By Dave Stone
Book review by Nicholas Withers
Dave Stone has produced a plonker of a book this time. Although I was a fan of the outrageous comedy of Sky Pirates! and the toned down humour of Death and Diplomacy, Dave Stone's humour is annoying in what is most definitely both his third Judge Dredd and Doctor Who novel. Fortunately the novel is set during the middle of the Sixth Doctor's reign and so the angst Valeyard worry of the earlier sixth Doctor Missing Adventures is missing (definitely a theme which would not have benefited from Stone's humorous touch).
One of the few things that Burning Heart has going for it is the characterisation of the Doctor, who comes across in the mainly boorish and involving manner that Colin Baker's Doctor had. He is arrogant and we find it hard to relate to his character at all. Stone is on the ball here.
However most of the rest of the novel is not anywhere near the ball, let alone the playing field. The plot is also uninvolving and plain boring. There is just no incentive to read on. The characterisations are mainly two dimensional (which could be considered accurate for Peri's character), and the aliens are at best gimmicky. The comical moments that occasionally surface are ultimately jarring to the style of the rest of the book. The use of the adjudicators stinks even more than the original plagiarism of Judge Dredd in Original Sin.
All in all, don't bother. Go re-read Sky Pirates! instead.
This item appeared in TSV 50 (February 1997).