Cat's Cradle: Warhead
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Cat's Cradle: Warhead (Virgin New Adventures #6)

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  147 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The place is Earth. The time is the near future - all too near.
Industrial development has accelerated out of all control, spawning dangerous new technologies and laying the planet to waste. While the inner cities collapse in guerrilla warfare, a dark age of superstition dawns.
As destruction of the environment reaches the point of no return, multinational corporations and...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 16th 1992 by London Bridge (Mm)
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Brendon Schrodinger
It's probably been more than a decade since I have read this novel and while I could give a simple review on the book there are two aspects that I am really surprised about which come from a further 20 or so years of Doctor Who history after this publication.

This book is a statement about where Doctor Who was in the early nineties and it is very different from what had been Doctor Who before and what it has been since. Firstly it should be mentioned that this is penned ny the former script edit...more
I still can't believe I'm giving five stars to a Doctor Who novel, of all things. After the last DW I read, I figured I was done with such dreck. And yet here we are...!

For one thing, unlike the previous entry, this one avoids all of the schlocky things I dislike about sci-fi, and Doctor Who in particular. There's no fan-wankery about Gallifrey, the origins of the Time Lords, or any of that twaddle. It's also not a space romp about fighting space aliens in big space battles, full of sound and fu...more
If Cartmel's plotting were as assured as his prose then we'd have a winner here. Doctor Who books shouldn't be so eloquently written surely? But then, they also shouldn't be so laborious either. Too much time is given over to intricate character and plot setups that ultimately drift away into nothingness and this novel becomes all anticipation with no payoff, the apparent detonation of the Warhead that the Doctor takes 160 pages to assemble is more of an indoor firework.

True, I never really work...more
David Sarkies
Apr 26, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Doctor Who fans
Recommended to David by: My sister
Shelves: sci-fi
Doctor Who gets environmental and anti-corporate
26 February 2012

Well, this is the second of the Cat's Cradle trilogy, and I have only vague memories of what actually tied these novels together. The Timewyrm series were tied together with the Timewyrm (and ended up being cyclical with the end of the series coinciding with the beginning) and I suspected that these were tied together as well but I simply cannot remember what the relevance of the Cat's Cradle was (and I suspect that it has nothing...more
Andrew Cartmel was the last script editor of "old" Doctor Who (the version of the show that ran from 1963 - 1989.) During his time in charge, the show began to introduce elements that would today be called "story arc", although this was still a pretty new concept in SF television. I note this because it is an important part of understanding why I felt Warhead was less successful than Time's Crucible in defining the Seventh Doctor as he would mostly appear in the NAs.

Cartmel had posited that the...more
Justin  K. Rivers
Cartmel is probably the best prose stylist of all the Who novelists, with a deft cadence and a gift for concrete sensory details. It's poetic and painterly but in a way that fits in nicely with this era of Who.

This novel continues Cartmel's conception of the Doctor as chessmaster. It's a long and intricate game, and Cartmel gives us different perspectives within it.

Sometimes I think we are too distant from the Doctor and Ace, if only because, as the main characters, and however enigmatic the S...more
I barely made it through this one. Despite the whole host of interesting and deeply developed local characters, I couldn't really cope with the fact that there isn't a plot until the end of the book. Also, I don't see how this 'Cat's Cradle' series is connected at all. There was a shiny cat at the beginning, but no one bothered to explain it.
While I enjoyed aspects of the vivid futuristic dystopian society stuff, it just isn't really what I wanted from a Doctor Who book. The gritty reality of i...more
Nicholas Whyte

I was rather impressed by this Doctor Who novel in the New Adventures series. The Seventh Doctor and Ace get caught up in the nasty machinations of a near-future biotech firm, variously in the US, London and a small island near Istanbul. Cartmel is a very good descriptive writer, both in terms of establishing the physical setting and in terms of getting inside the heads of Ace and the other characters. The Istanbul chapters in particular had some memorab...more
Well written, but the structure seemed a bit odd. I'm not used to reading a book where the protagonist already knows pretty much everything there is to know before the first page and the author only leaves the reader in the dark. It's usually more fun to discover things as the character does... Even if the end result is a similar narrative either way.
Certainly the best NA I've read so far. Characterising the 7th Doctor as the manipulator and using the ferocity of Ace to great effect. Their felt a certain disjointedness throughout the book as it went from character to character, plot to action, however the setting was bold for Doctor Who and after a few rather bad NAs this one was welcome.
Daniel Kukwa
Dark, gritty, brutal, chaotic, and insidious? Is this Doctor Who? Is this pushing the boundaries a little TOO far into a different, almost unrecognizeable genre?

It's still debated to this day...but I will say this: it can be surprisingly exciting, and Andrew Cartmel has a very seductive writing style.
John Parungao
One of the earliest of Virgin's New Adventures of Doctor Who, it's a fun read because The Doctor and Ace spend much of the story in the background convincing other characters to look into corporate intrigue and conspiracy theories. Fans of cyberpunk and Shadowrun should enjoy this.
Shannon Appelcline
The dystopic Earth is well-developed and presented, and the way the book holds us a step back from the Doctor is quite clever. However, whenever Cartmel gets deeper into the action, the book drags.
T.j. Puls
Very dark! The setting is an extremely dystopian future, and The Doctor is almost sinister as he stays in the background manipulating events for all but the final act of the book.
Simple writing, but great story, interesting characters, and just enough foresight to display a frightening future that might be just around the corner. Also, the Doctor seems very much in the same line as the television Doctor from 1989. I really enjoyed it.
John Lynch
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