't enjoy the ride back to classic who.


What:The Pit (New Adventures novels)
By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Tuesday 21 March 2023
Rating:   4

"The Pit" has a reputation as one of the worst novels in the New Adventures series. I have not read enough of them to make that assessment, but I can say it is a proper mess of a novel. I think this mess happens because Penswick has a concept, but not a plot. The concept is basically Doctor Who inside the book of Revelation. The question, then, for Penswick is how he is going to get the major elements of that story into this one. Penswick tries to create a sprawling epic of a novel, with action in three major locations focused primarily on three characters - The Doctor, Bernice, and the enigmatic Kopyion. To add mystery and misdirection to the story, Penswick relates the events of these three characters and locations primarily through side characters, though Bernice gets more internal monologue than the other two primary characters. Thus, we see The Doctor's part primarily through the famous poet William Blake's perspective, Kopyion's part primarily through his underling Carlson's perspective, and Bernice's part primarily through the android soldier Spike's perspective. There are numerous other side characters necessary to keep the contraption running, and parts of the story get told from their perspective, but once they have served that function, Penswick then kills them off in particularly nasty ways, except for Blake whom he cannot kill off but probably really wanted to.

The problem here is that the events on the three locations do not logically relate. This is particularly true of events on the planet Nicaea. Society is breaking down into total anarchy, yet what has this anarchy to do with events on the Planet Without a Name or with The Doctor wandering through holes in reality to alternate universes (or are they? another thing Penswick never bothers to make clear). The Doctor and Bernice never go to Nicaea, so what is all that action, nearly half of the novel, doing here?

One could go on about all the things in this book that just do not make sense. For instance, the androids are thoroughly inconsistent in concept. Are they "metal men" (walking toasters as Benny describes them) or organic simulations of humans? Both, but only when needed to be. And what about the Nicaean religion? All this stuff about the Prime Mover (God) and the Form Manipulator (Satan) suggests some kind of technological origin of Nicaean society, and that Nicaean society was created to fulfill some machine's or organization's purpose. Yet, that avenue is never explored, nor is it fit into the resolution. Why is half of The Planet with No Name artificially created by the company that makes the androids? On and on it goes.

Then, one gets to Penswick's conception of The Doctor. Here, The Doctor is utterly useless. He spends most the novel completely lost, making snide and cryptic comments to Blake, showing none of his usual compassion and good humor, and has no part in the Deus ex Machina ending of the novel.

Blake is also useless and unnecessary. William Blake is here used not as a guide for The Doctor, as Vergil was for Dante, but as a commentator to point to the correct thematic interpretation of the action for the reader. Fulfilling this function means that no more thought went into the character of Blake or why from the standpoint of realistic action rather than thematic convenience, it is William Blake of all the humans throughout history who ends up in the pit. Penswick's Blake is an anachronism, who does not think or talk in early 19th-century ways, but in 20th-century clichés.

To summarize, "The Pit" has many interesting ideas, all of which go nowhere. There is not much of a plot; instead, the "story" is mostly a situation. The story has more loose ends than a rope ladder cut in half lengthwise. The Doctor Who elements are almost completely unrecognizable. The story is disturbingly violent and grim from beginning to end.

Disturbing Ending

What:The Highest Science (New Adventures novels)
By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Tuesday 14 March 2023
Rating:   7

Gareth Roberts' first Doctor Who novel gives readers a good preview of his preferences for Doctor Who. He clearly prefers the intellectually lighter style of Graham Williams and Douglas Adams and so his entry here takes Doctor 7 back the 1987 version with Mel, a bit inept, with pratfalls and offbeat witticisms. As with Doctor Who of 1987 (and the 1988 story "Silver Nemesis"), The Doctor gets pitted against people with strange obsessions. It is a neat ploy that gets the writer out of having to find motivations any deeper than "I really want it." It has that Sylvester McCoy era plot of multiple entities all after the same thing, and multiple people offed one after another as collateral damage.

The plot involves The Doctor on the hunt for the source of "Fortean flickers" (named after Charles Fort, an American writer who chronicled strange and unexplained phenomena in the early 20th century). The search takes him and Bernice to the planet Sakkrat, where supposedly "The Highest Science" is kept in some ancient temple. On the planet are three groups of beings captured by the Fortean flicker. One is a trio of drug-addled misfits who were on their way to the intergalactic version of the Glastonbury Festival. Another is a group of 20th-century train passengers. The third is a force of Chelonian invaders, plucked out of time from their moment of victory. The Chelonians are bionic tortoises whose sole purpose is to wipe "mammalian parasites" off planets. Added to this is the most feared intergalactic criminal of all time - Sheldukher. He has collected a group of lesser intergalactic criminals and press-ganged them into helping him claim The Highest Science for himself.

