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The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

It started slow but I got hooked quick enough after that.

Set in the future after a Nuclear Holocaust, the story follows the early life of David as he realises that he and some others are ‘different’ than the people around him and how that puts him in conflict with his family and his town as any deviations from the norm are considered religiously offensive, and people who are mutated are either exiled or killed.

Starts off quite slow and apparently rather generic. It’s the problem I’ve found with some of these older books in that they seem so cliche but of course the problem is not with the books themselves but the fact that their ideas have been used and appropriated so many times since. This was first published in 1955 so a story of a nuclear holocaust which causes mutations and has whole swathes of the world being a no go area has been done a million times since but I’m sure it was pretty original at the time.

Another thing I’ve found with some of these Sci-fi classics is that the idea tends to be more important than the story but refreshingly that is not the case here in that the majority of the story is fairly well paced with engaging, though somewhat bland characters. The end though goes a bit mad with crazy death ropes and then a multi-page rant from the author on rigid thinking but other than that I enjoyed it well enough.

Didn’t have very high hopes starting this so I was pleasantly surprised that I got as engaged as I did.

3.5 stars rounded down


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