Tripods #1: The White Mountains by John Christopher
This old-school but not old-fashioned children’s sci-fi adventure is fun, but doesn’t quite make the literary leap from being inspiring enough YA fare as to be good adult fare. It would be a great introduction to science fiction for young readers, like the more impressive The Keeper Of The Isis Light. The thoughtful introduction in this edition proves very helpful in guiding discussion and thinking more deeply about the book (although perhaps some of these issues are already brought up in the rest of the trilogy).
This is from the same author as the chilling The Death Of Grass, and as the introduction implies, youth writing is simply not his strong suit. The ending is so weirdly paced and abrupt that I briefly thought I had ended up with a misprinted copy that was missing a chapter.
Long ago, the Tripods – huge, three-legged machines – descended upon Earth and took control. Now people unquestioningly accept the Tripods’ power. They have no control over their thoughts or their lives.
But for a brief time in each person’s life – in childhood – he is not a slave. For Will, his time of freedom is about to end – unless he can escape to the White Mountains, where the possibility of freedom still exists.