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Doctor Who: Vanderdeken's Children

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It is 3123, and traveling in the Tardis into deepest space, the Doctor and Sam find three spacecraft. One is a Ximosian warship, the other an Emindaran civilian starliner, and the third a ship of strange allen design. Both Ximosian and Emindaran crews want to discover what cargo this strange structure holds.In attempting to discover where these vessels come from, the Docto It is 3123, and traveling in the Tardis into deepest space, the Doctor and Sam find three spacecraft. One is a Ximosian warship, the other an Emindaran civilian starliner, and the third a ship of strange allen design. Both Ximosian and Emindaran crews want to discover what cargo this strange structure holds.In attempting to discover where these vessels come from, the Doctor and Sam unearth a terrible truth. The aden ship is caught in a closed loop of time, being neither created nor destroyed, constantly circling the vortex. The Doctor wants the ship to be destroyed, but the Ximosian and Emindarans are caught in a wrestle for power, and both desire to possess the spacecraft and transform its power into a source for their own political ends.


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It is 3123, and traveling in the Tardis into deepest space, the Doctor and Sam find three spacecraft. One is a Ximosian warship, the other an Emindaran civilian starliner, and the third a ship of strange allen design. Both Ximosian and Emindaran crews want to discover what cargo this strange structure holds.In attempting to discover where these vessels come from, the Docto It is 3123, and traveling in the Tardis into deepest space, the Doctor and Sam find three spacecraft. One is a Ximosian warship, the other an Emindaran civilian starliner, and the third a ship of strange allen design. Both Ximosian and Emindaran crews want to discover what cargo this strange structure holds.In attempting to discover where these vessels come from, the Doctor and Sam unearth a terrible truth. The aden ship is caught in a closed loop of time, being neither created nor destroyed, constantly circling the vortex. The Doctor wants the ship to be destroyed, but the Ximosian and Emindarans are caught in a wrestle for power, and both desire to possess the spacecraft and transform its power into a source for their own political ends.

30 review for Doctor Who: Vanderdeken's Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    Astonishingly clever...if only I could work out what actually happened.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    When The Doctor materialise the TARDIS in deep space, him and Sam find a huge derelict alien craft which has become the subject of a dangerous confrontation between starships from a rival systems. The Doctor and Sam find themselves accompanying an expedition into the vessel, the party soon find that the ship isn’t quite as empty as it first appeared. I slightly struggled to enjoy this EDA novel, there’s some good creepy and atmospheric moments, but it didn’t quite grab me as much as the others. Bot When The Doctor materialise the TARDIS in deep space, him and Sam find a huge derelict alien craft which has become the subject of a dangerous confrontation between starships from a rival systems. The Doctor and Sam find themselves accompanying an expedition into the vessel, the party soon find that the ship isn’t quite as empty as it first appeared. I slightly struggled to enjoy this EDA novel, there’s some good creepy and atmospheric moments, but it didn’t quite grab me as much as the others. Both The Doctors and Sams characteristics were well written. Not one of the most memorable entries in the series, but enjoyable enough.

