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This is everything you expect from good Science Fiction. I love it when an author can take a potentially hokey storyline and turn it into a stunning work of believable fiction. A work of this type takes detailed knowledge and superior writing ability. Mostly this is a book about the known characteristics and behavior of a certain species, and how that species would hyper evolve with the right catalyst. But it also has some awesome hard science fiction involving terraforming, long distance space travel, and an number of other more common sci-fi themes. The science was logical throughout while the story remained unpredictable - a great combination. Sometimes female narrators struggle with male voices, but Mel Hudson does an excellent job. This book is at the top of my list so far for 2017, so it gets 5 stars across the board.
35 of 37 people found this review helpful
This was a very nice surprise. I read a lot of science fiction, and it's rare to come across a take on an alien society that is unique, and as well fleshed out as the author has achieved here.
The story concept is great, and the execution does not disappoint.
The start of the book didn't leave me expecting much - I found the main character in that early part pretty... cliche. Very glad to say that quickly got better though, much better.
177 of 191 people found this review helpful
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 23 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.
17 of 21 people found this review helpful
An enjoyable, imaginative book exploring the evolution of a Spider society - an accidental by-product of a human terraforming project and a nano virus invented to accelerate the evolution of Monkey to Human. As the Monkeys never arrived planet-side, the Spiders become the dominant species. The inventor of this project is a computerised remnant of an ego-driven scientist from a previous Human era, still housed in a satellite revolving the planet. She is quite possibly insane.
The book also follows the survivors of a defunct and war-ravaged, planet Earth, struggling on a cold storage Ark-ship for thousands of years in space. The Humans inevitably need to resettle on the planet inhabited by the Spiders to survive. The Spiders evolve culturally and scientifically, whilst the Humans fight entropy and themselves over the two millennial time frame, with a few of the main crew disjointedly awoken for brief often bizarre periods. Both storylines are insightful and character driven. My only criticism is that the ending felt rushed and abrupt.
Good narration and Highly Recommended.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Couldn't put my device down. Fascinating story. Lovely female voice. 5 stars. Future of humanity?
2 of 2 people found this review helpful