Children of Time

, #1

First U.S. trade paperback edition, 640 pages

English language

Published Dec. 10, 2018 by Orbit.

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4 stars (12 reviews)

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?

3 editions

reviewed Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Children of Time, #1)

A modern, classic sci-fi tale

5 stars

This was a great book and I see why it has won awards and is generally regarded in a positive light. While the characters are basic, they are nonetheless interesting and the plot is straightforward enough to keep the focus on the setting. The setting is excellent and the way the two societies, one human, one spider, is explored is clever. I enjoyed both viewpoints and wish we had gotten more time after they merged together, but maybe that is a story for the second novel? I look forward to reading the other novels in this series and finding out.

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reviewed Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Children of Time, #1)

Impressive & audacious vision

5 stars

Spiders undergo enhanced evolution, building an extraordinary new civilisation. Meanwhile the last of humanity searches for a new home, bringing its destructive tendencies with it. Impressive & audacious vision, but lacks engaging characters.

Reading time 6 days, 100 pages/day

reviewed Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Children of Time, #1)

Children of Time

4 stars

This feels like the most "classic scifi" book that I have read in a long time. Spaceships! Evolution! Cold sleep! Ark ships from a ruined earth! Aliens! Consciousness upload! Space battles! I'm half-joking here, but rather than trite, it felt refreshing to read this more classic space opera story as a change of pace from my usual fare.

The story is told through two parallel perspectives, one following the historian Holsten Mason (a classicist of now-gone earth empires) on an ark ship and another following the historical development and intelligent evolution of spiders on a terraformed planet. Both perspectives are told over great swaths of time: pictures of important moments in spider history as they evolve, but also flashes of human experience as well between cold sleep as they try to survive with what's left of humanity. If anything, despite following the same major characters, the human narrative is just …

reviewed Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Children of Time, #1)

Good ending, didn't care for the human portions

3 stars

Content warning Discussion of the ending