Basically, this is a journey-to-the-center plot. It's find the lost city and claim the power, at least for some. The Chelonians have no interest in it and know nothing about it, and seem to be in the story mainly to be a major obstacle to the others. The human train travellers are there to be hapless victims needing rescue. The story has many moving parts, and Roberts seems keen to throw in as many ideas as he can come up with. Much of it is very amusing. Roberts has a very good sense of Doctor 7 from 1987. This is also the first novel in which we really see what Benny is like as a companion. For the most part, I could see this story fitting very comfortably within the first season of Sylvester McCoy's run.

I find that the casualness of tone in these kinds of stories leads to a disturbing casualness of ethics. It comes across early in this novel when the people of Vaagon are saved from destruction at the hands of the Chelonians, only to be wiped out in about three casually tossed in sentences 300 years later by another group of Chelonians, with the writer taking a "hey-ho, that's life, what can you do?" attitude toward the whole thing. This casualness about genocide, because hey it is funny that the genocidal maniacs are munching leaves while doing it, is the writer's choice. He did not have to put in this detail. He had already established how homicidal the Chelonians are. The detail adds nothing to the plot, yet there it is. This casualness becomes extremely disturbing to me by the novel's end. Here, having gotten to a point where a group of English commuters, plucked out of their own time and plopped onto a future alien world, are about to be wiped out, and The Doctor's only solution is to freeze them in "slow time." That would be fine, except he simply abandons them all at this point, his only comment being that he will at some point probably, perhaps, maybe, come back and rescue them. And then he and Benny move on happy to have survived the whole catastrophe, with no mention of it again. There they are, all these people, stuck at the point of destruction, and The Doctor and Benny simply forget about them after about half an hour. The reader should keep in mind that one of these forgotten humans is a baby that Roberts went out of his way earlier in the novel to put into danger for the sole purpose of showing how nasty the villain Sheldukher is. For what purpose has Roberts written this ending? If it is to demythologize The Doctor, he had already done that in dozens of ways in this novel, so there is no need to do it yet again. It appears more likely that Roberts had not really thought about it that much. He wanted some kind of nifty idea for an ending and never bothered to consider the ethical implications of his idea. [On a side note, the situation is finally rectified in Paul Cornell's Happy Endings, written years later. Even there, Romana is the one to fix the problem, not The Doctor, who, as far as we know, never went back. This was part of the purpose of Happy Endings, tie up all the loose ends of previous New Adventures novels. So, Roberts had no intention, as far as the evidence goes, of straightening this out and restoring The Doctor's status as a moral hero, and neither did Cornell.] So, what I see is that Roberts created a tangled mess of an ending, and could not see a way out of it, even though the way was obviously staring him in the face. It strikes me as Roberts' casual disregard for the intelligence and sensibilities of the reader.

Awesome idea! Needs more time, though

What:The Tenth Doctor and River Song: Precious Annihilation (Tenth Doctor Adventures audios)
By:Jared Star, Portsmouth, United States
Date:Thursday 9 March 2023
Rating:   6

It seems Tennant’s take on the titular TimeLord can’t escape "needs more time" syndrome. Even in an hour-long audio!

In this story, The Doctor and River whiz through multiple locations and time periods chasing down a conspiracy involving exploding gems. The idea is quite solid, but the execution is very rushed given the time constraints. All the 10 & River time-hopping gets confusing quite fast, especially with a B-plot taking place in another completely different time & location running alongside it all. Names of offscreen characters are thrown around so much, you have to pull out a notebook just to keep track of them all!

However, this story has too many positives to deem it bad. The concept of the episode is super fun and it fits really well with both River and 10. It has a ton of potential! Their banter back and forth is witty, and the sequence of them being thrown overboard felt truly adventurous. It’s easily the highlight of the entire story. Tennant gives a fantastic performance in the final act, too. So, despite starting out the review all negative, the adventure isn’t bad by any means. It’s just super rushed. Way too much to do in just one hour. This story could’ve easily spanned the entire box set. A slowly building mystery that requires River and 10 to traverse different places and time periods would've been loads of fun!

If this had the time it needed in order to be fleshed out, I guarantee this story would be loved. Right now, it’s just okay. Sparks of great ideas here and there, but that’s about it.

A boring Zoe story, unfortunately

What:Fear of the Daleks (The Companion Chronicles audiobooks)
By:Jared Star, Portsmouth, United States
Date:Thursday 9 March 2023
Rating:   4

What is sold as a gripping psychological exploration of Zoe, actually turns out to be an incredibly basic and boring Doctor Who plot. Not only that, but this story forgets it's a Companion Chronicle. Zoe has only one meaningful exchange between her and another character. The rest of the narrative is carried by the Doctor.

