Saturday, August 23, 2008

08.19 The Pool of Fire by John Christopher

The Pool of Fire (1968) by John Christopher
Pbk, Alladin, 218 p.

Slamming the door on another trilogy! Thanks to Jarrett for sending along the 2nd and 3rd books in this series.

John Christopher continues with the story of a world invaded and subjugated by an alien race who travel the land in their hermetically sealed, three-legged walkers. We are again told the story from the perspective of Will Parker, a young man with a volatile temper who has broken free of the Tripods bonds and works to destroy their hold on the human populace. In the final episode, Will and his friends have taken the knowledge of the aliens three planetwide bases and work to develop a plan for their eventual destruction.

As occasionally happens in a trilogy, Christoper pushes to make sure the plot is wrapped up by the end of the book. Although he builds on the knowledge of the previous novels, there is a distinct smell of deus ex machina going on. I really did enjoy some of the chapters but I think the problem is that the main character never really became all that likable. His friends seem to progress and grow but Will didn't. I think that, as much as I hate to ghettoize it, this trilogy can't break out of it's YA intentions. And amybe it shouldn't.

Take a look at reviews of The Pool of Fire by Jarrett and Olman for another perspective.


Buzby said...

I have always been itching to pick up this trilogy but your review leaves me questioning that thought. Is it worth the read?

Olman Feelyus said...

I think that's a fair criticism. But I still found the last book satisfying in that the story was resolved in a pretty big way.

Buzby, you can crank through these books, like practically one a day. They are enjoyable because the world is so cool and the baddies so hateful, yet not. There is a lot of fast forwarding and skipping over of the detailed stuff, which I think makes it a Young Adult novel. So it lacks depth, but you get done faster.

downtown guy said...

I loved that trilogy in middle school. Must have read it a half dozen times all told.