Books

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky – a Squee post.

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Doesn’t quite show you how big this book is.

Its rare that I feel compelled to write about something I’m reading before I’ve finished reading it but Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time has crawled under my skin and it is preying on my mind so I need to tell you all why.
I bought this book in hardback back at BristolCon in 2015 and because of it’s doorstop size I haven’t picked it up to actually read because of fear of doing myself a mischief. But the usual suspects have recommended that I stop letting it languish on the TBR pile and damned. This book is everything right now.
The book follows two parallel stories one of a human Historian on an Ark ship from a dead Earth. The other follows generations of a specific family of spiders that have a nanovirus which has accelerated its evolution so are intelligent giant spiders and whilst normally that is the stuff of my darkest nightmares. I am finding it all encompassing I need to flail at someone.
The novel alternates chapters between the humans and the spiders. The humans seemingly in terminal decline, no longer at the peak of invention they are fighting for their survival in a ship that has been cobbled together as a last best hope. The Spiders are the product of a misfired experiment on a terraformed planet who along with ants and other insects have evolved.
What has grabbed me are the themes and ideas that Adrian Tchaikovsky has been exploring in the novel. I love the reflections of ideas between the humans an
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It has a spidery doodle

d the spiders, the narratives intertwine and reflect each other and I love how it all hangs together. One thing I gave a wry smile at is that the Spider society is matriarchal and I have to say there is a huge amount of satisfaction seeing male spiders being described as weaker even as I can see that the society is as flawed as our own. There are ideas thrown around about religion and belief and the nature of a deity and it is filling my head with thoughts I am so engaged and I’m desperate to know what happens. I will be ruined for reading for weeks after this.
Do yourself a favour, if you haven’t already get a copy now available in paperback and in e-book to save your wrists and read the hell out of this novel because I think everyone needs to read this book.

Jane Hanmer

Born in deepest darkest Shropshire. Currently living in London. A reader of books, a watcher of theatre and film, a player of board games. Intersectional Feminist Pronouns: She/her

5 Comments

  • bethanmaybooks

    This book isn’t squeed about enough! I was the same, I was reading it and felt I needed to shout from the rooftops how amazing it was, I was constantly tweeting about it 😂

    • Jane Hanmer

      Jane Hanmer

      I know, right?
      It filled my brain and got under my skin. And me, a bit of an arachnophobe actually rooting for the spiders over the humans for great swathes of the novel. If you haven’t read Spiderlight, another Adrian Tchaikovsky novella, this one is a fantasy which involves a spider character and gave me feels also.

  • Lynne Mitchell

    Thank you Jane. This book has now moved from my tbr pile and is now on my summer holiday reading list. I have a kindle and know how to use it.

    • Jane Hanmer

      Jane Hanmer

      Hey Lynne I’m glad you’re going to read this one, its amazing. The sequel Children of Ruin is just out too if you enjoy it and fancy reading the sequel.

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