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on 12 December 2000
John Christopher's young adult trilogy on the domination of earth by The Tripods is tightly written and thought provoking. I was first introduced to this work back in the mid 80's when I watched the TV series. The books are much better although you can still find copies of episodes 1 -13 in quality video stores. Episodes 14-26 were not released on video. What impresses me with Christopher is how he has managed to convey some crucial concepts about freedom of thought and association, about fitting into society and that metamorphosis from young adulthood into adult life. Without giving away the plot this second book is in my opinion the best of the three. Christopher transports us to the world of the Tripods and the Masters. He manages to convey the innate difference between these aliens and humans without falling into the bug eyed monsters/ klingon trap. The Masters are not evil - their value sytem is, understandibly, quite alien to our own but in their minds there is a logic behind their actions. I read this to my 11 and 14 year old. It really held their attention as a sci fi book on one level but led to a series of wide ranging discussions about the concepts Christopher introduces. And it not just a young adults book - this parent thoroughly enjoyed re-reading the trilogy. The scary thought is that Christopher wrote these books well before the Pokemon craze and the 30 second sound-bite hit our TV screens. I recommend this book.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 7 September 2012
This is the second in the trilogy of the Tripods (following the Prequel) - I remember the Tripods series from what seems like many years ago, and the abrupt ending that it came to; and feeling highly disgusted that I would never know what happened next! So these books are a great opportunity to revisit childhood memories, and to find out what the author intended should be the flow of the story.

Will and his friend Beanpole are training to be able to go back into the world to find out what they can about the Tripods; how can the Resistance plan to defeat them? They must have inside knowledge. Will finds himself in the City of the Masters where he learns more than he ever really wanted to know, and filled with the horror of the Tripods and their plan for humanity, he must know decide what to do next.

This is great stuff; although written for a younger audience, I found myself drawn along with the pace and characterisation of the story; and I look forward immensely to the next in the series.
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on 22 March 2011
Book 2 in the Tripod series.

Based in similarity to HG Well's War of the Worlds and a futuristic if regressed society living pastoral lives, this book is also similar to the Matrix, in that overlords, sentinels control unwitting populations etc.

Buy these and read the original school-boy classics before going to the new Hollywood versions being cooked up.
Also check out the gripping TV series.
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on 21 March 2014
The Tripods trilogy is a great story and while it's more a young persons read it's still good enough to be read by an adult (in my case to make sure the young person did read it!)
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When Will and his friend, Beanpole, are able to infiltrate the Tripods' city, they get more than they bargained for.

With inhospitable living conditions, Beanpole's cruel master, a threat from the Tripods that will extinguish the human race, and no sure escape route, things start to look hopeless. When Will accidentally kills his master, the two, however, must fight against all odds to escape or risk being captured by the Tripods.

Will they be able to escape the City of Gold and Lead? Can Will and Beanpole save the human race?

An intriguing science fiction adventure. The line between good and evil is grayed and the author does a great job of developing not only the main characters, but the enemies, as well. The plot is slower moving than the first book, but provides a lot of intrigue and mystery that will interest avid and reluctant readers alike.

Readers who like science fiction, adventure, mystery, and the TRIPODS series will enjoy reading THE CITY OF GOLD AND LEAD.

Reviewed by: Kira M
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