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The Tripods Trilogy

(The Tripods #1-3)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  2,486 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Long ago the Tripods, gigantic three-legged machines, descended upon Earth and took control. They used "Caps," administered ceremoniously near each child's 14th birthday, to control humans' brains and keep them docile. Now there is pleasant life in villages, little technology, and no war--but there is no freedom either. In this powerful and suspenseful series, 13-year-old ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 1st 1988 by Collier Books (first published 1967)
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4.17  · 
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 ·  2,486 ratings  ·  126 reviews

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Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
I read this as a young teenager and was driven by my passion for H.G. Well's The War of the Worlds. It is a gripping read for the younger reader although I found it a little simple when I re-read them in my late 30's. It is a series of 4 books with the initial trilogy written in the late 60's and the 4th novel being a prequel written 20 years later. All of them are a great read and introduce confronting situations that every teen has to face although these are in a rather unusual setting - namel ...more
Will Hadcroft
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this trilogy. I discovered it via the BBC Television adaptation of 1984/5. Unlike the TV series (which I do like very much), the story rattles along at a pace. The idea of people being Capped so as not to question the status quo has always resonated with me. The Tripod city in the books is a much harsher place than the one depicted on screen. For a children's trilogy, the issues concerning one's freedom to think and speak are handled in a mature way. It's told in the first pers ...more
Jan 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
These books were one of the few that got me to really start reading on my own as a child. I don't know how accurate this rating would be today, though, since I haven't read them in 12 or 13 years. :)
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
A very intriguing and enjoyable read.
My favorite character was by far Beanpole. He invents glasses, thinks up steam power, fights tripods with hand grenades, and creates a hot-air balloon. He also demonstrates a lot of character (as well as brains) in the end.
I loved the clincher in the end, that makes you wonder whether the tripods had the right idea in wiping out humans. Can peace and liberty ever go together?
Nadine Jones
Jan 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm not actually sure if I read the entire trilogy, or just one or two books, but whichever way, they were memorable and wonderful and stand out as one of the most amazing children's sci-fi books I read.
Neal Shusterman
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Read these as a teenager and loved them. Read them again about ten years ago, and loved them still!
Rebecca Cynamon-murphy
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
In 1987, I was in the 6th grade when Mrs. Meister, the junior high librarian, did a science fiction presentation. My little soul’s mouth dropped open and urged, “I want to go to there.” I had been scouring the children’s’ libraries available to me to sate my soul’s hunger for the extraordinary and had been consuming a heavy diet of non-fiction about ghosts and weirdly adapted classic horror monster fiction for kids. But her summary of this story plus that iconic cover. I claimed it for check-out ...more
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Reading the Tripods trilogy nowadays (I first read the books when I was about 14), I'm struck first of all by their Wellsian style and elements (I read them before I'd read 'War of the Worlds' or other of Wells' scientific romances). I'm also struck by their powerful allegorical overtones - fictions of the atomic age that look backwards to the Second World War (a desperate resistance movement fights totalitarian overlords) but which see youth as the hope of the present (very 1960s). Is Julius, t ...more
Jacqueline Yanez
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Solid trilogy. Good read for the younglings
Nov 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Quaint. 3.5 stars
I had read this series before, and may have had copies of the original volumes. This edition is the whole series, in one boxed set.


