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GodEngine

By Craig Hinton

Book review by Paul Scoones

Ever since the Ice Warriors started to make their presence felt in the New Adventures, I've been looking forward to a story set on their home turf. Finally, in GodEngine, the Mars of the Ice Warriors is explored in depth, but ironically the TARDIS's Ice Warrior expert has recently departed. Craig Hinton's third novel is steeped in both television and New Adventures continuity, particularly embracing the historical fixtures established in The Dalek Invasion of Earth and Transit. The Daleks are a constant background presence, cunningly referred to as the 'Invaders' whenever they appear, and thus explores the boundaries of what can be achieved without writing out a cheque to Terry Nation.

The pleasing continuity aspects aside, Hinton's storytelling technique is somewhat bland for my tastes. The plot afforded the opportunity to imaginatively describe the mined cities of an ancient civilisation, but the prose failed to deliver much to spark an exciting mental picture. The Ice Warrior characters were all too human in their personalities and motivations. The human characters were more believable, giving the impression that Hinton lacks an ability to write convincingly for alien life forms.

GodEngine disappoints simply because it is an average novel when long-awaited anticipation had lulled me into expecting something with more class.

This item appeared in TSV 48 (August 1996).

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