  3. 5 out of 5

    James Barnard

    Having lambasted the novel which came before this one – Placebo Effect – for an over reliance on continuity references and familiarity, I ought to commend this one for its ability to tell a traditional sci-fi tale without using any hooks (i.e. cheats) to do it. And I do commend it – it’s a good story well told. And yet, for a book where the overriding motif is a kind of ghost ship, this one is distinctly forgettable. I think that’s my fault rather than the book’s. There’s nothing wrong with it – Having lambasted the novel which came before this one – Placebo Effect – for an over reliance on continuity references and familiarity, I ought to commend this one for its ability to tell a traditional sci-fi tale without using any hooks (i.e. cheats) to do it. And I do commend it – it’s a good story well told. And yet, for a book where the overriding motif is a kind of ghost ship, this one is distinctly forgettable. I think that’s my fault rather than the book’s. There’s nothing wrong with it – there rarely was with Christopher Bulis’ books – and it’s a far better book than the one that preceded it. Here we have a solid Doctor Who story, the type of thing fans were no doubt wishing would have formed part of an on-going series of Paul McGann stories. A neat variation on the base-under-siege theme, we see the story through the eyes of a relatively small group of characters. Despite the overly sci-fi setting, all seems convincing and realistic. And Bulis manages to capture McGann’s speech patterns far better than many of his contemporaries. Even Sam Jones seems to work as a companion here, which was by no means guaranteed by this point! Ah well. I’m not sorry I picked this one up again, but it’s not really a stand-out, for BBC Books or for Bulis as an author. At least he managed to tick another Doctor off his list! And he achieves all he set out to do very well. That’s the problem, really – the ambition behind it, in comparison with the other books that surrounded it. ‘Placebo Effect’ achieved what it needed to because the ambition was solely to bring disparate elements of Doctor Who together, whilst the following ‘The Scarlet Empress’ was a work in a different league, and of a bold style, so lingers in the memory. ‘Vanderdeken’s Children’ only wants to be a good story – which it is. Perhaps this is a chance to stand up for the quieter approach…

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary JL

    The title of this book refers to one of the legendary names of The Flying Dutchman. So think basically The Doctor and Sam getting involved with an alien 'Flying Dutchman'. We have a huge alien derelict ship. We have two starships from rival planets investigating it. And of course, the Tardis crew is soon involved in the alien mysteries and dangers...... An average Doctor Who book. The plot was a bit weak in spot; the characters of the Doctor and Sam were well done. Not on the top of my Doctor Who The title of this book refers to one of the legendary names of The Flying Dutchman. So think basically The Doctor and Sam getting involved with an alien 'Flying Dutchman'. We have a huge alien derelict ship. We have two starships from rival planets investigating it. And of course, the Tardis crew is soon involved in the alien mysteries and dangers...... An average Doctor Who book. The plot was a bit weak in spot; the characters of the Doctor and Sam were well done. Not on the top of my Doctor Who list, but a pleasant, quick read for passing a few hours. Recommended for any Doctor Who fan or for any reader of general SF adventure who might like to try it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    N

    Twenty million cardboard-thin original characters... and a giant spaceship. Oh, and the Doctor and Sam. But the latter two are peripheral to the giant spaceship. Granted, it's a really cool giant spaceship, but I'm not reading the Giant Spaceship Adventures range of novels here. Also, the mythical Flying Dutchman was named Willem van der Decken, not "Vanderdeken". That's some really critical research failure, and a good indication in nice big friendly letters on the cover as to what the rest of Twenty million cardboard-thin original characters... and a giant spaceship. Oh, and the Doctor and Sam. But the latter two are peripheral to the giant spaceship. Granted, it's a really cool giant spaceship, but I'm not reading the Giant Spaceship Adventures range of novels here. Also, the mythical Flying Dutchman was named Willem van der Decken, not "Vanderdeken". That's some really critical research failure, and a good indication in nice big friendly letters on the cover as to what the rest of the book is like.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Javier Vazquez dobarro

    This was a lot better than both my expectations and my first impression when i started reading it. It starts out as pretty standard Who: derelict mysterious ghost ship in space and phantoms in it; however, when to are 3/4 into it and get to the twist about the nature of the ghosts and its connection to the Emindian and Nimosian sides (which until then i thought to be mere spectators) a terrible reality fall upon the characters and the readers as all piece fall into place one by one and things th This was a lot better than both my expectations and my first impression when i started reading it. It starts out as pretty standard Who: derelict mysterious ghost ship in space and phantoms in it; however, when to are 3/4 into it and get to the twist about the nature of the ghosts and its connection to the Emindian and Nimosian sides (which until then i thought to be mere spectators) a terrible reality fall upon the characters and the readers as all piece fall into place one by one and things that before didn´t make a lot of sense suddenly just click. All what initially seemed standard turns into great build up to the end. It´s not perfect my any means: there are a lot of characters and some get more development (Rexton and Lester) than others and since there´s no prologue and we jump straight to the TARDIS it takes just a little bit for something to happen but quickly the book does enough things to keep you interested and until that dramatic and horrible revelation occurs. If you like a good old deep space horror tale, i´d definetely reccomend this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Olya

