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Tripods Prequel: When The Tripods Came [School & Library Binding]

John Christopher
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 1 2003 Tripods
Experience the beginning of the Tripods’ reign in this prequel to the classic alien trilogy ideal for fans of Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave and Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Shadow Children series.

When it comes to alien invasions, bad things come in threes.

Three landings: one in England, one in Russia, and one in the United States.

Three long legs, crushing everything in their paths, with three metallic arms, snacking out to embrace—and then discard—their helpless victims.

Three evil beings, called Tripods, which will change life on Earth forever.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

The initial Tripod invasion of Earth seems laughable: armed forces overwhelm two of the giant attackers, and the third simply self-destructs. But when TV stations all over the world begin to broadcast the Trippy Show, the fanscalled Trippiesare hypnotized and flock to Trippy communes. By the time the second Tripod invasion begins, the Trippies greet the aliens as saviors and eagerly don the brainwashing caps provided them. Realizing that they can no longer stay in England and remain uncapped, Laurie and his family journey to Switzerland. When Switzerland falls under the Tripods' spell, Laurie, accompanied by two other boys, flees with his family to a remote spot in the Alps. The small band resolves to devote their lives to fighting the Tripods and thus form the core of the resistance movement that figures in the author's Tripods trilogy. Like those books, this fast-paced adventure explores serious issues of freedom and morality, creating a welcome prequel to the series. Ages 9-14.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Christopher was the pseudonym of Samuel Youd, who was born in Lancashire, England, in 1922. He was the author of more than fifty novels and novellas, as well as numerous short stories. His most famous books include The Death of Grass, the Tripods trilogy, The Lotus Caves, and The Guardians. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the series, but I can do without this book Jan. 10 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First of all, I hate the reprint covers. The covers themselves are silly looking, and the numbers on the side are misleading. I would not read When the Tripods Came until after you've read the entire series (The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead and The Pool of Fire). When the Tripods Came is a PREQUAL, and if you read it before the other books, you lose the sense of "what happened to our world" that you want to have when you read the series. So, if you even want to read this book (it's not really needed with the rest of the series; the characters are not the same anyway and the story is only interesting if you want to know what happened to the world, but it is pretty much explained in the other books anyway), go ahead and read it, but you don't lose much by not reading it. (But, as a message to all, don't read this book first! It is not the first book!)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Decent sci-fi for young readers. Feb. 19 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I initially began reading this book as a suggestion from my partner. After reading a few chapters I realized this book, although a good sci-fi, is definitely for younger audiences. The book has a short length (like 200 pgs) and is focused on a teen protagonist. Although the story does have some interesting elements, it doesn't reach for much in terms of modern scifi.

That being said, this is an older book and a decent sci-fi for the time it was published.

Interesting enough for an easy read, as such I will be finishing the rest of the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too April 15 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Something is not right in England.

Laurie's little sister recently started watching a show called Trippies. One day, she disappears. When they bring her back, all she can talk about is peace and Tripods, an alien race bent on bringing peace to Earth. Although they manage to dehypnotize her, people all over start disappearing and showing up with helmets that allow the Tripods to control their brains.

Soon the whole world is conquered by this strange alien race, and Laurie and his family are driven into hiding underneath a hotel in the mountains. Can they find a way to take back Earth with the odds stacked against them?

WHEN THE TRIPODS CAME is a book well worth the read. The suspense and adventure in the story draw the reader in and make them want to keep reading. The characters are believable and the author does a great job of capturing why humanity is the way it is.

Readers who like science fiction, continuing series, and adventure books will all enjoy this read and the others that follow.

Reviewed by: Kira M
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3.0 out of 5 stars when the tripods came Oct. 5 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When the tripods came is about two friends who wake up to seeing a big ship with three legs. A tripod. This is the beginning of the invasion. After shooting it down more and more invasions occur. Brainwashing even starts happening through a tv show called The Trippies. As more invade these two friends and their family find that Switzerland is the only non-invaded country. What happens in Switz erland. Find out for your self...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful sci-fi June 25 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have not read the original trilogy yet. According to several reviewers, my enjoyment of that series will be curtailed by having read this prequel first. Oh, well. I still plan to read the rest of the books because I enjoyed this one so much. John Christopher makes a very interesting and effective choice when he chooses to tell his story entirely from the point of view of his adolescent protagonists. We know only what they know. Their lives go on fairly normally for a time, even after the Tripods have arrived on Earth. But things begin to go gradually wrong until, by the end of the book, the Tripods are firmly in control of the Earth and our protagonists are fleeing for their lives with every hand turned against them. Very good. And the Tripods' method of taking over is chilling.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling 'Prequel' May 3 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a wonderful compainion to the best-selling series The White Mountains. Very well written, with a hidden moral about what too much television can do to your mind.
Two kids start off in a very modern world, just like the one we live in now. One of the kids younger sister loves a television show called The Trippies. Her brother finds the show very odd, yet nonetheless mesmerizing. After she watches it day after day, and tries to run away, he assumes that there must be a connection between his sister and the t.v show causing all the people who watch the show to go out and worship the 'Tripods'. But what can he do about it?
Like I said before, well written with a compelling and thought-provoking end. One caution: This book does clear up a lot of unanswered question about the rest of the series, but read through the series first. You become a lot more attached to the characters while they try to figure out the mystery of how the Tripods rule the earth and how to defeat them. If you read this book first, you will have a hard time connecting to the rest of the books. The mystery leaves.
Happy readings!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book April 16 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is very interesting. I would not reccommend just this book, people should read the entire series. I've read this book many times. John Christopher does an amazing job mixing the future with the past.
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4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT EXLPLANTATIONS! Feb. 1 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I thought this book was well written. Perhaps not as well as the rest of the series, but it holds many good answers to the series that the rest do not answer. Very good description on how the world was taken over. Very interesting on how un-capped humans came to live in the White Mountains. I do have one suggestion: Read the first three books before reading this one. I think the magic in the series is NOT knowing how the Tripods and Masters took over the earth. This book was written as a prequal, a book made to explain things that were left out in the other books. If you read this one first, I do think the rest of the series: The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead, and The Pool of Fire, will not hold as much magic and imagination if you had read it last. Very good, very thorough, but meant to be the last read.
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