The White Mountains

John Christopher
The White Mountains Cover

Tripods: The White Mountains - John Christopher


Somehow missed this series when I was a kid; really enjoyed this author's The Death of Grass and thought the prequel novel was pretty good too.

Teen Will lives in a world that has regressed considerably due to the foreign influence of the Tripods. In a society without serious science or decent propulsion, Will is certain of only one thing - he doesn't want to be "Capped". Nobody in this book knows what the caps do, but they suspect an unswerving loyalty to the overlord aliens.

Will escapes to the south, reluctantly joined by his cousin and later by another boy called Beanpole (a derivation of his French name, Jean-Paul). Their adventures are well described and episodic, culminating in a run to the south and a battle with one of the Tripods.

The first of a series, this book comes to a rather abrupt end, with a two page summary of "what happened next". This seemed clumsy to me, and didn't end the story well at all. I dislike being forced to read the next book to get the rest of the story - especially when it is the middle book of a trilogy and so will probably have to read two.

That aside, the story is good, and stands up well some fifty years later. I would recommend it to young adults, and would caution older readers to read the whole series or perhaps see The Death of Grass instead. Read this with my daughter, whose overall rating was "Meh".