This is another Doctor Who book with Martha as the companion. This time they land on a planet that is being attacked by a creature called the Voracious Craw which eats everything. The Doctor and Martha are there to make sure the only family living on the planet is able to escape in time.
Turns out the family is headed by a mad scientist type who has constructed robots out of everything (lamps, cabinets, vending machines, tanning beds, etc.). The family is waited on constantly by these robots and do almost nothing for themselves.
The house is shielded from the outside world (a very cold place with animals but no other sentient beings). The Doctor and Martha arrive and things get bad very quickly when the father thinks the Doctor is sabotaging his creations and puts the Doctor down in one of the lowest levels of the house.
The man also plans to leave behind all of the robots he has created, even though they have rather highly advanced artificial intelligences. Throw into this a central computer/robot that is as much a fruitcake as the father and you have a lot of problems for the Doctor and Martha to solve.
I didn't care a whole lot for the book. For one thing, if these voracious craws were so dangerous, then why haven't some alien civilizations used their incredibly advanced weaponry to destroy them? The basic plot of intelligent and feeling machines has been done better elsewhere. Martha, as usual in the novels, doesn't do much of anything.
The method used to get the voracious craw to go somewhere else is really absurd. Altogether a very disappointing book.
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