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A world of presbyters with claymores

Menagerie - Martin Day
When the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe materialize at their latest destination, they find themselves on a stagnant world ruled by a group of armored warriors dedicated to holding their society to a medieval level of technology. Arrested soon after their arrival, they soon set out to decipher the mysteries of the place, particularly the lingering presence of an earlier, more advanced civilization of humans upon the ruins of which the existing society was built. As they investigate further they discover that underlying it all is a danger that threatens to wipe out all life on the planet, one for which the inhabitants of the world are singularly ill suited to stop.
 
Martin Day's novel is a book that is more successful than it has any right to be. The premise and setting draw upon elements from over a half-dozen Doctor who stories, all of which executed them in more refreshingly entertaining ways. The level of bloodshed is almost shockingly high, thanks to a threat that is very atonal for the Doctor Who universe. That Day pulls it off as well as he does is thanks in equal parts to his plotting (which keeps things moving at a decent enough pace and introduces enough elements to engage the reader) and the way in which he layers his antagonists, many of which display a degree of nuance that makes them different form the one-dimensional baddies that they might otherwise have been. While the end result may not rank among the best of the Missing Adventures series, it is one that makes for an enjoyable, if occasionally graphic, read for fans of the franchise.