Told from the point of view of an insecure child in his early teens, this book can't be expected to be anything like objective--and it's not. The 'evil alien overlords' aren't particularly menacing. They demand nothing from humans except that the humans (a) worship them uncritically, (b) not use advanced technologies, and (c) not fight wa
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fast read. Interesting concept of alien subjecation of human race that's been going on by mind control for 100 years. Written for Junior reader set but fast read for adults. Bittersweet ending. I read the prequel first. Recommend you do that to appreciate the background of aliens' snobbery. Flawed main character rushes into things/ makes mistakes. (beating of human slaves, those whose minds are broken, some stealing food, runaways, bombs, tearing of people seen from far away, not too graphic) 11 ...more
Maral Haghighi
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I remember reading this book when I was 10 or 11 and I absolutely loved it. I read 3 of them in one week or even less. Even though that it's a really old book and not many people around my age know about this I still recommend all the teenagers to read this book at least once, and believe me, you can't put it down when you start the book. wish I could explain why I liked it or give more description but I can't remember anything about it except the joy that I had while reading the book.
Indigo M
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great, timeless dystopian novel that I recommend to everyone. Personally, I found it to read more like a synopsis than a novel, but I still loved it nonetheless. I recommend it to all YA enthusiasts who are tired of the mainstream.
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I read the tripod trilogy when I was in grade school, and I was amazed (it is meant for young adults). I reread this trilogy earlier this year, at a much older age, as well as the prequel which I never knew existed because it was written later, and even as an adult I loved it.
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this as a kid. Great stuff for younger readers.
Eve Pendragon
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honestly I’m shook about how great of this book was just read it
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Still a classic!
Charlie Reno
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amy Buehler
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: highly-recommend
I loved these books when I was a kid. Super fun and great for contemplating the importance of agency and freedom.
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read these in junior high, went back to reading them as an adult and am happy to report they were as good as I remembered.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
It was an okay book.
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Provided these books to my son on a friend’s recommendation. I found them enjoyable as well. Good young adult science fiction series!
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A great introduction to science fiction for kids. These were my favorite books growing up, and I continue to re-read them as an adult.
A.D. Croucher
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is one of those brilliant, classic YA sci-fi series. The BBC adapted books one and two into a terrifyingly low-budget yet still utterly fantastic TV show in 1984-5. The books are set in a society brutalized from modern civilization back into a more rural, beaten-down state by alien invaders who travel in vast machines known as Tripods (three legs and all that). The alien machines control humanity by grafting mind-control "caps" to everyone's skull when they turn thirteen (it's tough being a ...more
Jun 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: g_gs
The rating I've given for this book is honest and accurate: one star; I didn't like it. However, this is unlikely unbiased. I was forced to read this in middle school in "Reading" class. It's the first book I remember ever being forced to read, after years of choosing and reading hundreds of books for myself that I appreciated. If I did not already have a very firm foundation of reading that had nothing to do with school and assignment, it's possible this experience would have turned me off agai ...more
Mar 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: don-t-own
One day in my middle school library, I very vividly recall picking up what turned out to be the second book of this trilogy, The City of Gold and Lead. It was the first book I can remember just picking up and reading of my own volition--not something given to me by an adult to read (whether for education or for pleasure; I'd certainly read other stuff before then, you know, Boxcar Children, The Hobbit, etc., but all at the behest of some patron or other). So, the Tripods trilogy has a special pl ...more
Dwight Hurst
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was excited to find the title of these books, I remember reading them when I was 13 or so. I really great dystopian use fiction which probably didn’t receive notoriety due to it being a little ahead of its time with in that genre. In other words pre-hunger games.

The author isn’t afraid to keep mystery going until later on in the series, but I remember it also being satisfactory in the storytelling along the way. There is some imagery that has stayed with me even as the finer details of the pla
Paul Rudolph
Mar 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was a comic strip in Boy's life (the magazine that Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts get). I liked the strip so much, I read the books (and reread them in 2005 on a lark).

The series is set in a time where "tripods" rule the earth, which is now an agricultural society (again). A boy who is about to be "capped" a process that signifies adulthood, finds out that the capping process is a way for the Tripods to control humans, and runs away.

The trilogy is about the boy's journey to the "resistance" an
Clive Barnett
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's 2089 A.D but the world resembles the distant past as it's people are stripped of technology, knowledge and free will due to the mysterious occupying alien tripods. The youthful protagonists journey to join a growing resistance movement in the 'White Mountains', escaping ritual capping which renders people docile and enslaved.

This was as enjoyable to read as it had been in my teens. The story of the escape to the mountains and later infiltration of the tripod city is intimate and thrilling.
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Sam Youd was born in Huyton, Lancashire in April 1922, during an unseasonable snowstorm.

As a boy, he was devoted to the newly emergent genre of science-fiction: ‘In the early thirties,’ he later wrote, ‘we knew just enough about the solar system for its possibilities to be a magnet to the imagination.’

Over the following decades, his imagination flowed from science-fiction into general novels, cric

Other books in the series

The Tripods (4 books)
  • When the Tripods Came
  • The White Mountains
  • The City of Gold and Lead
  • The Pool of Fire