The only things that I knew about “The War of the Worlds” was what I saw in the movies (1953 version was much better than the 2005 IMHO). The book by H. G. Wells was far superior to the movies.
Wells did a great job with the science of the time (knowledge of Mars, evolution, etc.) His predictions of technological advances in warfare are just plain scary (especially the use of chemical warfare).
The book was published in 1898 so the language is a bit different (but I enjoyed that). For me the thing that made the book so great was the time in history that it takes place. A time when most traveling was done by either train, steamship or horse and buggy. News was delivered by telegraph and newspapers (no TV’s, radio, video, phones or internet). For weapons humans had no tanks, planes or Atom bombs.
In the end it wasn’t mans superiority that saves mankind, it was nature.