*No Major Spoilers*
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 a planet below: Moldox.
As the Doctor is trapped in an apocalyptic landscape, Dalek patrols roam amongst the wreckage, rounding up the remaining civilians. But why haven’t the Daleks simply killed the humans?
Searching for answers the Doctor meets ‘Cinder’, a young Dalek hunter. Their struggles to discover the Dalek plan take them from the ruins of Moldox to the halls of Gallifrey, and set in motion a chain of events that will change everything. And everyone.
This was actually my second attempt at reading this Doctor Who novel. I don’t remember why I didn’t finish this the first time, maybe it just wasn’t the right time. So let’s jump in the TARDIS and check out this review of Engines of War.
It was interesting seeing The Doctor in a negative light in the beginning of the story. Cinder is in the middle of the Time War, and because of it Cinder sees both sides of the war as ‘the bad guys’. However, when she meets the Doctor she sees just how fruitless her attempts at beating the Daleks were.
I liked Cinder as a companion, she brought a new perspective to the mythos of The Time War. When the Doctor takes her to Gallifrey to try and alert the High Council about the Dalek’s end game, she sees that her assumptions of other Time Lords was correct.
I enjoyed getting more context for the War Doctor and the Time War. On the TV show they show bits of it, but nothing like what this novel accomplishes. We get to see what the war has not only done on a single planet, but what it has done to the people of Gallifrey.
Overall, this was an excellent Doctor Who book. There was action, exploration, and we got to see a lot of Gallifrey. I’d recommend Engines of War to all Doctor Who fans and even casual science fiction fans.