The story of The Tripods was the basis of a popular BBC television series in the 1980s, in which humanity has been conquered and enslaved by "the tripods", unseen alien entities that travel about in gigantic three-legged walking machines. Humans are controlled from the age of 14 by implants called "caps", which suppress curiosity and creativity and leave recipients placid and docile, incapable of dissent.
In this first instalment of the classic book that inspired the series, 14-year-old Laurie and his family attempt to flee England when the Tripods descend from outer space.
©1988 Samuel Youd (P)2011 Audible Ltd
This is mediocre book, and sadly nowhere near the standard of the original Trilogy. You don't gain much insight, if any, by reading it. It only slightly elaborates on things that were actually best left hinted at in the Trilogy. Some character's are shallow and pointless and the whole book just feels like a bit of an afterthought, trying to make a little go a long way. I prefer to think of the Tripods as just a Trilogy, without a prequel.
"A Good Prequel to a Great Trilogy!"
I read When the Tripods Came right after listening to the Tripod Trilogy. The prequel was good, but I expected more after reading the epic adventures in the trilogy. I still enjoyed this book, especially how the "Trippie" cult came about and how the Masters gained control over the planet. This one definitely does not have the character development of the trilogy, and I found myself not really caring about the characters at all. William Gaminara does as good of a job as on the other three books. Have a listen to this one to complete your Tripod readings if you're a fan!
"Dated preteen almost-science-fiction...."
This review will cover the prequel (When the Tripods Came) and the trilogy (The White Mountains, The City of Gold, and The Pool of Fire.) These are all more than slightly dated, quite British, and definitely pre-teen fare. A very young male audience may enjoy this series. I found the story modestly interesting but more than a bit derivative and conventional.
The prequel can be read before the trilogy, but it does not add much that is not described in the trilogy. The characters in the prequel are less developed, the action less compelling, and the story more predictable than the trilogy. The trilogy has decent British boy character development, and an interesting story with some (not very intense) action and a few interesting twists. Perhaps being written in the 60???s is some excuse for weak science (but there is a lot of great pre-60???s science fiction.)
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