HG Wells also spends a lot of time describing the Martians in depth. He probably does this to make the whole thing more plausible.
To improve the plausibility that an attack from Mars could happen, he adds in a motive for the Martians to attack Mars. He tells us that the Martians have gone on in time now, explaining the superior knowledge, but this also means that their planet is soon doomed and they will be looking for a nice new place to stay. Since the Martians are basically the same as humans in that they come from a planet similar to ours, Earth would be at the top of their Command and Conquer list.
He gives us the impression at the beginning of the book that the Martians are far more superior to the humans. The humans are described as “blinded by his vanity” and “vain”, while the Martians are described as having “intelligence greater than man”. The humans are “studied” “keenly” by the Martians from their distant planet of Mars.
When he withholds certain information, such as his wife, it builds up certain tension. He does it again when he describes the Martians. We already know that the Martians have landed, and have started the quest to conquer the world, but you would normally expect a description of a character as soon as he/she/it enters the picture. H.G. Wells withholds the information on the Martians until a couple of chapters after we have met them. We can use our own imagination to have a guess at what the Martians are like but as they are the main characters of the book and they are not earthly, we have a natural instinct as humans to try and find out what they are really like.
His false sense of security, give to the humans in “The Thunderchild”, create tension. We don’t know if the humans are going to have their first successful offensive manoeuvre on the Martians, or if they are about to get roasted by the heat ray, just as many of their fellow race have. We find out in the end that their fate was tragic as the final Martian and the ship disappear under a cloud of smoke. You would normally associate smoke with destruction, eeriness and mystery. The ship has gone and taken with it the lives of more humans.
Throughout most of the book it seems that the narrator, HG Wells, is looking on at the experience from the way he talks. There is minimal speech during the whole book and when it does occur there is not much of it anyway. This gives it a cinematic feel and, as if you are sitting back and watching these events unfold as you read them. It also gives a broader view of what is going on. This is one way that can add to the suspense of the events unfolding.
He gives hints away during the novel of how the Martians can be defeated. He repeats the point that, as “unearthly” as the Martians may be, they are still as mortal as man. He hints in places that because of their equal vulnerability to man, a virus or bacteria of some kind can defeat them. He says “Micro-organisms, which cause so much disease and pain on earth, have either never appeared on Mars or Martians sanitary science eliminated them years ago.” The normal reader would probably over look this, as he wouldn’t know that the Martians died from bacteria and that is how they were defeated.
Tension is created in the chapter entitled “Death of the Curate”. After the author and narrator, HG Wells, accidentally kill the Curate we see that a Martian is moving into his position. We do not know if the Martian is going to get him or what. The suspense of when the tentacle leaves but then renters, builds up the tension again and so this chapter is full of suspense and tension, and HG Wells manages to convey this in his writing.