Lawrence Cordray is a fourteen year old who is one of the first to see the Tripods. While camping out in Dartmoor he and his friend witness one of the invading alien machines. It destroys a farmhouse and scoops up the farmer for dissection. The army destroys it along with the other two that landed in Montana and Kazakhstan. Mankinds first encounter seems to end on a very anti-climactic event. Only later a new TV show called the Tripods becomes popular around the world. It has a hypnotic effect on many people. Called Trippies they run away and form their own groups. When the Tripods land their are millions of Trippie followers that manufacture caps that enslave even more people. Laurie and his family are forced to flee England after that country falls for Switzerland. There they find shelter with his Swiss stepmother in a country free of the Tripods. It doesn’t last as the capped armies of France and Germany invade. Switzerland falls and the people forced to wear caps. Laurie and his family flee to the mountains to start a resistance to fight the alien invaders.
Twenty years after his Tripod Trilogy Christopher decided to release a prequel. A story that shows how the Tripods managed to take over the Earth. Now like any prequel you know the ending. Just like Anakin becomes Vader. Still you read a prequel to see how something started. This prequel does a very good job of showing how the Tripods first came to Earth and took over. How the resistance in the White Mountains came about. A good supplement to the original trilogy and very enjoyable.