The Night of the Triffids
by Simon Clark
Hodder & Stoughton, 406pp
The Night of the Triffids takes up 25 years after the end of The Day of the Triffids. Here we follow David, the son of Bill and Josella.. The community on the Isle of Wight has flourished over the years. David is a pilot and after a malfunction he lands in a small community on the Isle of Wight to wait for parts. When he awakes in the morning it is pitch black even though the sun should have been up for several hours. Searching to see what has happened he finds several people killed by triffids who have invaded under cover of darkness. While the triffids are repelled the darkness continues. David takes his plane and attempts to find the source of the darkness and how far it extends. The plane falters and he crashes onto a floating island full of triffids. His passenger is almost immediately killed by triffids but David is shocked to find a young girl, Christina, living on the island who is immune to the triffid stings. Eventually they are both rescued by a ship that takes them to Manhattan Island in New York. There they find a thriving society seemingly unthreatened by triffids or want. He falls in love with Kerris Baedekker one of the hundreds of children of General Fielding, the ruler of the city. Unwittingly he reveals to the General that the Isle of Wight has many aircraft and that they run on triffid oil. Just as he is about to be returned home he is kidnapped by a rebel group and he learns about the dark underside of Manhattan’s society - Fielding is a tyrant who keeps Manhattan prosperous on the slave labor of the unsighted and black residents of Manhattan. Worse, he plans to build an army of triffid immune soldiers using Christina’s ovaries and then invade the Isle of Wight. He also learns that Fielding is actually named Torrence and is the man who attacked the family farm when he was an infant. David joins the rebels who release giant triffids into the city in order to rescue Christina and Kerris from Fieldings headquarters. They are eventually overpowered and captured but when thousands of escaped slaves arrive at headquarters and the soldiers learn how the city’s prosperity has been achieved they turn on Torrence.
David returns to the Isle of Wight with Kerris and Christina where scientists from Manhattan inform the residents that about 25% of the population is now immune to triffid stings and eventually the world’s population will not have to worry about triffids. The blackout was caused by interstellar dust and while it is still affecting the climate people continue to survive.
As a follow up to a classic this is interesting. While not as compelling as the original it has its moments. I was disappointed that there was not a single mention of Susan, the girl who for all intents and purposes would have been David’s big sister but overall this was an enjoyable read. The hardcover and paperback of this are apparently out of print but it is available as an ebook. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon