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The Massacre of Mankind

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,740 ratings  ·  400 reviews
It has been 14 years since the Martians invaded England. The world has moved on, always watching the skies but content that we know how to defeat the Martian menace. Machinery looted from the abandoned capsules and war-machines has led to technological leaps forward. The Martians are vulnerable to earth germs. The Army is prepared. So when the signs of launches on Mars are ...more
Hardcover, 453 pages
Published January 19th 2017 by Gollancz/Orion Publ Co
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Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!

I felt trepidation before beginning this because I kept seeing unfavorable reviews, but fortunately, I thought it was pretty awesome after finishing. I might have a bit of an issue with the end, and I think that's where most people are complaining, but it wasn't as bad as all that.

I remembered that the original The War of the Worlds was written as an account, a narrative, and as such, there's generally no good wrap-ups unless forced... and that's true for reality
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baxter’s sequel to H.G. Wells’ classic is at once a continuation of the original story, a meta-critique of that novel, and an alternate history that plays with the many theories of life in the solar system that were circulating in Wells’ time. This time, Julie Elphinstone – a supporting character in War of the Worlds – is the protagonist and narrator. She introduces herself a journalist and former sister-in-law of the original nameless Narrator of War of the Worlds, here called Walter Jenkins. S ...more
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I reckon this is around a 4.25 star read, so it unfortunately gets rounded down to 4 🌟

That said I really enjoyed it. I specifically re-read WotW in preparation for this and was glad I did, as Stephen Baxter has tied this sequel into the original superbly.

My view of the book is that it is a little too long, that said it is not too long in every part of the book. For the first 150 pages it moved along very swiftly , then for the next 100 pages I felt it was a bit too drawn out, before the last 200
Nov 11, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only previous novel that I've read from this author was his Doctor Who story featuring Patrick Troughton's Second Doctor.
But I know that Baxter is an accomplished writer to be intrusted by the Wells Estate to follow up the classic and firm favourite War of the Worlds.

Again Baxter gets to use familiar characters that I already knew, which helped set up the main narrative of this alternative history as the Martians seek to have another try of world domination.
Only this time they have a better
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The Massacre of Mankind is a book that wears several hats and for the most part wears them all well, serving as a sequel to H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds while also paying loving tribute to it. Taking place in 1920, approximately 14 years after the events in the original classic, the story continues through the eyes of Julie Elphinstone who now begins her own account of a second invasion. Yep, that’s right, the Martian
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, science-fiction
And still they come...

It's 1920, thirteen years since the first Martian attack ended in their defeat. Now astronomers have noticed ominous signs on the Red Planet – they're coming back to try again! But this time England has been expecting them, and has made every effort to prepare...

It's been a long time since I read The War of the Worlds, but I remember loving it - the descriptions of the Martian ships, the heat ray, the terror of the people, the rather quirky ending. So when I saw this sequel
I have to admit I was a bit hesitant to read a sequel to H.G. Wells classic The War of the Worlds. Usually I am left disappointed by continuations of classic stories that I love. Authors either try too hard to copy the writing style and feel of the earlier tale, or they don't try hard enough. In a majority of cases, sequels leave me feeling a mix of disappointment and annoyance. So when I received a lovely hardback copy of this new book by Stephen Baxter, I have to admit that the book sat on my ...more
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had hoped this would be a more modern take on War of the Worlds. But Baxter aimed at staying true to Wells in tone. Not necessarily a bad thing, but the speed was ponderous and dry. The characters stayed flat and undeveloped.

Due to the story telling it was pretty clear from the beginning (spoiler! ... or not...) that humanity survives and who of the introduced characters. How boring. Great way to kill any budding suspense.

The alternate timeline and the name dropping of known historical figure
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will start by saying that I am still figuring out how I feel about this book. First of you have to realise that HG Wells The War of the Worlds was one of the first Science Fiction books I read and helped fire my love of reading and all things speculative. So when I heard that there was an official sequel coming out - not just another hack story riding on the back of the famous title - I had to read it. Lucky for a meal an offer came along and I picked it up for next to nothing (though I am get ...more
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
***This review has a broad overview of the story, so it could contain some minor spoilers.**

In this, we have my most anticipated book of 2017, an authorized sequel to a foundation work of science fiction and one that I'd been waiting impatiently for since it was first announced. Within minutes of the ebook file being loaded onto my Kindle I was into it with great gusto, but after a few chapters my level of enthusiasm had plummeted dramatically. I will say from the get-go that this book seems ver
I was pretty excited to hear that one of my favorite authors was going to write an authorized sequel to one of the books that got me excited about science fiction as a young kid. War of the Worlds was one of those books I would reread at least once a year. Unfortunately, this sequel just didn't provide enough that was new and fresh to merit the wait and to merit this book's length. I see Goodreads listed it at 464 pages, but it felt like 600 + to me.

Let me start off with what I did like about t
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Fourteen years after the initial Martian invasion was defeated with the common cold, Mars is again planning a siege of Earth. Mars and Earth are at their closest distance and astronomers have observed cannon blasts on the Martian surface indicating that the cylinders are again approaching. They lost he first war, but they had adapted; this time planning for the conquest of the entire planet.

Stephen Baxter's sequel plays homage to H.G. Wells's classic returning the reader to early 20th technology
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Penguin Random House for the ARC.

To prepare myself for this book, I re-read the original story by H.G. Wells. And I would suggest this to anyone reading Baxter's story. It will introduce you to everyone who is a major figure in the sequel.

What sucked me in the most was Baxter's use of alternative History. He made his earth a very Wellesian place.

Try and find this one when it has its mass release.
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really couldn't get into this - the thought of plodding on for hundreds of pages filled me with dread.

I'm sure others will love it though.


