Five stars. Hands down. Ever since I read this book, I've thought about it more than I've thought about any other book in a while. You don't even understand how obsessed I am with this book. I don't even care if you don't like sci-fi; you should read this book.
Humanity’s fate is hanging off each page of this multi-faceted book and it's so exhilarating and exciting.
I think, since I read this book, a lot of people have thought me crazy, because I've had to tell people about all these cool concepts that come up in the book, and in order to do this, I have to explain the entire premise which can be a challenge. "So, there are these spiders... humanity created this virus..." I'll normally enjoy scifi, but it rarely provokes as much thought in me as Children of Time does. I've had to share the concepts this book has made me think about.
Let me get this straight: I normally like simple books with a strong romantic subplots that make me think life or make me smile--i.e. chick-lit-fic. This is not chick-lit-fic, and it barely has any romantic undertones. But I loved it. What does that mean? This is an incredible book!
I really didn't think I'd like this book. I read the premise and wasn't excited, not generally enjoying sci-fi that gets too 'over the top,' but I had to read the first part for an internship. It took me a couple of chapters to get into this book. I was about to write it off and stop reading. However, once I really got into the meat of what was going on, ohmygoodness. This was a fascinating and heartening book that kept me thinking. I did pause here and there as it is a DENSE book and I have a short attention span, but although I read a few other books simultaneously, it was well worth my time. In a few ways, this reminded me of K.A. Applegate's Remnants series except for older readers, if anyone grew up with those.
This book has a very complex and detailed plot with a lot of well-thought out ideas. The author could definitely ease us into the plot a little more, but it’s gripping and exciting with three distinct strands working nicely together and well worth orienting oneself to. The plot spans millions of years, but it works. I didn't ever lose touch. It was complex. It did, at times, make me go back and reread paragraphs because I was reading too furiously and missed something important. But when looked at carefully, it all made sense, and such beautiful sense.
I love the different voices that shine through in this book, especially in that of the spiders, which are sentient beings constructing their own society. The way they are written reflects the way that they exist, the way they communicate and think, and it’s so different from the ways human thinks which is just so darn cool. Tchaikovsky is immensely talented in this regard and this really helped me to understand how other beings might think.
Though this book incorporates a lot of technology that doesn’t yet exist, it does so effortlessly. Some of the jargon goes over my head, but it’s simple enough to get a grip on which systems they use and what purposes they achieve. Some terms could have more explanation but are mainly intuitive. While there are few stated connections, it’s easy to figure out what’s happening.
It took me a while to get through this book, which I read alongside others simply because I have a low boredom tolerance. Despite this, I recommend this book so so highly. Slug through the first chapters. It’s so worth it. This book will have you thinking for weeks, about humanity, about the universe, and about the meaning we place on how we live our lives. I honestly haven't been so excited about a book in over a year. Maybe I wouldn't have rated this five stars directly after I finished it as the writing is not the most engaging; however, the way this has made me think is simply phenomenal and Tchaikovsky, in my opinion, has crafted a masterpiece.
If you like to think, read this. If you like sci-fi, read this. If you like ideas of the universe and humanity's role, read this. If you like dystopias, read this. If you like kittens or puppies, read this. If none of the above applies to you, just read this gosh darn it. This is probably my most rambly review yet because I'm hesitant to give anything away and spoil it. But just take my word and read Children of Time.