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The War of the Worlds is a classic science fiction novel by H. G. Wells, better known through the radio adaption by Orson Wells that may or may not have sparked mass panic. I read The Time Machine last year, and I have similar thoughts on this Wells classic as I did on that one.

The premise of War of the Worlds is that Martians come to Earth bent on taking over after their home planet becomes less inhabitable. In many ways, this is more of a horror novel than a science fiction novel (in a Dracula style, limited gore kind of way). The Martians are violent and destructive, and I was often on the edge of my seat with worry about the narrator and human kind. The only real science fiction aspect of the novel is the premise that aliens with high tech machinery arrive on earth.

Wells is not very good at writing action scenes and the ending is anti-climatic and, at a certain point, very predictable. However, I loved the premise and the many interesting dialogues that Wells has on humanity and potential futures under such a premise. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to others who can handle the slower pace of novels written in the 1800s.

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