Book – Children of Time
Author – Adrian Tchaikovsky
A race for survival among the stars… Humanity’s last survivors escaped earth’s ruins to find a new home. But when they find it, can their desperation overcome its dangers?
WHO WILL INHERIT THIS NEW EARTH?
The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age—a world terraformed and prepared for human life.
But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, the work of its architects has borne disastrous fruit. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind’s worst nightmare.
Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth?– Goodreads Synopsis
Children of Time sets the stage perfectly with a few cataclysmic events, and then it sends you spiraling into the magnificent world-building that takes place afterwards. The concept is amazing, and the premise is just as exciting.
Imagine this: There is a serum developed to accelerate the genetic progression of a species, perfect for speeding up evolution, but instead of it being administered to it’s intended genus, monkeys destined to evolve into a new human race, it finds it’s way to spiders. (Eww!) Now this might seem like the perfect setup to a horror movie (or something a little lighter such as this) that is not the case at all. Trust me when I say it could very well end up being some of the most fascinating works of art that you will read…
Along with from some awesome evolutionary world-building that Children of Time offers that takes place over thousands of years. There is enough of what made Seveneves special too: How could the human race survive in space and space alone inside a ship? That has always fascinated me and it always will. If that interests you… then this book is right up your alley!
Now you may think that a story that spans thousands of years will run into problems with not being abl;e to give you enough time with a someone to get to know them… but part of this virus that was delivered to speed up evolution also allows for memories to be hereditary. That allows for generations and families of spiders to continue on where they left off, personalities and all.
The other half of the story covers the last bastion of the human race, which is drifting through space on a cargo ship looking for one of these new worlds. (What world do you think they happen to find?) Luckily, the technology exists to cryogenically freeze humans and keep them in a perfect stasis. The humans are able to rotate coverage while humanity’s last hope floats on.
So you have spiders that can pass through memory (and character) through generations, plus you have humans that can “survive” for thousands of years; add those together and you get an awesome way to show some strong characterization over a long period of time. Almost as fascinating as how the characters develop and play out, is how each society moves and develops over those millennia.
Every reader knows that special feeling. The feeling you get when you are reading something incredible, and when you are not reading it, you are staring off into space thinking about how cool it is. The even rarer moment for me, is that when something is happening that is so exciting to me, that I have to share it with non-readers who could care less. This happens to be the case with Children of Time. Read it.
Some of the ideas in this novel sound a lot like those in A Deepness in the Sky, by Vernor Vinge (which I greatly enjoyed). I’ve never read anything by Adrian Tchaikovsky, but I think I’m gonna have to start.
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This sounds interesting; your review grabbed my interest!
I’m becoming a real Adrian Tchaikovsky fan. I just finished reading ELDER RACE and loved how it effectively occupied the territory between science fiction and fantasy.
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You almost lost me at Spiders! I might have to grab a copy so I can cash in on that WOW factor myself – I have been missing it!
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