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St Anthony's Fire

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10
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6
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Average Rating
4.6
Votes
5
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User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
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Has Prerequisite(s):
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Reviewed By: doctorwhnoeReview Date: 1/30/18 2:20 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

It's a Gatiss book but it isn't so bad. The characters are forgettable (except Liso) Ace is wasted and the Doctor isn't the seventh Doctor we've know. The plot is basic and the religious are very very irritating.

The Doctor isn't dark, or manipulative, he just walk here and smile. Benny don't do anything memorable and Ace disapear at one moment and take the name of 'the woman' during half the novel. None of them had a real good moment.

The soldiers are all the same and all look like the same one. Liso is perhaps the most intersting one because he's the only one I remember.
I don't know what was in Gatiss mind but he don't look like a fanatic of religion. Every time we see Parva De Hooch there's the word 'fat' or 'plump' or any other physical insult. He want us to hate him because of his body. Even De Hooch death is disgusting.

The plot is original but very basic and the conclusion is very classic. Here we can see that's the end of Gatiss because after this he'll never wrote anything good (except his audios).
All his characters are wasted and, please Gatiss, stop to make everybody a soldier. In every story he wrote on TV there's a patriotic guy who live for his country and here the source of this obsession.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
4
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 6/4/16 12:54 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

St. Anthony’s Fire is the second novel by Mark Gatiss following his brilliant Nightshade and preceding any of his television Doctor Who work. Now when I first heard Gatiss wrote a second Virgin New Adventure as I loved Nightshade and his work for Doctor Who on television has for the most part been average at the worst and pretty good at the best. So I looked forward to this novel with anticipation. Sadly I was surprised to find that St. Anthony ’s Fire is one of Gatiss’ lesser works, not that it is very bad, but it is very average for a Doctor Who story. The plot sees the Doctor and Benny visit a planet inhabited by waring lizard people (Ace is relaxing on a nearby planet) where they get embroiled in a war that eventually turns out to be motivated by the Chaptermen of St. Anthony. These religious fanatics wish to see the planet burn in flames by St. Anthony’s fire, an enormous weapon that has already destroyed planets in the past. So you get your standard piece about warring factions who have fought for too long to remember wanting to have peace, but a third party makes the war be dragged out for a period of time so the Doctor can show up and save the day. So pretty standard stuff for a story that puts the boringness that is Meglos to shame as St. Anthony’s Fire has a lot of the same story beats.



If I can praise Gatiss for something, it would be how much of a good grasp Gatiss has for the Doctor, Ace and Benny. When reading the novel, the Doctor’s dialogue rolls off the tongue so well in my head it sounded like Sylvester McCoy was there reading it like an audio book. Sure he isn’t being the manipulator so much in this story as he’s trying to get some rest on the planet. Benny gets to shine as well throughout the novel and Gatiss is clearly having a ball with writing her. It’s Benny who gets the Doctor into the mess by suggesting going to the planet in the first place. She refuses to be treated like an animal and decides never to patronize anyone again after being patronized by the inhabitants of the planet. Gatiss also deals with Ace in a great way, mainly getting rid of her through the first half of the novel, and when she returns in the second half of the novel, even though this is the New Ace, Gatiss writes her not far off from the Ace we saw on television. She takes the traditional companion role of asking all the right questions so we can explain the plot. Oh and she is tortured, so that happens. Her best bits come near the beginning of the novel where the Doctor reminisces on how much Ace has changed and how she is starting to become more like her old self.



On the other side of things, the supporting characters are really boring. While there are some good moments as they have never seen humans before, most of them are stereotypical soldier characters that don’t amount to much. Most of them are all defined by one character trait. You have the fearless leader, the psychopath, the scientist and the religious fanatics. They left very little impact on me except for a reason to have the plot move forward. The sheer amount of references to other stories to make up for flaws in the plot also caused a problem especially when they reference the space scene from Four to Doomsday.

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