    I wish I could give this book more stars because it's not actually bad? But I failed to invest emotionally for the most part and just kept waiting for the end - which, alas, in my copy of the book is tragically missing. It could be a very solid horror story in Sci-Fi colours, I think. If only the characters, in all their plenitude, were a bit more alive, and the plot - a bit less tangled. I do love a good timey-wimey, and yet this one, although it did amaze me at one point, didn't grip me at all.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Buchanan

    Really enjoyed this one. Proper sci-fi for once. Some well developed characters and an action packed story made for a pretty suspense filled ride.

  9. 5 out of 5

    John Kirk

    This novel is part of an ongoing narrative, so I didn't recognise the Doctor's companion (Sam, short for Samantha). However, that's ok: it's the equivalent of a new viewer not recognising the current cast. This novel tells a complete story, which is quite interesting, although the ending is a bit disappointing. I suspect that this wasn't originally a Dr Who novel, and the Doctor got shoehorned in later, although I could be wrong. This story involves a couple of ships that find a huge derelict cra This novel is part of an ongoing narrative, so I didn't recognise the Doctor's companion (Sam, short for Samantha). However, that's ok: it's the equivalent of a new viewer not recognising the current cast. This novel tells a complete story, which is quite interesting, although the ending is a bit disappointing. I suspect that this wasn't originally a Dr Who novel, and the Doctor got shoehorned in later, although I could be wrong. This story involves a couple of ships that find a huge derelict craft drifting in space. Based on the picture on the front cover, this reminded me of other novels, e.g. Rendezvous With Rama or Eon. Unfortunately, it doesn't really stand up to comparison with them, and I have to say that the writer isn't quite as clever as he thinks he is (thinking particularly of his time-travel logic). Early on (in chapter 3), one of the ships lowers a pod on a cable towards the derelict, and the person in the pod has to give directions for movement. The key point here is that the derelict is sufficiently massive to have its own gravitational pull (which moves around a bit), so directions have to be relative to this. Unfortunately, the writer gets a bit confused, since he only allows for four possible directions rather than six: "Up"/"Down" apparently mean either "raise/lower the cable" or "move me forward/backwards along the hull". Again, it's unfortunate that I wound up comparing this to a better work of fiction, namely Ender's Game. "The enemy gate is down!" Looking at my last paragraph, maybe that's the real problem here; I used to read a much wider range of fiction, so I'm getting frustrated by the limitations of media tie-ins.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Kukwa

    I may be going against conventional wisdom here...but so be it. This is, by far, Christopher Bulis' darkest "Doctor Who" novel. You wouldn't think a mash-up of old favourites such as "Alien" and "The Poseidon Adventure" would find something new to say. However, throw in some fascinating, grotesque monsters...a cast of passengers far more interesting than "Terror of the Vervoids" provided...some timey-wimey shennanigans worthy of Steven Moffat...a melancholy, downbeat ending...and the end result I may be going against conventional wisdom here...but so be it. This is, by far, Christopher Bulis' darkest "Doctor Who" novel. You wouldn't think a mash-up of old favourites such as "Alien" and "The Poseidon Adventure" would find something new to say. However, throw in some fascinating, grotesque monsters...a cast of passengers far more interesting than "Terror of the Vervoids" provided...some timey-wimey shennanigans worthy of Steven Moffat...a melancholy, downbeat ending...and the end result is something captivting and frightening in equal measure. Only a few character endings that I felt climaxed in less than satisfying manner keep this from a full five stars...but it comes awfully close. It's Mr. Bulis' darkest novel, and also his best. A special mention must go to Mr. Bulis for capturing the young, moody, Byronic 8th Doctor to perfection.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Numa Parrott

