D.M. Dutcher 's Reviews > The Kraken Wakes

The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham
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's review
Mar 06, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: science-fiction, yard-sale-sf
Read in March, 2012

Fireballs streak to earth, landing in the deepest parts of the ocean. Soon, ships start disappearing, and worse. It's apparent we are being invaded, as witnessed by the eyes of a husband and wife who work for the English Broadcasting Channel.

Unfortunately due to the nature of the aliens (who live in the deepest trenches in the sea) it's just too abstract to be interesting. You see a lot of what the aliens do, but there is precious little explanation, no contact except with their war machines in one gripping scene, and most of the book is about others who are not as interesting, like Bocker, the savant. Much is just reporting what the governments of the world do or say, or engagements by the aliens without any personal aspect, like news reporting.

The book doesn't end as much as slowly wind down, again in a passive, abstract way. Given the last Phase of the alien attack, there should have been a lot more disruption in the lives of the viewpoint characters, but Wyndham is just too restrained. The ending isn't one, and it's cheery tone is somewhat foolish considering that even if the aliens are defeated in that manner, what they did to the earth still remains.

Apart from the battle scene mentioned earlier, it's a sedate book. Not bad, but not all that captivating.

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