Ever since the Doctor Who TV series relaunched in 2005 the biggest mystery has been the Time War. Episodes would drop cryptic references to the horrors of the war but no details. The 50th Anniversary Special gave us our first glimpse of the Time War and it appears to have broken the ban on telling stories about it.
In Engines of War the Daleks have built a weapon capable of deleting Gallifrey from history. To stop the weapon the Time Lords are prepared to wipe out billions of lives as collateral damage. The Doctor wants to stop both from happening, but what is he prepared to sacrifice to pull off this miracle?
Engines is like a good Doctor Who episode. It moves at a brisk pace, has a few surprises, throws in some references for the long term fans without getting bogged down in backstory, has some melodramatic villains, and some weirdness. I hope there will more War Doctor novels to come; maybe filling in Time War stories like the Nightmare Child or the Could Have Been King.
One quibble. Considering this is a time when the Doctor supposedly did not call himself the Doctor, everyone from the Time Lords to the Daleks still call him the Doctor. Even when a new character asks him his name all he can say is that he used to call himself the Doctor and then that character calls him the Doctor for the rest of the book. It would not have been that hard for the Doctor to choose an alternative name: the Fallen, the Old Soldier, the Nameless One, the Unforgiven, something other than the Time Lord Formerly Known as the Doctor.