(Originally posted to the Doctor Who Ratings Guide on June 25, 2001.)
Well, I was going to head from Quantum Archangel to Imperial Moon... but after reading Quantum Archangel, I decided I desperately needed something not written by Chris Bulis, so I switched around and read Bunker Soldiers next. I was glad I did...the book is a sharply written First Doctor story, with good characterization of the regulars and a plot that is a kissing cousin to other stories of the era, such as The Aztecs and Marco Polo, but has some good alien stuff therein.
First, anyone know what the chapter headers really said?
Second, Day's prose is workmanlike, which is not meant as an insult -- there are very few pages where I'm wowed by the dialogue or descriptions, but the story is always clear, I always understood exactly what was happening, and the details of life in the Middle Ages were well-placed.
The alien's actions and motivations provided a clever puzzle, and the solution at the end was worth reading. The Mongol hordes provided a wonderful backdrop to the whole thing, and the characterization of the First Doctor is nigh-unto-perfect.
If it had any flaws, they were thus -- Steven's first person narration feels slightly "off", in a way I can't describe, and Dodo, despite Day's best efforts, gets very little to do. (What can you say -- she's Dodo.)
Up next, I tackle Imperial Moon... if you don't hear from me within a week, tell my parents I love them. :)