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Tears of the Oracle by Justin Richards
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(1) 1 (1) 81 (1) 1608 (1) 1999 (1) BBC (1) benny (5) Benny NA (1) Benny Virgin (1) Bernice Summerfield (12) books (1) bx (1) Doctor Who (12) fiction (5) Irving Braxiatel (2) NA (3) New Adventures (6) novel (2) owned (1) paperback (1) pb (1) read in 2002 (1) science fantasy (1) science fiction (10) sf (2) sff (1) television (1) virgin (3) wishlist (1) xl (1)

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http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2709816.html

This is one of the Bernice Summerfield New Adventures involving the People, the Whoniverse's adaptation of Iain Banks' Culture, though in fact here they are more a part of the background as Benny goes off to resolve a mystery as part of a crew whose numbers begin to dwindle violently as soon as they reach their destination and begin communicating with the local ancient entity (the Oracle of the title). Nothing is quite what it seems - is Benny dying? Is Braxiatel the Doctor's brother? - but I kept turning the pages to find out what would happen next. I've said before that Justin Richards is the Terrance Dicks of the current generation of Who writers - insanely prolific (has written more Who books than anyone bar Dicks, and more spinoff novels than anyone else at all), prose always at least workmanlike, sometimes jumping track to be memorably good, and this is in the latter category. ( )
  nwhyte | Dec 11, 2016 |
Finally, we get a novel that really follows up on what the events of Where Angels Fear mean to Bernice herself. It's a little weird at first-- Bernice meets up with Braxiatel again, and they go on a mission to Dellah to rescue Commander Skutloid, a nonentity of a recurring character from Justin Richards's previous New Adventures. Given how much work Benny went through to sneak on and off Dellah two books prior to rescue Wolsey, it feels repetitive and easy and pointless. In fact, the whole beginning is surprisingly energy-less: instead of doing anything about the Gods, Benny, Braxiatel, and company decide to go off on a jolly archeological expedition to find the Oracle on asteroid KS-159 (which readers of Big Finish's Bernice stories will know later becomes home to the Braxiatel Collection and Bernice herself, though I don't remember the giant ringed planet ever being mentioned). Eventually this does turn out to intersect with the Gods arc, by way of the People, but that doesn't become clear to the reader for some time. In any case, it turns out to be a decent novel, definitely Richards's best Bernice New Adventure, with more character insight and narrative flair than I usually associate with him. Benny, Braxiatel, Jason, Chris, and Clarence are all here, and all put to good use in a clever plot. The framing device is excellent. Not the best New Adventure, but definitely the continuation of a pretty solid run since the big shakeup in Where Angels Fear.
  Stevil2001 | Aug 15, 2014 |
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