Book Review: Children of Time By Adrian Tchaikovsky

So originally I'd planned to review this much earlier when I still had it in my hands, but unfortunately took the decision not to before re-thinking my options. But thanks to the web I've got back most of my memory of what actually happens and what I thought. And this time round I've found something really I have much to talk about.

Children of Time was published in 2015, gaining the Arthur C.Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in the process, and during last year had the film rights bought by Lionsgate for a future adaptation.
Written by Adrian Tchaikovsky, the book is a sci-fi dystopian set in an uncertain future involving terraforming earths, insane scientists and creepy enlarged animals. But the main summary of this alone is the best to give you an idea of how investing the story is:

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 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?

If you haven't already guessed, I really liked this book. After having done a lot of young adult fiction recently and now under a bit of "YA fatigue", I decided to head to a more adult sci-fi and fantasy area for the sake of reading something new. 
Out of the bunch I found, this was the one so far that's really left me thankful for trying it. Not only is Children of Time an epic journey of suspense and terror, but also one made of strong world-building and well-developed characters, brought together for the pretty original conflict which arises. 
For this reason, and to keep it mostly fresh, I'm not going to reveal too much in case for spoilers but also to keep it intriguing for those interested. 

Our main protagonist, Holsten Mason, is already one of my favorite hero/heroines that I've ever read. 
(At least I think he is the main lead, although the way everyone is developed does make it a little hard to tell. I guess that's a good thing?) He is a simple guy who happens to be one of the few people (in fact, the only one) on board the ark-ship Gilgamesh with a lot of knowledge of past centuries. This makes him an important key player in the battle to come whether he wants to or not. For this reason, he is very much the every-man of this story. He can't help but be dragged around mostly against his will for the sake of other's uses and control, which of course isn't fun at all. 

                                                           What mostly Holsten is in for the entire novel...    
And as an historian, he is a pretty depressed and grumpy old man who wonders, like everyone else, what the whole point of their departure from Earth of even the existence of the human race even is. Kind of like older Han Solo in a way...

As for side characters, the one who shines out of the bunch is Isa Lain, the chief engineer of the Gilgamesh who, with a brash tongue, is determined to do her best and give her all in her commission, even if it means doing the right thing out of common sense. 

The world - building is also well drawn out, with interesting ideas based on complex science and genetics,
using it as a way to talk about deep philosophical themes on life, survival, and what it means to be human, while still based on a fictional perspective. I'd love to reveal what the players of the terraformed planet are, but I'd like to leave that omitted. 
Seriously, it's really interesting and a little creepy at the same time....

Which does beg the question I have left, is this book exactly for everybody? Well... Yes. No. Maybe?
It sort of depends whether you can handle slow burn novels or not. Because this is meant to be a realistic sci-fi, some readers might get shied away from a lot of the long descriptions and scientific words. Or it could go over one's head and be taken as intriguing or important for later. Mostly. But it is a large set of pages so that would be differing for everybody.

And for those who are wondering about the title, the reason it's called Children of Time is because cyro sleep is used a lot in here, which might be a little hard for some to keep up due to frequent changes of pacing and time gaps. As for me, though, I didn't mind too much about these little issues, accept for the the two different POV's switching a lot got a bit overwhelmed for me. That aside, this is one of the best science - fiction novels I've come across, and one I hope will deserve a great adaptation when they release it in the near future.
I highly recommend this if you're a fan of sci-fi or fantasy epics!

So have you read Children of Time? What did you think when reading it? Comment below and share your thoughts, and don't forget to share this post and follow for more every Wednesday! :D

Plot: ★★★★✩

Characters: ★★★★✩

Setting: ★★★★✩

Originality: ★★★★✩

Verdict: ★★★★✩


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