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Prequel to the Tripods trilogy
on 30 January 2003
This is a prequel to the popular set of novels written by John Christopher. After loving the orignals for many years I heard that there was a prequel and I found it. The book is an interesting read for Tripods fans and helps to fill in some of the gaps hinted at by the other books. However there isn't any real insight because we know the story already, it was told to us by Will's master in the City of Gold and Lead.
The main complaint I have with this book is that it is written for younger readers than the Tripods trilogy. The original novels were aimed at 9+ year olds. This is more 7+. Fans who love the orignal book could be disappointed with this because it is so much more juvinile. Most people will look to this one AFTER they have read the first, simply because the originals are so much more well known. There is a big gap between literature for 7 year olds and 9 year olds. Children look down books that they see as "babyish", and many children will see this book in that way. I have absolutely no idea why John Christopher chose to make this book for younger readers.
But as it goes this book isn't too bad and does it's job well. It is more of a present day setting that the original trilogy so some children may be able to relate to it more. I like the guilible teacher who mocks the Tripods who eventually gets taken away to a madhouse. He obviously represents the critics who panned the 1980's Tripods TV series.
An interesting read for Tripods fans, but nowhere near the standard of the original trilogy.