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Doctor Who: Engines of War

(Doctor Who: New Series Adventures Specials #4)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  2,218 ratings  ·  344 reviews
"The death of billions is as nothing to us Doctor, if it helps defeat the Daleks."

The Great Time War has raged for centuries, ravaging the universe. Scores of human colony planets are now overrun by Dalek occupation forces. A weary, angry Doctor leads a flotilla of Battle TARDISes against the Dalek stronghold but in the midst of the carnage, the Doctor's TARDIS crashes to
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published July 31st 2014 by BBC Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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Dan Schwent
While leading a flotilla of Battle TARDISes against a Dalek fleet, the Doctor is shot down on the planet Moldox and befriends a human girl named Cinder. The Doctor and Cinder find their way back to Gallifrey and must defy the Time Lords, who plan on using a doomsday weapon to destroy twelve inhabited worlds in order to stop the Daleks. But the Daleks have a super weapon of their own and mean to erase the Time Lords from history. Can The Doctor thwart the Daleks and the Time Lords? Of course he c ...more
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, arc, doctor-who, 2014
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinions as stated below.

Most Doctor Who novels are fairly lightweight, intended to fill in gaps between episodes and entertain without interfering with the overall "canon” as established in the continuity of the television show. Engines of War, however, is a little different. It still operates as a standalone adventure, but it has to carry more weight than many previou
Jul 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has intrigued me ever since I found out about it. It was published as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations and It is fascinating for two reasons - first it is used as a link to part of a larger grander storyline - a link within a link if you like from one Doctor to another marking not only the special event but also presenting us a doctor only hinted at and not even referred to - in a time when everything changed for the Doctor.

The story is fascinating, it not only portrays a part
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
This is how you write a Doctor Who story.
A disclaimer of sorts: George Mann is one of my favourite authors. I don't know if that should matter, but better to come clean. I knew the story would be good, but I did not expect it to be this.

The story itself is divided in three parts with different settings. After a battle with the Daleks, the Doctor crash-lands on Moldox, a planet ravaged by the Daleks. There he meets Cinder, a very young Dalek hunter. Since these Daleks act as no other Dalek th
Kara Babcock
Let’s begin with a disclaimer that I read this because my dad gave it to me as a Christmas gift. I don’t, generally, read media tie-in novels—or comics. Despite my abiding desire to continue Buffy or Farscape, I just can’t do it. I read—and greatly enjoyed—many of the Star Trek novels when I was a child. Nevertheless, I find that the actors bring something to their portrayal of a character that not even the best writer can capture. (The best novels are the ones by writers who manage to come clos ...more
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got an ARC through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

I very seldom read "fan" books—i.e. featuring characters from TV shows/movies. I think the last one I read was an X-Files novel, some 20 years ago, and not even its original edition/language. So keep in mind I may not be the best person to judge such stories, and try to consider them from my point of view as a reader in general.

Also, it doesn't help that I've only seen one season of Doctor Who. I love the series, but never manage
Jul 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
Perhaps I came in with too high expectations, but I found this novel just doesn't feel epic enough. Yes there are huge fleets of saucers and TARDIS fighting, we meet Rassilon and there's plenty of Daleks, but the prose is pretty basic and the Doctor is disappointingly generic. Enjoyed the use of details from The Five Doctors and the idea of the Daleks recruiting alternative Daleks from other timelines. But compared to the Time war depicted in the BBC Eighth Doctor novels, it's all a bit of a run ...more
David Monroe
A story about The Doctor when we wasn't himself.

This book is about The Doctor between. The unacknowledged and unknown (until the 50th anniversary special) Ninth regeneration of The Doctor. He's commonly known as the War Doctor but he doesn't call himself that, "Doctor", he says he is not that person anymore. He is unworthy of his Name.

I enjoy George Mann's writing and I'm excited to see what he tells us about what The Doctor did during the Time War.

Update: 3.5 stars bumped down here to 3, becau
Wart Hill
Oct 30, 2014 marked it as gave-up
I really wanted to get into this, but I just couldn't. The Doctor didn't feel right (even as the War Doctor I'd expect to still feel the Doctor-yness). And the companion felt like she was just there for the sake of there being a companion. ...more
Sarah Theis
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
I am a huge Whovian and I just loved this book. The writing style was great, the story was interesting, and seeing the Doctor interact with his fellow Time Lords was eye opening. I am so happy I happened to glace over at the book store and saw this sitting there ❤😌
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved getting a look at the Doctor none of us know. He is the "in between" Doctor, and although he was in a two parter and appears in my complete Doctor Who magnet set, I know very little about him. Well, I know John Hurt plays him and that's a coup right there!

