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War Of The Worlds by HG Wells is in my top 3 books of all time. So I quickly picked this up when I heard about it. I have to say I was disappointed with it. The plot is there and the storyline is interesting. However, changing location and characters mixed with a lot of dragging story hurts the story overall and hurt my enjoyment of it.
Gone is the narrator from the first one although he is a character and an important one. The change from the original narrator to his sister-in-law seems like an unnecessary change. She is tapped with a lot that seems like the original narrator would take on. I find it odd that World War I still carries out just the same after the Martian Invasion. The futility of man changing is barely spoken on in this plot point and that's sad considering the first book was a critique on man for World War I.
The book is double the original which wouldn't have been terrible but the plot moves so slowly. There's a lot of waiting around and looking at things and talking to people. The story doesn't just follow the main character, as the first book did, but jumps to other POVs in an effort to provide different viewpoints. It's a way of getting out of the original first person perspective that's established. When the perspective does shift it stays on the people way too long. I found myself skipping through parts and making sure I was getting what happens at the end before changing back over to the main character. Not much was lost especially since most revelations occurred at the end of sections before the switch.
There are some positives to be had including other alien life being brought to Earth. It showed a very interesting development to the story for what should be done with these types of sequel stories. However, Baxter tends to poo-poo the ending of the original book but comes up with an ending that is just as "deus ex machina" and that Baxter even agrees with. Honestly, it felt lazy and very abrupt.
That's a lot of plot points to. There are revelations that are brought up, and while I didn't agree with everyone being the route I would have taken, a lot were just stated and moved on. Moved on to more filler items.
A big hindrance I had in my enjoyment that the scope and scale are hard to keep track of. The constant changes in perspective and location of characters make it a little difficult to follow. And the sense of time felt quick but "years" are mentioned occurring between the start of the 2nd invasion and where the character was at.
There are missed opportunities too. Resistance fighters are spoken of but they are only there to move the main character onto the next location. The bring back of the Artillery Man happens randomly with highly improbable odds. Sadly, his expansion of character is the one that makes the most sense and is the most interesting. And then he's gone because the main character is ready to move to another location.
This book didn't have to be like the original completely. But it lost a lot of what made it a good story. It make changes that were unnecessary. It bogged down the reader in details that weren't interesting. It make revelations that seem to just glance over. It didn't really create any tension and kind of failed in building a post-Martian Invasion world leading into a second invasion. Final Grade - C-
Pace varies suddenly. No inflection at times. More emotional inflection at times than is required.
Monotonous approach to reading the book. Am returning it.