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Doctor Who: Made of Steel by Terrance Dicks
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2,5 stars.

The book was ok, but the lack of pages affected the story. It's a Quick Read, so the story is supposed to be short, but while this worked more or less well in the other Quick Reads, it didn't work that well in Made of Steel.

If Martha and the Doctor had been together for the whole story, the detective work might have worked out better. However, the fact that they're not together for about half the story, the subplots that don't add much to the story and the long introduction (long compared to the rest of the book) didn't leave enough pages to develop the main plot.

The positive point is that the Doctor seems to be in character if you've watched the show and can imagine his voice. This wasn't the case with Martha though. She is smarter in the show. She wouldn't have survived that year alone if she had behaved in the way that she does in this story.

It's entertaining and ok for fans of the show and this companion, but if you just want to read a short Doctor Who book, I would recommend any of the other Quick Reads. ( )
  Hellen0 | Jun 22, 2016 |
Meh The adventure starts out ok, but I found it never really delivered. It was started and finished without really GOING anywhere. Martha seemed fairly flat and shallow (she never was the greatest of companions, but this made her seem worse) and while the Doctor was. . .well, mostly in character, he never really got a chance to shine either. All in all, the story seemed more like a short story one might find in a magazine, than a full blown novel.Not *bad*, but definitely not one of my favourites. ( )
  Elentarien | Feb 9, 2011 |
I thought this wasn't bad. It's certainly not deep, but it's enjoyable enough and easy to read - good for a book that's intended to get people reading. ( )
  Imshi | Feb 25, 2010 |
This was a free book with a Doctor Who magazine. I've never read any Doctor Who books before, preferring to watch the show on television instead. I didn't really know what to expect, especially as I've heard mixed things about the books: some fans love them and see them as an addition to the programme while others don't rate them at all. I, however, had an open mind. I do think that this was possibly not the best book to start with.

This is one of the 'Quick Read' series and true to its name it is a very quick read. I managed to complete it in less than an hour - it would have been less if I'd not been reading it while I was eating. It's not a very demanding book and neither is it a great read. There is really no surprise in who the baddies are in it, the title rather gives it away as does the picture of the Cyberman on the front cover! The plot is rather overdone - it could be because it features the Cybermen and they've been shown quite a bit in the series and there's not a great deal you can do with them that's different. It seems to be very clichéd on the whole so it's rather disappointing.

So not a great read at all really. It seems to be very obviously aimed at children who will be happy to read anything that's got Doctor Who in which is a shame, because it doesn't have to be bad quality. ( )
  Ganimede | Oct 19, 2008 |
The Quick Reads books are designed to appeal to adults who, for one reason or another, are anxious about reading. As such they are intended to be short with a limited vocabulary. I can't quite decide whether Terrance Dicks was an inspired choice to author one of these or a result of a misguided identification of "short with a simple vocabulary" with "suitable for children".

His prose is as effortlessly simple as usual. In fact, it was only in reading this novel, that I actually recognised how distinctive his style is. It wasn't so much his reuse of phrases (and there is some of this including (but not limited to) the infamous "strange wheezing and groaning sound" - although Dicks' use of the phrase probably counts as post-modern by now) but the style itself made me feel powerfully nostalgic: it opens with a viewpoint bit part who you just know is going to die before the end of chapter one, and then he actually stops the narrative to introduce Martha Jones. Obviously there is nothing wrong with this, any author worth their salt makes time to introduce their characters even when they are currently appearing in a hugely popular TV show but somehow the paragraph

"Martha Jones was the Doctor's current companion. A medical student, she had met the Doctor when terrifying alien forces had invaded the hospital where she was training. When it was all over, she had accepted his offer of 'just one trip'. Somehow that one trip had become the first of many."

seemed incredibly typically Dicksian - and tells us pretty much everything we need to know about Martha for the purposes of the story in four sentences. I suspect his ability to write this sort of prose was one of the reasons he was asked to write a Quick Read.

Where the book disappointed was in the actual story which was mostly a traditional Who story in fewer pages, so with no plot twists, few characters and a swift resolution (typical New Who in fact). It was certainly a "quick read" I finished it in a little over an hour. But where last year Gareth Roberts delivered a short, simply written Quick Read in which he nevertheless manage to compare human and Dalek nature, Dicks delivers something that could easily appear in the Children's section and which I would consider reading to Gwendolen if she were a little more interested in Dr Who. This seems a bit of a missed opportunity in a book aimed specifically at adults ( )
1 vote louisedennis | Nov 7, 2007 |
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A Dicks Who novel
not based on telly program:
Original as hell.
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In this latest adventure, Doctor Who is pitted against one of his most famous adversaries - the deadly Cybermen. It is the first book to feature the Doctor's new companion Martha Jones.

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