The story brings Ben, Polly and the First Doctor to an asteroid where a bunch of human soldiers are mounting a special operation against the alien Schirr; things go wrong it it becomes clear that they have collectively fallen into a trap laid by the aliens and their collaborators. The chapters mostly take their titles from Agatha Christie novels, which is a bit misleading - the real reference in the title is to James Cameron's Aliens, where there are clear resonances.
The core plot is competently done, but there are a number of things that don't work. First, Cole makes Ben a racist, and then this vanishes the moment Polly reproves him for it. This is too big an issue to be dealt with so casually. Second, there is a long section where the narrative is divided up between characters, choose-your-own-adventure style.
I simply didn't have the energy to play that game and just skipped to the next section. Finally, it may have just been my low energy levels, but I found ten supporting character too many to keep track of. Having said that, Cole does a decent characterisation of the fading First Doctor and a very good Polly. But I wouldn't recommend this to non-fans. Jul 15, Jenny rated it liked it. Three stars is generous.
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I thought the book changed point of view too much. I completely skipped over the neural network chapter because I found in confusing and uncomfortable to read. The book did pick up at the end so I gave it three stars, but I would have given it 2. This was my first DW book so I was hoping for more Doctor and less space army. I wouldn't say that this is a book to com Three stars is generous.
Sep 23, Ken rated it liked it.
Doctor Who: Festival of Death
An enjoyable take on Doctor Who homage to Agatha Christie. The mystery itself isn't that interesting, but having an adventure with The First Doctor, Ben and Polly who didn't spend much screen time together is fun. The second half of the novel takes a surprising turn in the narrative, which surprisingly works. Not the best First Doctor book, not sure why they choose this as part of the 50th anniversary of the show when there's so many better stories.
But an entertaining read nonetheless. Not really sure the Agatha Christie chapter titles added much, and the characterizations of Ben and Polly seemed a bit too broad, but the First Doctor was perfectly alien, pompous, frail, and mysterious. I had trouble keeping the supporting characters straight but the main group was interesting enough, and the end was satisfyingly mixed between triumph and darkness. With their commander Haunt they are to participate in this final training exercise with the hopes of becoming part of the elite squad in humanities war against the Schirr.
As soon as they get to their location things start to go wrong and one of their own goes missing. There is weird vegetation throughout the asteroid that has bioluminescence, as well as flea like bugs that are drawn to it. Chambers throughout have odd pillars and carvings with elaborate glass dangling from the center like free standing stained glass windows or chandeliers.
When they stumble into what appears to be the nerve center of this odd asteroid they are in for another shock. Besides finding the leaders of the Schirr rebellion, DeCaster and the ten strong, apparently dead, they also come across an odd blue box. The Doctor is there with Ben, having already misplaced Polly.
They are locked out of the TARDIS and are now face to face with soldiers who were not expecting to find anyone living out in this remote sector of space dangerously close to the Morphiean Empire.
Catastrophe soon strikes and the asteroid turns out to be a spaceship on course for the center of the Morpheian Empire, which would start a second war if humans were found breaching their boundaries. The asteroid also seems to be turning against the invaders. There are more disappearances, cave-ins, a few of the party start mutating, but most disturbing of all, the Schirr bodies start disappearing.
It feels like they are being toyed with and The Doctor just needs to get his mind around what exactly is going on so that he can stop it before they all die or mutate into something entirely different.
'Doctor Who': 'Ten Little Aliens' (50th Anniversary Edition) book review
While I did enjoy Ten Little Aliens , there's a part of me, a rather big part, that says, while I enjoyed it, there was almost too much that annoyed me to actually recommend it to anyone. The book has a very Michael Crichton meets Battlestar Galactica vibe that takes awhile to actually get into and then, once you're fully immersed, does some seriously stupid things that alienate you, confuse you, and then just leave you happy the book has ended. The one thing I have to say is that thankfully the title of the book was deliberately a nod to Agatha Christie, which if it hadn't, would have seriously pissed me off and mystified me.
But if you read the introduction, I don't quite get how Stephen Cole wrote this to be like a Christie mystery, but in space And as for the "unreliable narrator," to quote Inigo Montoya "I do not think it means what you think it means.
When will my book be dispatched from your warehouse?
Someone we thought was good who turns out not to If you want to see Doctor Who do Christie right, just watch the 10th's and Donna's episode "The Wasp and the Unicorn" and skip this author's delusions. As for the worldbuilding There are to many.
Ten super soldiers, three from the Tardis, another ten Schirr, two killer robots, and countless other creatures I gave everyone nicknames, like pilot, geek, scary guy, cyborg, and moved on. Also, besides there being too many characters, they were all unlikable, each and every one.
But how could I dislike The Doctor? Because he was irrelevant, a non-entity. He was almost unnecessary and old. He didn't need to be in this book at all, which mystified me, because, excuse me, Doctor Who book! As for the politics of this future world of Schirr and Morphieans I really have no f'ing clue as to what's going on. As for the environment of the asteroid, that was spot on, thumbs up. You did a good job of worldbuilding in the sense of the physical world.
I could totally believe myself in dark tunnels with creepy plants and bugs, right on. I just wish Stephen Cole had taken this attention to detail with say, everything else in the book. As for the bad guys Seriously scary. But then again, in the end, overshadowed by the book's failings. But let me get to what destroyed this book, one full star just knocked right off. The "neural net.
The concept is understandable, but the execution is crap. Everyone starts referring to themselves as "we" so you have no real distinction between the vast overly abundant cast, and it makes everyone sound pompous. Though the nail in the coffin is the almost fifty pages wherein, not only are we stuck in the "neural net" of we's, but it's done as a "choose your own adventure!
You thought, as a writer, it would be fun? Not only that, the writing suffered with bad prompts at the end of sections going: "I wonder what the Doctor is doing" or "Go see what Frog is up to" excuse me?
exgalwebmlanli.tk I am not a seven year old who lives and breaths by these books. I never liked them then and I don't like them now.
I hate that this book resorted to gimmickry and I am glad I'm done with it. Oh, and don't go on and on about the cover to the old edition in your intro, it makes you seem bitter that they gave it a cooler cover. I'm out, I've disconnected myself from the neural net, laters. Shelves: science-fiction , reviewed , doctor-who-bbc-pdas. Publisher's summary : Deep in the heart of a hollowed-out moon the First Doctor finds a chilling secret: ten alien corpses, frozen in time at the moment of their death.