Children of Time Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Adrian Tchaikovksy's critically acclaimed stand-alone novel Children of Time is the epic story of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet.
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?
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|Listening Length||16 hours and 31 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||02 May 2017|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 247 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
2 in Space Exploration Science Fiction
3 in First Contact Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
6 in Alien Invasion Science Fiction
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Top reviews from Australia
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The novel alternates between chapters describing the spider world and , and more conventionally written chapters featuring humans trying to survive a desperate space odyssey.
The spider sequences are reported as if by an observing scientist because the spiders have spider body language, biology, and culture. Also as the spiders evolve, and as the reader gains familiarity with the arachnid world, the spider chapters become increasingly immediate. However some readers might object to the 'info dump' feel of these chapters. Personally, I have a high tolerance for the creative info dump.
The human centred chapters are more conventionally written in third person. I particularly enjoyed the human protagonist, an introverted scholarly old man who's occasionally dragged out of stasis into stupidity-based chaos.
Initially I found it very hard to get into, and it's taken me the longest to read out of all the books I've read this year. The first character we are introduced to is not very likeable, and the next is a spider. I was interested but not involved. I complained to my partner about how hard it was to find at least someone I had empathy with. I'm not sure when that changed, but it was artfully done. As the chapters switched back and forth between the remnants of humankind and the burgeoning spiderkind, across such a vast expanse of time, I became invested.
By the time I reached the climax of the story I was so invested I couldn't bear to go on. I didn't want to know how spectacularly stuffed my darlings were. I actually felt sick with worry over it. It took me about three days before I could pick it up again. There was a part of me that didn't want to find out. I am glad that I did.
Overall this is a complex and interesting book that made me feel when I didn't think I would. Actually it was more than that, the book was a journey to feeling and understanding, and I am so glad I spent the time to get there.
The novel spans many generations for each civilisation & it was fascinating to witness the changes & evolution of a civilisation so alien to ours - yet in many ways, so similar. This book takes a good look at human nature & behaviour & asks the question - "can we really change?"
And, as for the spiders mentioned by another reviewer? Don't worry, it's not as bad as what you may think!!
And also, space battles.
(This is also one of the few works of fiction that actually gets the science of inheritance and evolution right. Should get an extra star for that. 6 stars out of 5!)
This book kept me awake at night, it's clever, thought-provoking and unique.
I thought I was reading a Hamilton book thinking "wow, he has outdone himself here". Just finished the book, nope not Hamilton haha.
Thanks Adrian, the sheer scale of this story mate, brilliance sheer brilliance.
Please keep up the Sci-fi, you have a fan for life.
Top reviews from other countries
1- Just because Amazon has been recommending this book to me for several months does not make it a good book.
2- Having an award mentioning Arthur C Clarke does not make it a good book.
3- Viewer ratings mean nothing, including mine.
This book is boring, repetitive and ultimately unimaginative. I've managed to persist to the end but even so I can't bring myself to give it more than one star. In the future I'll stick to my normal methods of choosing books and write this one off.
Who'd have thought it possible to conceive of a civilisation of spiders that feels entirely realistic in its construction and how it evolves over time? By sensitive, imaginative writing and the clever trick of reusing names, the author allows the reader to identify with arachnid characters across the centuries. In the counterpoint story, we follow a human "classicist" who is periodically awakened from suspended animation and who acts as our witness to the unravelling of society on the ark ship.
Absolutely superb from first to last with (to me) a surprising ending that was pretty satisfying. Well played indeed, Adrian.
The idea frankly is fantastic and the developing spider culture is pretty interesting. The problem is that the book is so incredibly slow yet manages to barely develop any of it's characters which is a remarkable feat to me. It spends it's time jumping between a family line of spiders all with the same name through time and a group of human refugees looking for a new home but I found it difficult to summon any interest in them. The humans never get any real development beyond superficial descriptions and interests and while the spider narrative is really interesting it never sticks with any of them long enough to form any attachments to any of them. I want a cast I can either root for or maybe even hate but Children of Time manages to make me just not care.
I got 33% of the way through and realised two things, nothing had really happened in 200 pages and that I was intentionally finding excuses not to read it. All in all I can see why people would enjoy it, the idea is excellent but it's just too slow and the characters are far too under developed for my taste. Perhaps it gets much better and I have given up prematurely but I didn't want to force myself through when I have so many other books to read.
+ Fantastic premise.
+ Spider culture is interesting.
- Characters are forgettable or don't have enough focus.
- Takes too long to actually get anywhere.
It’s a story of genetics and modification and evolution, but it’s also characters. It’s humanity’s last rag-bag of peoples who have clawed their way up through the ruins of our civilisation, and done the best they can with the remnants of technology to leave a dying Earth. But when the ship Gilgamesh, carrying its cargo of humanity, reaches their best hope, they find it’s occupied – and the sentinel does not want them to land.
And down on the terraformed planet, the experiment to produce a new space-faring race is progressing – species rise and clash, adapting and moulding to their environment, facing challenges that are both similar and unexpected to humanity’s journey. But over two thousand years, what rises to meets its test isn’t what the sentinel expected.
The two strands wind nicely; the evolution of life on the planet jumps forward, generation by generation, but I loved that the names stay the same to keep a sense of continuity. And up on the Gilgamesh, it’s the same names, coming in and out of deep-sleep over the course of time. The character’s stories are as fascinating and enthralling as the technology is, and I absolutely love the part-alien, part-familiar mindset of the planetside civilisation.
And that mindset, for me, is what makes this book absolutely worthwhile – the final twist is brilliant. It’s a story of challenge and technology and people and civilisations, and it’s definitely worth reading.