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
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.