The audiobook brought this to life, and changed it from a tedious slog into an exciting and fast paced yarn (it probably helps that I listen at double speed when consuming audiobooks!)
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No one would have believed in the early years of the twenty first century that a reviewer would read a book created by an intelligence far greater than his own. The reviewer would scrutinise and study the text as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. The reviewer even considered the possibility of life on other planets. And yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this reviewer with envious ...more
Just to say that in Canada this book will be titled "The Massacre of Peoplekind". ...more
This sequel to H.G. Wells’ 1897 classic The War of the Worlds will soon be released in the US by Crown, a division of Penguin Random House. I received a kindle format ebook at no cost, prior to release, in return for publishing an honest review.

I’ve previously read a great deal of Stephen Baxter’s work, and while I don’t love everything he writes, I do consider myself a fan of his hard-sf style. He has previously written a sequel to H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine entitled The Time Ships, that was
Oleksandr Zholud
This is an authorized (by HG Well’s estate) sequel to The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. Firstly, I have to admit that I am wary about any sequels, especially written by someone other than the original author. I think that the majority of such sequels are just an attempt to milk the existing money cow a bit more. However, bearing in mind that the original is 120 years old and not exactly a fresh bestseller and also that I heard accolades regarding the author’s other books, I decided to give it ...more
Christopher Kendle
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After reading several unfavourable reviews, I was feeling unsure whether or not I wanted to invest in this sequel as a fan of the HGWells original.
Luckily I decided to follow my gut instinct and give it a try and I'm so happy I did.
First of all, we are all aware of what a classic work of literature the war of the worlds is and whether or not it needed a sequel is debatable, I feel a scenario like that is always left open for interpretation and Baxter has lovingly crafted a work of fantastically
David Agranoff
More than 100 years old War of the worlds is about as classic as science fiction gets. The novel is one thing, but when you add the radio drams, TV shows and various films the reach of WoTW is hard to measure. Every first contact or alien invasion novel, TV show or film since is in it's shadow. Normally I would think it was a pretty ballsy move to write a sequel that is in many ways the first earliest sci-fi novel. I know there are examples from Frankenstein and more that predate it but in many ...more
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. H. G. Wells's original novel was one of my favorite books growing up, and I really enjoyed Stephen Baxter's sequel to The Time Machine. And by and large what he has written is an entertaining book, filled with action and brimming with speculation as to how, in its aftermath, a turn-of-the-century world might have been changed by the first Martian invasion.

And yet there are serious flaws that prevent this from being as successful of a work as Baxter's The Time S
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
I'm a sucker for books that develop themes set up by authors; I loved "The Time Ships" which continued "The Time machine" and I've read almost all the continuations/developments of "War of The Worlds" such as "Global Dispatches" and "Scarlet Traces", so I was really looking forward to "The Massacre of Mankind". Well, it lived upto my expectations. The story is written in a very similar fashion to the original; a narrator (this time female) acting as our focal point, with the occasiona
Max Gwynne
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a sequel! Hats off to Baxter for this incredible official follow-up to HG Wells' classic 'War of the Worlds'. A masterpiece!! As haunting and brilliant as the first. ...more
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-con-2017
This is some good old fashioned Earth-based alien sci-fi. HG Wells was basically the grandfather of science fiction; the fact that this author was sanctioned by the HG Wells estate to write the sequel to War of the Worlds and pull it off perfectly is bragging rights not many can claim.

This reads exactly like the style of writing from the Wells period. I never actually finished War of the Worlds--I tried reading it in third grade in an inspired attempt at sophistication--and haven't picked it up
Bob Lee
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Having really enjoyed Baxter's authorized sequel to Wells' "The Time Machine" many years ago, I was looking forward to this novel. But, I have to say I was very disappointed with a lot of this book.

The good things: written in Wells' style; some very good action pieces.

The bad things: lots of minor characters, too many locations as the main character slogs from one place to another and back, lots of obscure British towns/locations to keep track of (and no map!!), fairly repetitive description of
While I enjoyed the copious alternate history shown here to a point, I have to admit that isn't why I wanted to read this. I was all in on what humanity does when he Martians return to earth but when I'd arrived at page 250 and that still hadn't taken place, I was starting to become annoyed and frankly, bored. It's another hundred pages or so by the time the Martians actually show up to enact their plan and I had stopped caring very much and the book had lost almost all its luster with me. The t ...more
Stephen Robert Collins
Today The 5th of February I finished this brilliant sf sequel in back in the Acknowledgedgements he mentions a book b
Probably tries too hard to mimic the style of the original, and ends up even more turgid and heavy going than the book it was aiming at.
I knew I wanted to read this novel when I saw it in the new release books, but had hesitated a little as I didn’t know exactly what to expect, or if it would be anything like War of the Worlds. There was no comparing for me between these two novels, as I had only watched the movie for book one. So, I was able to go into The Massacre of Mankind as a newbie and see what happened since the first invasion.

“To those of us who survived it, the First Martian War of the early twentieth century was a cat
Hope Sloper
Knowing what is coming and having no ability to stop it.
That is the theme of this novel. A plot that kept me on my toes as I read. You're lead through days of dread, then when the battle begins, you read all the devastation. And worse still, it happens in gripping waves.
It's great though. All of it. Very well detailed battle scenes, and world-building; what a world it is. Since the setting is an alternate timeline (after WWI with a different outcome) and after the first alien invasion, the nov
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Stephen Baxter is a trained engineer with degrees from Cambridge (mathematics) and Southampton Universities (doctorate in aeroengineering research). Baxter is the winner of the British Science Fiction Award and the Locus Award, as well as being a nominee for an Arthur C. Clarke Award, most recently for Manifold: Time. His novel Voyage won the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History Novel of the ...more

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