This was a terrific Doctor book. Mann really ran with the idea of this being the unknown Doctor and gave us a gritty story we would never read about Tennant's or Smith's Doctors. Maybe Capaldi's, but I'm not sure yet. Certainly none of
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
A Wild Adventure

This was a great book, with nonstop action and intrigue. Everything in here comes at you fast, and you're left thinking about the real definition of what is right and wrong.

It felt a lot like watching one of the episodes to me. The pacing and seeing things through Cinder's point of view (through most of it) left you going through the motions, trusting and questioning the Doctor.

"With great power comes great responsibility." But, does anyone have a right to such power? And is it
James Barnard
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Many Doctor Who fans were a bit disgruntled last year when, amongst the 50th anniversary celebrations, Steven Moffat ret-conned in a completely new Doctor between the Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston incarnations. It could only ever be a one-off, of course – John Hurt is the most accomplished, high-profile actor to play the part on television (and I say that with the utmost respect for all 12 of his fellow Doctors but there is no denying it). That means he’s far too in-demand as an actor to ...more
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Doctor When He Wasn't Himself

This was an awesome treat for me as I am a major Doctor Who fan girl! I always love reading what authors come up with for the Doctor when he is off stage :)

This book is the Doctor between. He is sometimes known as the War Doctor but he says he had a name and no longer uses it as he is not that person anymore. He is unworthy of his Name. He is jaded and gruff and completely disillusioned with his race and his people. The war has gone on too long and pushed him too
More like 3 1/2 stars

The things I liked about the book:
The companion, Cinder, was a good companion for The Doctor, willing to do what she thought was needed to defeat the Daleks, and aid The Doctor. She was a well-rounded character, that played well in the story.
The story felt like a Doctor Who story. I rarely read fan fiction, yet I found this enjoyable and it fits well in the Doctor Who universe.
There was a great balance of action, plot-lines, and character development.
The Daleks were wonderfu
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, sf
This first (for me, anyway) glimpse into the Great Time War between the Time Lords and the Daleks, with the enigmatic War Doctor (played by John Hurt), although the Time Lord whose TARDIS crash-lands no longer claims the name; he's a different man now.

Bumping into Cinder, almost literally, they search out the horrifying true intent of the Daleks on Moldox, but find the truth of their own lives at the same time.

With the growing realization of the full extent of the Daleks' plan - hiding in time,
Numa Parrott
Aug 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
While I certainly appreciated the glimpse into the Time War and the references to several Classic Who stories, the writing quality was bad enough to be a distraction. Among other things, the abundance of 'seeming' nearly gave me a headache. It was overly juvenile--kind of like something I'd probably write (and no one wants to read what I write).

The side characters are an interesting bunch. The War Doctor is a character I would love to see more of. It was mildly shocking for a New Who book to en
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
During Doctor Who's 50th anniversary in 2013 we discovered a secret incarnation of The Doctor from he's past.

The War Doctor wonderful played by John Hurt gets he's own novel and it's a nice way for fans to get more of he's back story.

We also get a great companion in Cinder, a Dalek Hunter.
There's plenty of nods to the past whilst fills in some gaps during The Time War.

It's a great standalone novel, I would have loved this to have kicked started a series set around this time in The Doctors life.
Daniel Kukwa
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: doctor-who
I absolutely loved it. I inhaled this missing tale of the Great Time War in the span of a few hours...I simply devoured it. It captures the War Doctor's character with amazing deftness, creates a new & endearing companion in the span of a few pages, and manages a fine balance between fanwank overload & proper action/adventure. This is best read as the novelization of an imaginary, epic set of episodes that would received the Terrance Dicks seal of approval.
Martin Milhomme
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easy 5 stars. One of the best Who books I've ever read. Really enjoyed the Doctor's companion. ...more
John Peel
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An entertaining and exciting adventure of the War Doctor - fighting Daleks and his own people. Well written and extremely enjoyable.
The following review was originally published in the online newspaper The Orkney News in 2019. Link here.

