Review of ‘Children of Ruin’ by Adrian Tchaikovsky

This is a spoiler-free review, in case you’re intending to read the previous book, Children of Time.

A sequel to a brilliant book is always a worrying prospect. It has a lot to live up to, so there is more potential for disappointment. Like its predecessor, Children of Ruin is a long novel with the same themes – evolution, terraforming, contact between alien species, the last humans, artificial intelligence. There are some of the same characters, too. This makes Tchaikovsky’s vision of outer space and different worlds seem familiar, so for me it didn’t seem quite as wondrous this time around.

The story is set over various periods, including the immediate aftermath of Children of Time. It follows the quests of two species who are ready to explore space. They get into more trouble than they bargained for. I have to admit that sometimes I didn’t understand what was going on. I don’t know if this was because the paragraphs were quite dense or maybe I just wasn’t paying enough attention. As a result, I’m a bit hazy on the plot details. I certainly wouldn’t pass an exam on this book.

In summary, Children of Ruin is a great achievement and a worthy sequel but somehow I just wasn’t into it.

First published in May 2019.

4 thoughts on “Review of ‘Children of Ruin’ by Adrian Tchaikovsky”

  1. I didn’t get on at all with Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Dogs of War and that has unfortunately put me off his other books as well. Perhaps I will pick up Children of Time once I have forgotten about Dogs of War, but Children of Ruin probably won’t tempt me.

    1. I hadn’t read any other of his work before Children of Time. I think based on this and the sequel, I probably won’t read any more. I don’t read a lot of sci-fi, and not much fantasy at all, so it would take a lot for me to read more of an author I don’t love already 🙂

  2. A shame when the details of a book are difficult to recall, especially after you’ve just read it. I’d always say it’s due to bad writing rather than you. Good writing would make even the most complex science interesting and easy to grasp if done the right way. 🙂

    1. I wouldn’t say the writing was ‘bad’ but it certainly didn’t grip me. The details seemed too complicated for my brain to grasp. Maybe other readers got on better with it. If there’s going to be a 3rd book in the series, I really doubt I’d read it!

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