December 28th, 2005


"Such is the destiny of the Daleks. Nothing will stand before us!" [p.277]

55. Peel, John. War of the Daleks [EDA#5]

In many ways this is the book that the previous 4 have been working up to, as we encounter the Daleks who've been foreshadowed from the word go. In a very back-to-Skaro moment the Doctor is captured by a bunch of Thals who have a mad scheme to force Davros to turn them into something that can defeat the Dalek threat. The Doctor, of course, argues against this but is, naturally, overruled. Fortunately for all the Imperial Daleks intervene before things can go even worse for the Galaxy.

This book also features one of the silliest retcons I've seen; in which it is shown that the Hand of Omega did not, in fact, destroy Skaro but an innocent planet nearby!

On the other hand, this is a much better Doctor than we saw in Genocide and the Thals are convincingly portrayed has having become almost as soullessly bad as their long-time enemies the Daleks.
lego me

"Obscure post-modern youth-culture reference. Ace would have been proud of you." [pp.276/277]

56. Miles, Lawrence. Alien Bodies [EDA#6]

Hold on to your hats, the series just took a violent shift to the left. Or right. Or some other random direction.

Lawrence's image of the Doctor is a lot more idiosyncratic than the previous authors'. And in some ways a lot more in keeping with the general style of the Doctor; only turned up to 11. The Milesian Doctor thinks nothing of playing a chess game one move each year, with his opponent trying to murder him each time.

This book is all of fun, well written, pivotal and strange. Lots of things get set up here that don't get more than a brief mention in the following books; until they suddenly explode later in the series. The plot brings together major powers from across time-and-space, including post-Doctor Gallifrey, in an auction for a mysterious artifact that turns out to actually be the body of the Doctor himself. Unsurprisingly he's slightly irritated by this.

Watch out for introductions of the following, but only tempting details on any of them:
  • Biodata; particularly Sam's
  • Faction Paradox
  • The Type 103 TARDIS
  • The Celestis

As I said before; fun, well written, pivotal, strange. Plus we get to see where UNIT start to go after we leave them in the late 1990s. Highly recommended, but with too many loose-ends to really be treated as a "stand-alone".

"First rule of policing. No matter how mean you are to the suspects, never kick their dogs." [p.259]

57. Anghelides, Peter. Kursaal [EDA#7]

Werewolf plot crossed with CSI:Kursaal with a 15 year time jump in the middle. This book compares well to the traditional "thriller"-style Doctor Who plot, but has little in it in terms of complication of plot or the on-going arc (not that there really is one at this point, beyond the sleepers left in Alien Bodies.

Fun, and less dismal than a Baxendale EDA.

Why me?

I've got quite a backlog of read-books that I'll be filling in over the next few days; I'm afraid…

58. Eddings, David. The Diamond Throne
59. Eddings, David. The Ruby Knight
60. Eddings, David. The Sapphire Rose
61. Eddings, David. Domes of Fire
62. Eddings, David. The Shining Ones
63. Eddings, David. The Hidden City

Bread and Butter comfort reading for me really; exactly the thing to read in the run-up to Christmas when real life is actually busy and you don't want to get too distracted by the reading matter :).

I'm not sure there's actually much to say about these; except that they're a lot better than his more-recent work. And the politics is still fun.