Doctor Who: Engines Of War by George Mann

Hello again to my readers! Last time I promised I’d review one more unrelated audio release before returning to Sir Terry and friends. After some consideration I’ve returned to Doctor Who once again but not one of a certain audio drama company’s releases. Engines Of War is a release by BBC Books from 2014 starri
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honestly I think this book is a must-read for all Whovians!

I had heard incredible things about this book before reading it myself, and so I went into it with high expectations which it still managed to exceed. The story is fast-paced, action-packed, and a lot of it takes place on Gallifrey which I always enjoy. And despite being the only War Doctor story, it really does accomplish so much in bringing depth to his character, and making his actions in the show make much more sense.

And not only is
Caleb Dillinger
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really really enjoyable that honestly only gets a 4 instead of a 5 cause I wish there was more! More story, more action, more development, but all that was done was done wonderfully. I've been fascinated with the Time War ever since my wife introduced me to the show and the Doctor first said the words. I was hooked then, and this book does a great job fleshing out even more. Highly recommend anyone fascinated with the Time War to read this book. ...more
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Reading Reality

After watching the new Doctor’s first episode, I simply couldn’t resist reading this War Doctor adventure. Of course, now I want to go back and watch The Night of the Doctor and The Day of the Doctor, just to put everything into its proper context.

And besides, those stories were just plain fun, and so is this one.

Engines of War takes place late in the War Doctor’s time period, probably not long before (possibly JUST before) the events in The Day of the Doct
Elizabeth Newton
May 16, 2015 rated it liked it
The idea of someone having written a story to fill in some of the gap between Doctor number eight and Doctor number nine was quite exciting. We hear so much about the Time War ever since Christopher Eccelston’s war-traumatised Doctor appeared on our screens and we learnt later that this was a very dark period for the Doctor, to the point where he no longer felt deserving of the title ‘Doctor’ – and I’m interested to find out exactly what went on. That’s not the only reason this book is exciting. ...more
Alice Dillon
Apr 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: doctor who fans, dalek fans, time lord fans, time war fans,
Shelves: doctor-who
3.5 stars
This was a competent doctor who story and I definitely enjoyed it. It had some great characters (Cinder was a brilliant companion and the War Doctor was impressively characterised, especially since George Mann had very little material to work with, both a distinct Doctor in his own right and yet also familiar enough to be the same man we all know and love), I enjoyed the insight into the Time War and the plot itself managed to be both self-contained and to tie in nicely to the wider Doc
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctor-who
This book focuses on the War Doctor, that mysterious older Doctor who protested about the name and was played by John Hurt on TV. From his perspective it is set shortly before The Day of the Doctor, the 50th anniversary special. The Time War is raging on as the Doctor accidentally rescues human refugee Cinder. The pair discover the daleks have a devastating new weapon that could wipe out Gallifrey. He tells the Time Lords of the discovery but their solution involves genocide of the local human p ...more
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
WITAS: War In Time And Space. Two races in conflict: Daleks intent on destroying all other life; Time Lords intent on no longer sullying themselves with the “lower” races. The Daleks are corrupt from their inception, while the Time Lords are becoming ever more like the Daleks as their purpose becomes preservation of themselves at all costs.

In the midst of this we have the War Doctor, the one between Eight and Nine, the one who ultimately ends the Time War by destroying both the Daleks and the Ti
Anika Claire
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review was originally posted on Tea in the Treetops blog in November 2014.

The Time War is raging across time and space, and the Time Lord formerly known as the Doctor is still battling on. He crash lands his TARDIS on the planet of Moldox, a planet occupied by Daleks, accidentally rescuing the human freedom fighter Cinder in the process. She agrees to help him discover the Dalek plans on Moldox in exchange for taking her away from the place. The Daleks have something far more sinister plann
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George Mann is an author and editor, primarily in genre fiction. He was born in Darlington, County Durham in 1978.
A former editor of Outland, Mann is the author of The Human Abstract, and more recently The Affinity Bridge and The Osiris Ritual in his Newbury and Hobbes detective series, set in an alternate Britain, and Ghosts of Manhattan, set in the same universe some decades later.
He wrote the T

Other books in the series

Doctor Who: New Series Adventures Specials (4 books)
  • Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
  • Doctor Who: The Silent Stars Go By
  • Doctor Who: Dark Horizons

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