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Winner Takes All by Jacqueline Rayner
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Rose and the Doctor return to earth and find that a new scratch game lets people win gaming consoles, where they are tasked with taking over an alien world, and other people are winning trips from which they don't return - but how are the two connected? Really good installment in a sometimes shaky series. The Doctor is fairly true to himself, Rose is less annoying than usual, and Mickey Smith gets a chance to shine, which is nice. The stakes are extremely high and the repercussions for all characters are serious, which makes for a very engaging story, obviously, but we are still in the proper Whoniverse since the "baddies" are aliens who look like giant porcupines and praying mantises and our main characters make it out a bit battered and bruised, but alive and in high spirits. The audiobook reader takes a little getting used to as she plays one of the characters in the TV series (Rose's mum), but she does a really good job once you forget who she "is." ( )
  -Eva- | Jul 31, 2015 |
Doctor Who is one of my favorite TV Shows (mainly since the 2005 reboot), but you have to wait so long between series to get some new shows. Luckily there is also a series of (children's/young adult) books that each read like an episode. I have quite a collection, so sometimes when I need my fix, I have an episode in book form.
In this edition, with the ninth Doctor (Eccleston) and Rose, we follow Rose and the Doctor back to earth after Rose's mom has no time to talk on the phone with Rose (so unlike her). They soon hear about a sort of lottery with scratch cards people get after buying something in town. They can win a holiday or a game console. The game is a mixture of puzzles and a first person shooter where the main character needs to break into an alien stronghold and kill aliens. However, Rose and the Doctor soon figure out that the contest is a lot more real than everybody thinks, and they need to race to save the poor innocent humans caught up in the plot.
The book was a fun Doctor Who episode, not connected to any big story line. If you need your Doctor Who fix, this is another good book to read. Four out of five stars. ( )
  divinenanny | Jan 26, 2014 |

The Doctor and Rose are back in London, but there's something strange going on. People are winning consoles for a new video game and other are getting scratch-off tickets giving them a free holiday...only they aren't coming back. Instead, they are transported to another world to become living avatars in a game created by aliens to infiltrate an enemy stronghold. This people are controlled by unsuspecting humans playing the game through the consoles back on Earth.

The basic plot idea of a video game turning out to be real isn't new, but the execution is still really enjoyable. Rose is especially good in this book, being very resourceful in a pinch, but also reacting in a very natural way to adversity and challenges. The Doctor shows his more human side with a boy named Robert who was kidnapped, but also shows his more alien side when he doesn't react with sympathy or concern when Rose's mom is hospitalized. There's also an especially poignant moment when Rose is put into the game and the Doctor is forced to control her. When he starts making modifications to the controls to increase Rose's efficiency in the game, he gets really upset, realizing that this entire scenario of controlling other people is wrong, that what he is doing to Rose is wrong...and yet he has no choice because without a controller, the aliens will kill her and everyone else in the game.

3.5 stars because the part with Mickey recruiting other folks to help the Doctor free people from this game was rather shaky, more a matter of plot convenience rather than being convincing. Also, there isn't a moment at the end of story when Rose and the Doctor talk about or acknowledge in any way the moral implications of the Doctor taking control of Rose...even though it was part of the video game and done to save her life and the lives of others. I thought that should have been touched upon. But despite these problems, I still really enjoyed the book. ( )
  Starsister12 | Dec 11, 2013 |
Ok read. ( )
  infjsarah | Aug 22, 2013 |
Loved it! A great story, a real page-turner. Rayner nails the characters. And Mickey gets a chance to shine! ( )
  elwyne | Jun 24, 2011 |
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"I thought I'd better call home," said Rose, wandering into the TARDIS's huge, vaulted control room and waving her phone at the Doctor.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0563486279, Hardcover)

Rose and the Doctor return to present-day Earth to visit Rose's mum, and become intrigued by the latest craze -- the video game, Death to Mantodeans. Is it as harmless as it seems? And why are so many local people going on holiday and never returning? Meanwhile, on another world, an alien war is raging. The Quevvils need to find a new means of attacking the ruthless Mantodeans. Searching the galaxy for cunning, warlike but gullible allies, they find the ideal soldiers - on Earth. Will Rose be able to save her family and friends from the alien threat? And can the Doctor play the game to the end - and win?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:48 -0400)

Arriving back on present-day Earth, Rose and the Doctor become intrigued by the latest craze - the video game Death to Mantodeans. Is it as harmless as it seems? And why are so many local people going on holiday and never returning?

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