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War Of The Worlds: New Millenium by Douglas Niles

 3star03

This was a good read for a weekend. A modern spin on the War of the Worlds, with a greater emphasis on the action and less on any kind of characters or social commentary, this novel follows the adventures of a family fighting to stay alive through the aftermath of an alien invasion. It would be interesting to know if the author had any knowledge of how the Spielberg version was going to proceed, it parallels strongly in some areas though it is quite different. It also has several different viewpoints, which is something I wish the movie had tried. The book follows a NASA scientist who's become involved in determining the origins of mysterious flashes on the red planet. At the same time, her father (who's viewpoint is first person) is trying his best to follow her progress and at the same time remain involved in what's going on from his retirement. At the same time, her boyfriend, who flies A-10s and has a brother who's an astronaut that gets hit by a blast of EMP from the alien vanguard, becomes one of the few survivors of the Martian's first strike.

The action is all described well, with graphic depictions of how the alien's weaponry worked and how ineffective ours is against it. There is also, through judicious exposition, a sense of what else is going on around the world in fighting the invasion. Overall, you got a good scope of the war, and how desperate things were becoming.

However, the ending really took the book down a notch (or two). If you though the ending for the movie was too abrupt (which it wasn't, considering it just followed the book very closely) this is going to knock you off your feet with just how silly it was. I won't go into it, suffice it to say that you'll never look at a piece of moldy bread in the same way again. So, it was a good effort, but in retrospect, it was let down by the ending. A good techno-thriller though, and a fun read for those who don't take their science fiction too seriously