...present to you today, is The War of the Worlds.

I finished the book late at night again, so I kinda had some time to sleep on. it. Here is what I thought about it.

H.G- Wells is not your average science fiction writer, let me assure you. Although the book IS about attacking aliens, it doesn't really matter from where they came from, or what do they look like. It is basically about how mankind thinks of itself that they are the masters of the whole damn world- but in the end we are nothing more than ants, scurrying along on our day to day lives. 

“This isn't a war," said the artilleryman. "It never was a war, any more than there's war between man and ants.” H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds

I started reading this to get a basic lesson in classics - and probably because of that infamous happening where a wave of people actually thought that this was real. There is also that little fact that the book was written about the same time as Jules Verne wrote HIS stuff. 

It seems to me, it is almost as if I held the first real science fiction book in my hands - and after reading a couple of Verne books I almost expected to find a bunch of steampunk objects lying around, so people could fight back. 

That is NOT what happened, though. 

The story goes basically like this: there is an astronomical observatory in Ottershaw, and some people see explosions on the surface of Mars from here. Later on, when a 'meteor' falls from the sky, the narrator of the book is the first person to observe that it is actually a capsule that carries an alien in it. 

The creature seems weird and harmless at first, since it is not accustomed to the gravity and atmosphere, so the people just stand around it and gape at it. 

When some people approach it with a white flag, tho, the martians incinerate them on the spot, and retreat to work on their machines. 

This is where the "war" starts. The people who are not incinerated flee the city, which the aliens destroy quite effortlessly. Some people try to fight back, but with mixed results. 

The narrator - who is actually an unnamed character - manages to escape them by hiding in different houses and ruins. 

The best part of the book in my opinion is actually the time when he comes across two different persons. First off he finds an artilleryman, with whom he tries to escape the attack. Later on, tho they are separated in a fight. The narrator manages to escape again, and meets a curate with whom he tries to hide in a building - but then another alien lands nearby this house and the building almost collapses on them, leaving them trapped inside and afraid to even move or talk in case the alien hears them. 

The curate slowly goes mad and starts screaming about the apocalypse and God's punishment, and even when the narrator tries to shut him up, the alien hears them and captures the other man. 

Of course, the narrator eventually escapes again, only to meet up with the artilleryman later on in London, where they spend some time with the new guy explaining his plan of building up a new world underground. The narrator is fascinated by this at first, but soon realizes that what the other one is planning is quite stupid, so they split up again. 

I'm not sure if the end should be spoiled for you guys, but since it's not exactly a new book, I'm going to go ahead and do it anyway. Feel free to jump over this section if you don't want to know what happens. 

The narrator then walks around London, in despair, ready to give up - so he approaches the martians, hoping they would kill him. The twist is, that the martians at this point are all dead because of the bacteria that can't be found on Mars. 

All in all, the story is quite interesting if you can read between the lines. This is not EXACTLY about how ruthless aliens are, it is actually all about us, the human population. The book has scientific and religious debates (I love the fact that every good book has an insane religious fanatic), it's about evolution and natural selection. 

But most of all, it's about how we are just like those martians - always killing the "inferior". 

To quote the book once again: 

"And before we judge them [the Martians] too harshly, we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished Bison and the Dodo, but upon its own inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?" 

All in all, I actually liked the book - it is a good read even if you don't want to get into all the symbolism. I'll give it an average 3 out of 5 stars.