I enjoyed the originality of this book. It is told in such a way that I found myself rooting for both sides, and I felt the development of an 'alien' intelligence that is derived from something not alien at all was particularly interesting. The means by which the author deals with untold generations of spiders cohesively is also very clever.
My thanks to Adrian Tchaikovsky, and to Mel Hudson for bringing me on such an exciting, unpredictable journey. I highly recommend this book and will be looking out for more work from this author.
19 of 22 people found this review helpful
Loved this. Was a deeply satisfying story of humanity and something else... Wonderfully thought out intricacies of the evolution to sentience from an entirely different point of view and cleverly written to encompass great swathes of time with continuity. Who knew you could feel such empathy for spiders. And empathy is the fundamental message for us all if we are to not only survive, but also thrive.
16 of 19 people found this review helpful
This is genuine high-quality science fiction, in terms of pacing it's probably closer to Heinlein than Scalzi or Star Wars but it's innovative, well thought-out and fairly challenging. It's definitely at the thinking reader's end of sci-fi.
It has to be a clever book that gets you rooting for spiders and sympathising with them. This book covers issues of morality, decency, survival and has probably one of the most unique treatments of the age-old battle of the sexes I have ever read.
The treatment of time and lifespan is equally clever. There are almost three distinct timelines here. The relatively short-lived spiders together with the humans being able to engage in various uses of suspended animation could have resulted in a real mess with dozens and dozens of varied characters. I thought this was particularly well-covered with the implementation of a logical mechanism to provide consistency of character among the arachnids and longevity with key humans.
Mel Hudson does a fine job of the narration, no easy task this one making this in all a very high quality entry to the genre and I would echo Carl's thought's that we need more of this author on Audible. It seems Tchaikovsky is still writing Symphonies!
27 of 33 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
I think I would use it in conversation because it raised some great discussion points, but no i would not recommend it to a friend. The narrator is really bland, and the writing, which showed promise in the first few chapters with the introduction of the first spider hunting in the terraformed world, it sloped off massively and never really recovered.
Would you be willing to try another book from Adrian Tchaikovsky? Why or why not?
Adrian Tchaikovsky would probably write good films. The book has a good cinematic feel to it and I really can see this book being adapted to the big screen, web cities, space battles with sentient spiders, hypersleep, ant colony supercomputers etc. But his skills as a writer leave much to be desired. I didn't care about any of the characters with the exception of the early hunting spiders in the jungle and Fabian, the male spider fighting for emancipation. The characterisation of even the human characters was sluggish and frustrating, and at the conclusion I found myself really ambivalent to who ended up on top. So thanks but no thanks.
Would you be willing to try another one of Mel Hudson’s performances?
Hell no. She's boring after the first chapter, her accents are laughable, and her dramatic monologue performances were really embarrassing.
Was Children of Time worth the listening time?
It was worth half the listening time. Some really cool concepts in it, I really liked the stuff about ants and the early hunting scenes, also charting the rise of a civilisation under different circumstances. But sadly no I think I would take back about 8 of those hours.
19 of 26 people found this review helpful
The choice of narrator for this story really let it down. Strange intonation and pronunciation. I would probably argue that you are better off not listening.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What an amazing book, it moves through inhuman quantities of time and maintains the story but most importantly the humanity of the story (and humanity is used for lack of a better term). The ideas and the ease with which we are made to accept them is incredible.
I loved the societies and the AI half human half mad, also the use of crimpers to describe accelerated evolutions and the unintended results.
If you want to read a fresh book full of ideas, this is the one, if you like good science fiction this is one.
As good as it gets.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful