(ISBN 0-563-48651-1)







 22nd century Africa. 

 the Doctor and Rose 

 detect an alien signal

 somewhere close by.


 When a nightmare

 force starts surging

 along dark, volcanic

 tunnels, the Doctor

 realises an ancient

 trap has been sprung.


 Dragged into aN OLD

 conflict, Rose and

 the Doctor are soon

 elevating survival

 to an art form – as

 ancient, alien hands

 practise THE arts of

 destruction around



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Here is the first book in the new range of tie-in novels that I have been well and truly disappointed with. The Art of Destruction, written by prolific Doctor Who novelist and dramatist Stephen Cole, totally failed to grab my attention and in all honesty I struggled to finish it. Cole’s disastrous early effort for Big Finish productions, The Land of the Dead,

has now sadly found its counterpart in print.


Now this came as quite a shock to

me because Cole’s last two novels -

The Feast of the Drowned and The

Monsters Inside - were both dark

and thrilling adventures that I enjoyed

tremendously. And whilst The Art of Destruction shares a sense of grittiness and even hard-nosed realism with Cole’s recent efforts, sadly it falls short in so many other areas.


There was not a single character in the book (other than our heroes) that I found even slightly compelling. Faltato read like he might have worked well on screen, but in print he loses a lot of the menace that comes from having such a visual character. Of course good writers (like Cole!) can make such characters work beautifully in prose, but here Cole’s normally vivid descriptions feel over-simplified; much more so than either of his other tie-in novels.


In fairness though, the Doctor and Rose are both captured superbly on the page. The tenth Doctor has a particularly strong outing, the novel replete with flourishes of David Tennant’s now-trademark gob.


Further, Cole almost salvages things with a couple of conventional but effective monsters, Wurms and Golems, but at the end of the day a book that I am already forgetting as I write

its review is not anything to get even remotely excited about.


The only enduring memory that I think I will have of The Art of Destruction is a disturbingly perverse paragraph from page 156 that reads as follows:


“Korr squirted a fluid into the Doctor’s face, so hard it knocked his glasses off his nose.

The liquid was rank and salty, and... stung his eyes.”


Let’s just hope Cole makes a return to form in the near future because regrettably, The Art

of Destruction is an unmitigated disaster.


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006


E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

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