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The Chrysalids by John Wyndham #BookReview

John Wyndham takes the reader into the anguished heart of a community where the chances of breeding true are less than fifty per cent and where deviations are rooted out and destroyed as offences and abominations.

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham Book Review

Title: The Chrysalids | Author: John Wyndham | Publisher: Penguin Books | Pub. Date: 1955 | Pages: 200 | ISBN: 9780140013085 | Genre: Sci Fi | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Self-purchased

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The Chrysalids Review

By this books definition, I am an abomination.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world; Imagine a world in which if you weren’t born perfect, you would be found and destroyed by fire. The book follows Davie, who is born with telepathy, a mutation, yet an invisible one. Understanding bad things happen if you aren’t ‘perfect’, Davie keeps his telepathy a secret, befriending those that also have the gift. When Davie loses playmate Sophie, it broke my heart. Davie, learns fast just how important it is that nobody find out his secret. Who can you trust? Davie. He always tries to help rather than following in others footsteps and ratting anyone out, he’s awesome.

This book sucked me in straight away, knowing that I wouldn’t be safe in this world because I a) have a webbed toe and b) tell everybody about it. This connection straight away just had me routing for every single person in this novel that was ‘different’, and had no control over that difference. The deeper meaning and symbolism has a clever and clear undertone throughout (race, religion, social change), making a powerful statement. Who can truly define what perfect is? Even today, we are all trying to escape from what we are being told via the media what ‘the correct definition of perfect is’, only slowly trying to break this misconception. This book really does stand the test of time.

I find reading John Wyndham to be comparable to meeting up with a group of old friends after not having seen them for a while. It’s like your home and your safe, despite whatever catastrophe might be happening in the background. The writing is steady, builds tension when desired and is a smooth, quick and easy ride throughout. The tone is very comparable to The Day of The Triffids, and Wyndham definitely has his own voice and style.

The ending to this novel could be better, but I didn’t really mind how Wyndham signed this one off.

It gets 3.5 webbed toes, rounded up to 4 toes, from me.

You can find this book at many retailers via clicking on the appropriate link on GoodReads (Buying direct from retailers is a good way to support indie authors); however, in the spirit of supporting literacy programs, we would like to point out that you may be able to purchase this book through BetterWorldBooks.

Published inScience Fiction Book ReviewsStarred Reviews


  1. I’m wondering how I never read this. It does sound right up my alley. And yes, I’d be one of the burned up ones. LOL Thanks for sharing your review. I enjoyed it.

    • Sian

      Haha thank you!! I hope if you give this a read you enjoy it! It’s a really short one!

  2. I think The Chrysalids was the first science fiction book I ever read. What can you say about a book that opened your mind to all sorts of possibilities?

    • Sian

      Aw really! What a great opener to Sci Fi! I actually have no idea what my first Sci Fi book was!

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