- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 4 hours and 33 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 14 Mar. 2011
- Language: English, English
- ASIN: B004S29PC0
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The White Mountains: Tripods Series, Book 1 Audiobook – Unabridged
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In this, the first of the trilogy (following the prequel), the Tripods are a well-established fact of life on Earth; Will, contemplating his impending Capping, decides that it's not for him, and makes a run for it to the safety that he has heard of in the White Mountains. Travelling from England across to Europe and heading south, he meets many diverse characters and has many adventures.
I don't want to say more than that as too much would be a spoiler, but the end of the story leaves the reader waiting anxiously to see what may happen next. Will has, so far, avoided capture by the Tripods or their willing human servants; we look forward to seeing what happens next.
We follow Will Parker, a miller's son, his cousin Henry and the french boy Bean Pole, travelling through the countries of a posessed world...a world taken over by the Tripods, who by a mind-controlling device called a Cap enslaves humanity. Will and his two friends must travel to the White Mountains in France to reach the last un-Capped humans left, to join the Resistance and overthrow the Tripods. Not an easy task, since those humans who are Capped will deliver the boys to the Tripods, to be Capped themselves, if they are caught.The journey to reach their goal and the relationship between the boys are interesting and well-written.
I think this one will remain with me forever, I truly love this story :D
And this has everything a young reader could want. Alien overlords. A dash for freedom. Resistance and rebellion. Lurking and hiding. Friends and foes. Unlikely alliances and companions. And a vaguely dystopian, post-historical setting with references to "ancient technology" that kids will recognize.
The book is crisply paced and directly written, with enough description and character building and scene setting, but also with headlong action, dollops of suspense, and a sort of headlong rush to book two. That said, this book ends, (SPOILER), with the boys just making it to the rebel stronghold. There's no "cliffhanger" as such, but of course there's lots more story to follow in the later books. (By the way, sometimes this book is referred to as "Book Two", but that's just because it got renumbered after the prequel came out.)
So, a bit of a throwback, but it has held up remarkably well, and is a solid, well made, and entertaining choice for a new sci-fi survival/adventure reader.
Will is dubious about the procedure because he has just seen his cousin (and best friend) Jack Capped. There is a feast day and celebration for Jack who is now considered an adult. Beforehand Jack admitted his reservations about the Capping to Will. Afterwards Jack is totally changed. He goes to work with the other men and tells Will that everything is fine. That he will understand. Just as soon as he's capped. Then Will meets a "Vagrant" (a person who's Capping was unsuccessful) named Ozymandias who is more than he seems. It turns out that Will may have a chance to avoid being Capped, but it will be a long and dangerous trek to find sanctuary.
I remember the library shelf in Banting Elementary School in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where I picked out this book to read. I think I remember it so vividly because it fascinated me from the beginning, starting with the cover. It's been decades and yes, I realize this is a children's book, but I wanted to read it again. I also wondered if it would stand the test of time (as it was first published in 1967) and memory. The short answer? It certainly does.