Review: Doctor Who: Engines of War, George Mann

November 19, 2014 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Review: Doctor Who: Engines of War, George MannDoctor Who: Engines of War by George Mann
Series: Doctor Who New Series Adventures Specials #4
Published by Broadway Books, Crown Publishing on July 2014
Genres: Adventure, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Pages: 312
Source: Netgalley
Amazon • Amazon UK • Book Depository

The Great Time War has raged for centuries, ravaging the universe. Scores of human colony planets are now overrun by Dalek occupation forces. A weary, angry Doctor leads a flotilla of Battle TARDISes against the Dalek stronghold but in the midst of the carnage, the Doctor's TARDIS crashes to a planet below: Moldox.

As the Doctor is trapped in an apocalyptic landscape, Dalek patrols roam amongst the wreckage, rounding up the remaining civilians. But why haven't the Daleks simply killed the humans?

Searching for answers the Doctor meets 'Cinder', a young Dalek hunter. Their struggles to discover the Dalek plan take them from the ruins of Moldox to the halls of Gallifrey, and set in motion a chain of events that will change everything. And everyone.

angelyas_reviewThe Time War is raging across time and space, and the Time Lord formerly known as the Doctor is still battling on. He crash lands his TARDIS on the planet of Moldox, a planet occupied by Daleks, accidentally rescuing the human freedom fighter Cinder in the process. She agrees to help him discover the Dalek plans on Moldox in exchange for taking her away from the place. The Daleks have something far more sinister planned than the Doctor even expected, so they must rush to Gallifrey to warn the Time Lords. But even the Time Lords aren’t really the good guys – Lord President Rassilon has a plan almost as heinous as the Daleks’.

I rather liked the War Doctor as played by John Hurt in The Day of the Doctor in 2013, so I was excited to read this story about one of the battles of the Time War just prior to the events in the Anniversary special. Given that there’s not a whole lot of material to work with, George Mann has done a good job of bringing the kindly old man and occasional ruthless warrior (or is that the other way around?) to mind in this story. There are plenty of references to earlier adventures as well as a few nods to the new series as well.

This book is a little different to other Doctor Who books I’ve read recently in that they were more episodic – landing on a planet (sometimes Earth), getting into a situation, getting out of situation, the end. Engines of War is more of a part of a much larger story, leading on from the ongoing conflict between Time Lords and Daleks and leading into the theft of the Moment. It has an epic feeling to it that I really enjoyed.

I also really liked Cinder – she was just the kind of take-no-nonsense fighter that the Doctor needed to help him on this journey, and her awe and eventually disgust when she sees Gallifrey and the Time Lords is really well written.

four-half-stars – If you’d like to know more about the Time War, I’d recommend this book. It’s an excellent addition to the always growing list of tie-in fiction for the Whoniverse.

Anni lives in Brisbane, Australia with her young family. She loves everything fantasy and science fiction and believes sleep is really very underrated.

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