The White Mountains by John Christopher – Dystopian Books Review

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Review, Synopsis, and Summary of Science Fiction Novel The White Mountains

The White Mountains is the first book of The Tripods series. This series is an excellent, world-famous science fiction trilogy of the British author Christopher Samuel Youd, well known by his pen name John Christopher. This book won many awards including the 1977 George C, Stone Center for Children’s Book Recognition of Merit Award. In the 1980s, the novel also appeared in science fiction TV series of United Kingdom.

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Author: John Christopher

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 224

Good reads rating: 4.17 of 5

My Ratings: 8.1 of 10

Published: 1967

Publisher: Collier Books

Language: English

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Review and Summary of The Science Fiction Novel The White Mountains

***Warning Spoilers Below This Point***

The White Mountains

The book is post-apocalyptically themed and the author pictures a planet under alien invasion. These aliens later named in the book as “The Masters” control and superimpose rule on humans through giant three-legged robots called “The Tripods”.  The whole human population is under the dominant, brutal and unjust rule of the tripods. Their minds and their bodies became switched and programmed to fulfil the needs and obey the orders of the masters. They do this programming and brainwashing of human minds through the process of “Capping”.

The procedure involves implantation of wired metallic caps onto the skulls of people that will suppress all the rebellious, creative and individual thoughts of a human mind. In this apocalyptic world of tripods, the benefits of creativity and technology are only limited to the masters. The humans are slaves that labour manually, very few to minor working industries fall under the full supervision of tripods. The lifestyle is almost the same as the middle ages except for a few things from the modern era.

Capping Procedure

The White Mountains is the first sequel of the tripods series, which introduces many characters, their lifestyle and their rebellious struggle against the tripods. The main protagonist of this book is a 13-year-old boy named Will Parker who lives in a village of Wherton. This book reveals an amazing and interesting fact regarding the capping procedure after the age of 14 when the braincase developed completely. This became the reason behind the rebellious spirit of the characters. As Will was 13 a non-capped child also born with the power of rebellion and thinking out of the box and contempt the rule of tripods.

Luckily, he met a guy named Ozymandias who pretended to be capped and acted like a mad guy just for the sake of independence from tripods. He told Will about a village in Switzerland where all the people rebellious to tripods rule lived and advised him to escape there. Will, along with his cousin Henry, also a non-capped boy, started his journey towards Switzerland. The story involves many adventures of Will and Henry, including a meeting with another boy, Jean-Paul Deliet. Will fall ill and all three of them get shelter with a capped family. Will fall in love with their daughter but move on with a broken heart full of anger and hatred towards the tripods. The book ends with Will, Henry, and Jean killing a tripod, alarming all the other tripods and then finally joining the resistance in The White Mountains.

Final Say on The Science Fiction Novel The White Mountains

This book is an excellent effort of the author in which he drew a detailed picture of a collapsed society, the brainwashed people and the adventures of rebellious spirited heroes. The romantic touch in the novel is a plus point to all the emotions and golden moments. My rating to the novel in 8.1 out of 10. Would I re-read this novel? Yes. Am I glad I read it? Yes.

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Max Atlas
Max Atlas
I am Max Atlas; my only mission is to raise awareness of Dystopian fiction and share in a collective awakening. Together we will explore not only the best Dystopian Novels ever written but also new and upcoming Authors, giving future greats a platform to share their Dystopian Worlds.