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The Devil's Children

(The Changes Trilogy #3)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  202 ratings  ·  16 reviews
After the mysterious Changes begin, twelve-year-old Nicola finds herself abandoned and wandering in an England where everyone has suddenly developed a horror and hatred of machines.
Mass Market Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 1st 1988 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1970)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Althea Ann
Aug 26, 2014 rated it liked it
The Apocalypse! Now! With More Tolerance-For-Sikhs!

I remember liking this whole trilogy when I was a kid, but I also recall that this one wasn't my favorite. I was surprised how little of the book felt familiar to me upon re-reading.

We're dropped into a post-apocalyptic scene. A young British girl is alone in a mostly-abandoned London struck by plague - and odder phenomena. All Britons, it seems, have been struck by some syndrome that makes them fly into a violent rage at the sight, sound, or
May 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
There's something about a British SF/fantasy book that necessitates a lot of walking. Maybe it's because England is so small, so any reader is probably at least somewhat familiar with the geography? Anyway, lots of walking here.

I think my favorite element of this book is the Sikh culture. The premise is that, suddenly, everyone in the UK becomes terrified, baffled, repulsed by technology. In the short term, people storm out of cities and suffer from epidemics. Nicky is separated from her family
This YA novel, which is the first in a trilogy, has a fascinating premise: something (it is not clear as of yet whether it is magical or technological) has caused much of the population of England to react violently against anything technologically based. Riots and mass chaos ensue, plague runs rampant, society quickly degenerates, and a girl named Nicky Gore is seperated from her family. Nicky eventually falls in with a band of travelling Sikhs, who do not suffer the same aversion to ...more
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I don't know what to think about these books. I was unfamiliar with the series, but came across it on Netgalley when a new ebook version of the entire trilogy was published. What I didn't realize was that the books had first been published in the late 60s.

And I have to admit that to me this first novel The Devil's Children felt rather outdated. It had some interesting ideas and some themes that remain relevant today (xenophobia; a
Karen Mardahl
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an uncanny read after the recent Brexit vote. Was Peter Dickinson a prescient author back in the late sixties??

I read The Weathermonger as a child, but I don't think I ever came across this book. It is the first book in the trilogy, but it was written last. I chose to read it first because it covers the early days of the madness that has struck the English and made them abhor all technology.

This is the story of one young girl, Nicola Gore, as she tries to decide what to do with her life
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Something has caused everyone in the UK to have a sudden, violent reaction to certain kinds of machines and technology. As civilization starts to devolve, young Nicola attaches herself to an extended family of Sikhs, who seem unaffected by fear of machines. Great storytelling, three-dimensional characters, and a satisfying ending, even though the mystery of the situation remains unsolved.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
This was so boring. Abandoned on page 37.
Rick Chagouri-Brindle
An interesting scenario but somewhat flawed and stereotypical storytelling . . . still, I rather enjoyed it.
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, 8, childrens
This is another book I picked up due to childhood memories and the bad influence of my no-longer-so-new book collector friends. I know that I knew about these books as a child but I truly can't say if I actually read them or not. I feel that I must have, or I wouldn't have felt the urge to pick this one up (technically, I'm reading an omnibus edition, but I'm going to read the books as separate entities, so I'm reviewing them that way). There was a TV show, made by the BBC in 1975, and when I ...more
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommendations
When Philip Pullman recommends an author, you read that author. That's the case with Peter Dickinson: back cover copy included a glowing reference from Pullman. I quickly grabbed every copy of Dickinson's books on the sale shelf and started here.
Good stuff in here. The fascinating play of modern to medieval, race, gender, class - Dickinson wraps everything in a wonderful tale of post-plague England in which the main characters roam seeking a place to call home.
I've not started book 2 yet.
Rebecca McNutt
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book had me thinking back to the 1970's film The Omega Man - mostly the albino group led by Matthias to hate all machinery that they deemed responsible for the condition of the world. The Devil's Children has a very similar story, also combining a few fantasy and dystopian elements into the book as well.
Dec 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I loved this trilogy when I read them in middle school. They are based on a cool idea. It is about a futuristic time when England begins to revert and believe that electricity, machines etc. are witchcraft. Two kids run off with gypsies to escape.
Michelle Heegaard
Mar 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
I am surprised at how much I enjoyed this. It was very well written. Amazing
Emilie Ring
May 04, 2014 rated it liked it
An enjoyable read. The premise is that English people suddenly develop an antipathy to modern technology.
Angela Randall
We actually have the trilogy as one book The Changes: A Trilogy.
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Jesse Achtenberg
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Jan 11, 2013
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Philip Diamond
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Feb 12, 2012
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Peter Malcolm de Brissac Dickinson OBE FRSL was a prolific English author and poet, best known for children's books and detective stories.

Peter Dickinson lived in Hampshire with his second wife, author Robin McKinley. He wrote more than fifty novels for adults and young readers. He won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Award twice, and his novel The Blue Hawk won The Guardian

Other books in the series

The Changes Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Weathermonger
  • Heartsease
“...otherwise it was barren as a desert, just long dunes of brick and cement and slate and asphalt.” 0 likes
“They had fallen into that instant, easy friendship which feels as though it had begun before any of your memories and will last until you are so old that the humped veins on the back of your hands show dark blue-purple through your wax-white skin.” 0 likes
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