The War of the Worlds

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UK First edition hardcover.

The War of the Worlds is a pioneer science fiction novel about Martian invaders coming to Earth to take over the planet for their own colonization. It was published in 1898 and written by H.G. Wells.

Status

I don't own this book, but have listened to an audio book recording.

Review

Overall, I did not find the book very entertaining.

Good

  • Wells made creative ideas about futuristic weaponry from the laser-like heat ray to the ominous black smoke.
  • The description of some of the Martian technology was interesting like the tripods that are so advanced they look alive.
  • The Martians are a formidable foe, and it looks like the Earthlings had a chance when they destroyed one of the tripods, but it was just a clever tease.
  • The artillery man describing how the Martians would probably enslave the human race as cattle is a nice mirror to look at how humans view lesser species.
  • It's inadvertently funny the way the Earthlings fawn over the Martian's ability to fly.

Bad

  • Wells made a lot of bad guesses when it comes to science. He believed alien life wouldn't need a suit to live on a foreign planet, that bacteria wouldn't necessarily grow where larger complex organisms would, that Martian plants would thrive on Earth soil, that alien life would find human blood nourishing, and so forth.
  • Martian space travel is incredibly dangerous utilizing capsules that just smash into the ground rather than utilize retro-rockets!
  • The ending is too drawn out and unnecessarily cheerful.

Ugly

  • In writing the story in the form of a memoir, most of the tension is removed; obviously, the writer will survive since he had to write this book. The story would have been much better if it were written as the action unfolded.
  • The ending is painfully anti-climactic.

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