Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

I finished listening to Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky a few days ago. I didn’t know a lot about this book before I started it. I really only knew that it has been incredibly well received and that it was sci-fi of the humans trying to continue life after doom variety.

What’s it about? The book begins with a ship of humans starting a terraforming project on a new planet and including DNA technology that would help speed up the evolutionary process on the planet as well as adding human DNA to the species on the planet. There’s a war, and there’s a few more wars. With a name like Children of Time, you would think time travel is involved, but it actually refers to the beings on the terraformed planet and the humans in cryo-stasis.

What did I think? It wasn’t my favorite science fiction novel, but I did enjoy. I didn’t like the Audible narrator at all, but I listened to the whole thing anyway. At a whopping 16 hours, that’s saying a lot. I don’t know if other people would dislike her voice; I highly suggest that you always listen to the sample before purchasing a book.

The beings on the planet are freaking amazing. The world building for the planet is great, and we get a really cool society from it. The only think I don’t like about the beings on the planet is that their names are repeated over the generations, and I got confused by that because I kept forgetting that it was the next generation and had to reorient myself to what was happening the book. I would have rather had an extra sentence explaining parentage for each one.

The human part was a little odd because there’s kind of a love story but not really. There’s a ruthless crazy dictator but not really. The humans are definitely complicated though (as humans actually are), and I appreciate that. The main human character is a classicist, which I thought was great. It’s a relief from the usual scientist, military professional, or nobody who rises to be the world’s greatest rebel leader tropes.

Who’s it for? I think this book could be widely popular, but I know some couldn’t go through a genre they don’t like for that long. It has universal concepts though, so anyone could give it a try and probably enjoy it.


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