Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Pan Macmillan)

A race for survival among the stars… Humanity’s last survivors escaped earth’s ruins to find a new home. But when they find it, can their desperation overcome its dangers?


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 waiting 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?

Adrian Tchaikovsky is one of my favourite science fiction/fantasy writers and I really love his Shadows of the Apt series so I was interested to see what he’d do with science fiction in this Clarke-award nominated novel that I couldn’t wait to get stuck into. This book is instantly on par with the best of the decalogy though, and explores a fascinating concept that really pays off.

The book covers a wide timeline and the amount of world-building put into this novel really shows, with some great plotting that blends several different storylines together very well. Tchaikovsky tackles several things in this novel that range from the evolution of a species to humanity travelling in a ship looking for a new planet to settle on, very reminiscent of Battlestar Galactica, except here they’re fleeing Earth rather than searching for it. The plot keeps the reader hooked and the diverse concepts that this book explores here will attract anyone looking for a thrilling standalone science fiction read.

The characters are all believable and you’ll want to get behind them and support them. They’re just as interesting as the origin of the species that we also follow,  and the exploration of both sides is excellent, and the ending will simply leave readers breathless, it’s that good. Also worth noting is that cover, which I really, really like, and is instantly-eye catching.

Sometimes books with interesting premises fail to be properly executed but Children of Time is pulled off so well you’ll be left awed as Tchaikovsky delivers one of the best novels of 2015 and I’m really regretting not reading this sooner because chances are it would have been in my Top 10 of last year for sure. If you’ve missed out on Tchaikovsky’s Shadows of the Apt series and want a taster as to his work you really should consider picking this one up as soon as you can. You won’t regret it!



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