(ISBN 0-563-48652-X)







 The Doctor and Rose

 arrive ON LAYLORA

 to find that the once

 perfect eco-system is

 failing. The Paradise

 Planet has become a

 death trap.


 The Doctor and Rose

 are in a race against

 time to find a cure for

 a sick planet....


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I’m not quite sure what’s gone wrong with this Autumn batch of novels. I’m finding it difficult to point to any significant flaws in them, other than that I’m simply not enjoying them anywhere near as much as I did the first nine new series tie-ins. Colin Brake’s contribution, The Price of Paradise, may be much more entertaining effort than The Art of Destruction was, but I’m afraid that at the end of the day I still found it lacking.


The plot has something of a done-to-death feel to it, but in fairness Brake does present his ideas in quite an original way. This novel may be the classic tale of humans showing up to destroy an alien paradise, but at least the author creates an interesting link between the planet and the native populous which puts a whole new spin on the idea. This is not humans exploiting and destroying an idyllic world - in fact, the humans in The Price of Paradise are largely blameless. This idea makes the last sixty pages or so in particular very memorable, but unfortunately it also leaves the reader feeling rather dissatisfied. The savage monsters that our heroes face here are not evil villains; they are simply products of an eco-system fighting back against alien infection. Like I say, it’s an interesting premise but it really lacks the punch of having a good villain pulling the strings.


Once again though, the portrayal of the Doctor and Rose is absolutely flawless - in reading Brake’s prose the two main characters are literally brought to life before your eyes. Whereas the Doctor took centre-stage in The Art of Destruction though, this novel really allows Rose chance to shine. Set some time after the events of The Satan Pit, this story continues her character development in that the Rose we see here is every bit the Doctor's equal - just like the Rose we see kicking ass in Fear Her; just like the Rose we say a tearful goodbye to in Doomsday. It’s just a pity that The Price of Paradise isn’t anywhere near as compelling as the superb television episodes that it set between.


At the end of the day, The Nightmare of

Black Island is the only one of this batch

of novels that I would really recommend

reading, and even that is not outstanding

when looking at the range as a whole.

It must be hard for Doctor Who writers

and editors to commission and produce stories of the incredibly high standard to that which we have been accustomed, but from the point of view of a fan; from the point of view of a consumer, it is incredibly frustrating to be presented with a novel or an episode that is just ‘okay’ when there are so many fantastic Doctor Who tales out there waiting to be published or produced.


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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