Sunday, August 15, 2010

Turning Lead into Gold

The second book in the trilogy is The City of Gold and Lead.  In it Will Parker and his friends leave the safety of the White Mountains to enter The Games held in Germany.  The winners of these competitions will get the ‘honor’ of serving the Masters, The Tripods, in their city. 
This means living with them under their much higher gravity. But for the capped it’s an honor. 
For Will and his fellow rebels, it’s a chance to find out more about the city and its inhabitants.  Perhaps a way to free Earth and the Human Race. 
So Will undertakes the dangerous journey.  He is still uncapped and if discovered, all will be lost.  But, he is chosen and enters the city with others. 
A series of adventures and Will escapes again.  As he and his companions go, they vow to return to destroy the masters.
This book did suffer a little from being the middle book of a trilogy.  You know that the story is not going to end.  But the life of the masters inside the city is interestingly alien, and it still a good read. 
To me it’s a little hard to fit this series into any particular category other than juvenile adventure SF.  Will is not a scientist, and not really a misfit.  He is a hero which is an obvious draw for young people reading the story.  He is fighting against tremendous odds against a vastly superior foe.  So he is an interesting character. 
The books of this trilogy are a success.  And John Christopher has written other series for juveniles including a fantasy magic one that I read one book of The Sword Trilogy.  He and this Tripod series does seem to be ignored by a lot of SF fans. Maybe because the science in it is mostly in the hands of the aliens and the humans are primitive. 
But in the concluding book of the trilogy the earthmen make use of their inferior technology in interesting ways.  Next post. 
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