The dialogue, aside from the Doctor’s, was also incredibly poor. It lacked subtlety, resorting to excessive exposition that sounds very unnatural. The characters have zero depth and are very poorly developed. The best of this audio happens towards the end. A few lines of dialogue openly explain what the Daleks fear, and one of the characters uses that against them. This could've made for an interesting twist on the title in theory. But it didn't have the proper groundwork to make it meaningful. The music is also uninspiring, which is rare for Big Finish.

Perhaps with some heavy rewrites, this story could have potential. Putting Zoe front and center, the script could've delved into exploring her fear of the Daleks. Then, towards the end, she discovers what the Daleks fear, and uses that against them. That would make for a much more interesting (and true to the marketing) story.

Despite its flaws, the story is at least not offensive in any way. It's just simply not good.

Not Sure What to Make of It

What:Transit (New Adventures novels)
By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Monday 20 February 2023
Rating:   7

The early brief on the Doctor Who New Adventures novels was that they were to be more "adult" than the TV series. This brief led to some controversial takes on Doctor Who, with writers sort of force-fitting Doctor Who into a cussin', sexin', fightin' kind of story, or vice versa. Eventually, the series settled into somewhat more "adult" than TV Doctor Who, but before that, we got novels like "Transit." Ben Aaronovitch, who had written two scripts for the TV series, the very good "Remembrance of the Daleks" and the very muddled "Battlefield," here goes in an entirely different direction. "Transit" is cyberpunk Doctor Who. That leads to quite a lot of cussin', a lot of sexin', and a gritty, grimy, everyone is miserable ambience that hangs on the whole thing like the anchor of a battleship. The premise, as far as I can tell, runs something like this: about one and a half centuries in the future, humanity will have developed a kind of interplanetary metro rail system similar to the London Underground, but with the "trains" running on quantum mechanical probabilities, which means that while the passenger feels a passage of time of minutes to hours between stations, the trains get from here to there in no time at all. The whole thing is run by a complicated AI system that, unknown to any of its operators, has crossed the threshold into some form of self-awareness. The humans are staging a grand opening of the new interstellar line, but "something" comes through that nearly destroys the Pluto station, unthinkingly turns all the spectators into blue goo, and takes over Benny. This something, I think, is a computer virus generated by the complexities of the total system once they added the interstellar line. The virus not only takes over Benny, but also several other people, most notably a gang who "surf" the train tunnels, turning them into maniacal killers for some unknown purpose.

One will have noticed by now that I say things like "I think" and "unknown" in this assessment, mostly because Aaronovitch works hard to keep nearly everything in this novel murky. The atmosphere is murky, the explanations are murky, the characters are murky. The experience is like reading a novel made entirely from innuendo, except for the descriptions of violence and sex, which are as plain and brightly lit as Aaronovitch can manage.

"Transit" is very much a cyberpunk novel, which makes it more strictly science fiction than most other Doctor Who novels or most post-1980 Doctor Who TV episodes. The cyberpunk aspects come through loud and hazy. Thus, the plot rests on questions of AI self-awareness and whether such a system could be "alive," and whether humans would be able to recognize a self-aware computer intelligence if they came across one. The world that Aaronovitch imagines is an almost entirely urban future, divided into enclaves of people ground down into perpetual poverty, organized almost entirely into gangs, and constantly hustling each other just for survival. No one has a happy, meaningful life. Everyone is "tough" and speaks in various kinds of street lingo and is technologically augmented in one way or another, but rarely to their own benefit. It is a grimy, miserable, mirthless world. And everyone in it uses drugs, alcohol, or computer-technological means for temporary escape from this miserable existence. Like so many cyberpunk novels, there is a big showdown in virtual reality at the end. These endings often do not work well because the authors do not have a good sense of what this virtual world would be like and how it would work.

As many readers of this novel have noted, Benny is hardly in it, at least not as herself. I suspect that Aaronovitch originally thought of this story with Ace in mind, then was told that a new companion was in, Ace was out, and so had to simply slot Benny into the Ace position. Thus, we do not really get a good sense of the new companion. As many readers have noted, the true companion of this novel is Aaronovitch's creation, Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart. It feels that Aaronovitch really wanted her rather than Benny to be the new companion.

On the one hand, one has to admire Aaronovitch for taking Doctor Who into cyberpunk territory more firmly than in the few attempts of the Doctor 7 run on TV. On the other hand, the needless difficulties that Aaronovitch has forced the reader to go through make the novel less appealing than it could have been.

An embarrassment of a book

What:Timewyrm: Genesys (New Adventures novels)
By:Steven Prosser, Brighton, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 12 February 2023
Rating:   2

This is the first original Doctor Who book and it is very clear that that is the only reason it was written. Peel has absolutely no interest in the plot, the villain is abysmal, every character is insufferable and the Doctor tells Ace to stop complaining and get sexually assaulted. Skip this one, it really isn't worth it.

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