    The first thing I noticed was Eight's startlingly abrupt change of personality and tone. He was very pompous and self-assured--almost like Six. It really annoyed me, but I got used to it eventually. Sam becomes a side-note/damsel-in-distress, which was actually an improvement over her usual angstyness. The story was full of enough plot twists and terrifying monsters to keep me interested. The mini character side-stories were a bit annoying, but tolerable. The worst thing was that my copy of the b The first thing I noticed was Eight's startlingly abrupt change of personality and tone. He was very pompous and self-assured--almost like Six. It really annoyed me, but I got used to it eventually. Sam becomes a side-note/damsel-in-distress, which was actually an improvement over her usual angstyness. The story was full of enough plot twists and terrifying monsters to keep me interested. The mini character side-stories were a bit annoying, but tolerable. The worst thing was that my copy of the book is missing the last few pages . . . :( So I had to read a synopsis to find out how it ended. Oh well, on to the next . . . .

  12. 4 out of 5

    Book collector

    Bulis takes on the eighth doctor and Sam Jones and does a good job. At the time this was published the only material featuring Paul mcgann as the doctor was the 1996 TV movie. As such several authors struggled to find the eighth doctor in their books. When mcgann returned to the role on audio for big finish in 2000 (and continuing to this day) authors had more to go on and the BBC books characterisation of the eighth doctor improved. Bulis managed to make the doctor feel right. I liked this book Bulis takes on the eighth doctor and Sam Jones and does a good job. At the time this was published the only material featuring Paul mcgann as the doctor was the 1996 TV movie. As such several authors struggled to find the eighth doctor in their books. When mcgann returned to the role on audio for big finish in 2000 (and continuing to this day) authors had more to go on and the BBC books characterisation of the eighth doctor improved. Bulis managed to make the doctor feel right. I liked this book although I did find it very dark. It's creepy and atmospheric. One of the best early eighth doctor books.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    The 8th Doctor and Sam get knocked off course by a very large ship. So large that it messes with time and space. Matters get further complicated when a cruise ship and a war ship from rival empires both want to lay claim to it. And then there's the problem of the ghosts. This is a very atmospheric book, and the plot moves quite quickly. The action scenes are very well done. There's also some fun character bits too. The reason I didn't give it 4 stars is that it all ends I a bit of a muddle which The 8th Doctor and Sam get knocked off course by a very large ship. So large that it messes with time and space. Matters get further complicated when a cruise ship and a war ship from rival empires both want to lay claim to it. And then there's the problem of the ghosts. This is a very atmospheric book, and the plot moves quite quickly. The action scenes are very well done. There's also some fun character bits too. The reason I didn't give it 4 stars is that it all ends I a bit of a muddle which is a shame. A good read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Whyte

    An intriguing tale of two space-faring civilisations who find themselves contesting possession of a Big Dumb Object, in this case a ship that appears to fade into another universe, with the Eighth Doctor and Sam arriving and getting mixed up in it. There's some good sfnal stuff about time paradoxes, though I was a bit sorry that Sam's character appeared to have lost all the development of the last couple of volumes in the series. Nice Doctory characterisation though, and generally clear writing.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    The Doctor promises to explain later just a few times too many in this book. I'm not entirely convinced that even Bulis knows exactly what's going on in this mysterious derelict spaceship story. Sam's input is kept to a minimum (smart move) so the story is told from the perspective of the Doctor, supporting characters and even - quite cleverly - some of the minor characters.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bronwen

    Not bad. It started off a little slowly but it got really intense in the middle and then some of it was genuinely frightening! There was a bit too much technobabble to explain it all though and all the time loops got a bit confusing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    The "ghosts" at first were written very well - I actually got a bit creeped out. However, as many others have said, by the end of the book, the whole story seemed rushed and disjointed. I had trouble keeping up with the scene changes, and it just kind of.... ended.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Simon Curtis

    Doctor Who does epic space opera.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Bradley

    Fun little sci-fi book. The first Dr. Who book I've read and picked up in a book giveaway.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    If Moffatt is after a darker and more complex story he could do a lot worse than this paradox fuelled, blood soaked nightmare (and he has)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Peter Camenzind

    https://peterswhoreviews.wordpress.co... https://peterswhoreviews.wordpress.co...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Noah Franke

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mikey

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tim Kirsopp

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nina

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nenya

  28. 5 out of 5

    Iain

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shendara

  30. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

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