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May Books 4) Toy Soldiers, by Paul Leonard

There was a long silence. Finally the Recruiter said, ‘YOU’RE CORRECT. I’VE MADE A MISTAKE. THE WAR WILL NOW STOP.’
Yet another whiney review from me I'm afraid (I'll just say that I am really enjoying the books I am reading at present, so things will lighten up when I finish them). Leonard has the Seventh Doctor, Benny, Chris and Roz encountering an alien computer which is kidnapping children in 1919 to turn them into perfect soldiers. Even in 1995, when this was published, this must have seemed a desperate attempt to rewrite The War Games; the first season Sarah Jane story Warriors of Kudlak takes the same rather improbable wrinkle of using children but does it far far better. The premise is weak, the violence is nasty and gratuitous, and the evil computer is persuaded to see the error of its ways after hearing three sentences from the Doctor. As I read through the New Adventures and the Eighth Doctor Adventures in parallel, the newer strand has generally felt weaker, but that's not the case this month.

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