Thursday, 2 March 2017

Book Review - Children of Time

Book Review - Children of Time 
By Adrian Tchaikovsky

'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 civilisations 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?'

I spotted this book while I was on a work outing. We'd nipped into Smith's and while my colleague went to get what she needed, I was, of course, irresistibly drawn to the fiction section, or more specifically, the sci-fi and fantasy section. I'm always on the look out for good, adult, sci-fi and fantasy books, and when I find one I like to shout about it. 
So I told myself I'd take a couple of minutes, just have a quick glance and not buy anything - I think I must have known I was lying to myself - and this book caught my eye. So I read the blurb, felt intrigued, and thought I'd give it a go. 

On the front of the cover Peter F.Hamilton says that this book is, 'really smart science fiction,' and he's right. This book blew me away, exploring ideas and concepts that were both absolutely fascinating and completely unique. I don't know where Adrian got his ideas from but they are fascinating and he wrote them expertly. If you are looking for something different, thought provoking, and that pushes boundaries, then I highly recommend you read this book.  

The Writing - This book has excellent flow and pace. The writing is descriptive, and versatile to suit the characters, but it is also captivating and moves forwards swiftly and surely so that as the reader you are pulled along with it. Dialogue is easy to follow and is used well to enhance the story, the same goes for internal character dialogue, which plays a big part in this book. The places and people described throughout the book are realistic and believable. The story is written in third person from several different perspectives and I think the shifts between characters is handled excellently.

The Plot - The plot of this book is brilliant. The story follows a well known basis - the last survivors of the human race are looking for a new home - but Adrian has taken this basis and built upon it in an entirely unique and exciting way. There are constant plot developments throughout the story that keep you working to try and figure out what will happen next, and twists and turns that both surprise and amaze you. This book keeps you guessing right up until the ending, which was not what I had thought it might be at all, but was wonderfully crafted and created a satisfying finish. 

The Characters - The characters in Children of Time are, different, to say the least. Without giving too much away - because I don't believe in spoilers - they are not your standard characters, and that makes the book even more special. I love stories where the characters are a bit out of the ordinary, and this book blows that out of the water with not just out of the ordinary, but downright unique characters that you find yourself rooting for in what becomes a complete conflict of interests. 
This book spans an incredible amount of time and as such many characters come and go, and yet Adrian has done a fantastic job of not just keeping you interested in them, but building on them with each new generation. There is a continuity and a flow to the characters presented throughout the book that is both real and raw, and utterly compelling. These characters are real, they are true, they are flawed and compulsive and beautifully thoughtful.

In a nutshell - read this book. 
I very much enjoyed it. 

Rach x 

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