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First the closer bell sounds that bang wallop the Tardis lands in Gaul in 451A.D at near end of the Roman empire, their is no Astrix the Gaul but There is one horrible Attila the bloody Hun as Graham puts it.This another weir historical story, but Unlike in Romans they don t dress the part I have loved to see Graham or Ryan in a toga.Taken once again for a witch the Doctor is mad bad full of vinaigrette seeing this is France.But all is not right,no surprise there as an alien force is masked as supernatural sprits then there is barrier around the planet that caused the Tardis to crash in first place.This funny, spooky much better than last new adventure.We have the Legion of Smoke the Roman Touchwood with references to Romans, Fires of Pompeii, along with audio story with 7th Doctor and Mel Some body did their homework here So Good when it has the right background information too Shame this could not been a episode instead of the frog story. No matter how hard I tried I really couldn t get into this novel I liked the idea behind the alien villains but the storyline felt dragged out, with far too much of it hard to understand This book felt a lot longer than the other two 13th Doctor novels I didn t enjoy it nearly as much The Doctor, Ryan, Yasmine Graham were portrayed well though This book contains a lot of violence death Extended Review to follow. Well done Steve Cole, filling out the first 13th Doctor trilogy of novels with a cracking action packed pseudo historical Would love to see of the Roman UNIT, The Legion of Smoke Every time I pick up a Doctor Who novel by Steve Cole, I ll either be disappointed or happily surprised he doesn t tend to leave me with any middle ground Happily, he hits this one out of the park there is a fantastic use of historical figures, a solid grasp of the new 13th Doctor and her companions, and some great fanwank with past Roman stories, and an ancient version of Torchwood at work Some of the opening character action is turned a bit too high past 11, and it occasionally rambles in the middle sectionsbut none of this really stood in the way of an enjoyable surprisingly intense historical adventure. Argh two best episodes of last year s Doctor Who series were the two historical settings which are up for the Hugo this year here, Steve Cole takes the Tardis crew to a less well known historical moment, the conflict between Attila the Hun and the Roman general Flavius tius which culminated in the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields in 451, near what is now Troyes in France As it turns out, there are aliens involved as well as human factions the Tardis crew get split up four ways to facilitate the plot of course, but it also gives Cole a chance to show off his grasp of detail in the setting and the characterisation Cole is one of the most prolific Who writers, and I felt he was well on form. It s been a while since I ve read a book in the BBC Books New Doctors line, but I found Combat Magicks better than I remembered the Ninth Doctor books being This is one of three books featuring the Thirteenth Doctor as played by Jodie Whittaker on the BBC Series and her companions, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham The book opens with everyone in the TARDIS discussing where they want to go next when the TARDIS crashes into something The TARDIS crash lands, and the Doctor and her companions find themselves in Gaul during Roman times, just before a major battle between the Huns and the Romans.Speaking of Huns, they meet Attila the Hun though at first, he s incognito as Attila s first aide de camp Attila says that the Doctor is a witch, but that s OK since both he and the Roman commander have been employing witches to help them in combat.The group is attacked and split up The Doctor and Yaz are taken to Attila s camp, Graham is captured by the Romans and assumed to be a wizard after he used some of the Doctor s healing gel to heal people, and Ryan is captured by the mysterious Legion of Smoke The Legion of Smoke is fascinating sort of a Roman Torchwood They investigate the supernatural but also keep alien tech hidden.Graham tries to help the Romans where he can and discovers the Doctor s alien healing gel is poison to the alien Tenctrama, which present as witches to the locals And the Tenctrama also seem to be carefully avoiding giving either side an advantage When one side is given genetically engineered fighting animals, so is the other side, and so it is with every weapon and battle technique that the aliens give to either the Romans or the Huns As much as they seem to want a level playing field, they also seem to be promoting as much death as possible And both sides are using their tech to raise the dead as fighting zombie soldiers.As often is the case, there s a lot of running around as Graham, Ryan, Yaz, and the Doctor all learn bits and pieces of information slowly to figure out what the Tenctrama are up to, and why the Doctor s healing gel is poison to them and any person healed by the gel also cannot be absorbed by the Tenctrama and explodes instead.The Tenctrama are rather inefficient genetic farmers, taking a thousand years to genetically modify their stock all humans and animals and then gaining energy from the animals deaths With help from Liss and Vitus of the Legion of Smoke, Atilla general of the Huns, Aetius general of the Romans, and a few others, the Doctor and her companions are able to defeat the Tenctrama, but not without cost.I enjoyed this novel It does follow the typical Doctor Who pattern of splitting up the Doctor and her companions so everyone can discover something and then bringing them back together to trade intelligence and put together a solution, but it s a well written story I liked the historical detail, and it was neat that Attila was portrayed as an intelligent leader with actual goals rather than just being a hacking and raiding barbarian I loved the Legion of Smoke rather than being paranoid, they were intelligent and motivated, like Torchwood Plus, they had prior knowledge of the Doctor, which was a nice bit of continuity.I recommend Combat Magicks and look forward to getting the other two books in the series featuring the Thirteenth Doctor. &FREE E-PUB ☙ Doctor Who ☔ The TARDIS Arrives In Gaul In AD, On The Eve Of Battle Between The Forces Of Attila The Hun And Those Of The Crumbling Roman Empire But The Doctor Soon Finds That Both Sides Are Being Helped By Sinister, Supernatural CreaturesWhile Graham Makes Allies In The Roman Camp And Ryan Is Pursued By The Enigmatic Legion Of Smoke, The Doctor And Yasmin Are Pressed Into Service As Attila S Personal Sorcerers But The Doctor Knows There Is Science Behind The Combat Magicks And That The True War Will Pit All Humanity Against A Ruthless Alien Threat What I liked I might have wanted from it but I can t say I was ever bored reading it Liss view spoiler Unnecessary romance with Ryan aside hide spoiler I feel like whenever I actually leave a review, I often mention my want for the ability to leave half stars This book definitely heightens that desire I want to rate this book as 3.5 stars, not just three It was NOT a bad book It was easy enough to read despite my knowing embarrassingly little about Attila the Hun , and I loved that since I ve watched the thirteenth doctor, the story in my head was played out by her and her companions My issues were primarily with the writing style than the characters or the story, but I will say that sometimes the characters felt to be acting a bit out of character in comparison to what I am familiar with in the TV series Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable read and a fun way to dip back into the 13th doctor s world while waiting for the series to come back again I would consider reading the other two books in which she is featured, and am curious to see if the fact that each has a different author impacts how I feel about the books.