Namely, the never ending fake reviews being generated to artificially inflate the ratings of mediocre books. Most of the fake reviewers only have 1 book the book they are currently reviewing in their reviews. So who are these fake reviewers? Why is the rating system based upon number of reviews instead of helpful ratings? Do they condone it?
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I understand they have a product they wish to sell and I do buy it I have an Audible and Amazon account with over books. I love audible books. Once again, there is nothing wrong with this book where you find this review. I just needed to vent and wanted to see if anyone else is feeling my pain. Is a little accountability too much to ask for? This is everything you expect from good Science Fiction.
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I love it when an author can take a potentially hokey storyline and turn it into a stunning work of believable fiction. A work of this type takes detailed knowledge and superior writing ability. Mostly this is a book about the known characteristics and behavior of a certain species, and how that species would hyper evolve with the right catalyst. But it also has some awesome hard science fiction involving terraforming, long distance space travel, and an number of other more common sci-fi themes.
Children of Ruin (Children of Time, book 2) by Adrian Tchaikovsky
The science was logical throughout while the story remained unpredictable - a great combination. Sometimes female narrators struggle with male voices, but Mel Hudson does an excellent job. This book is at the top of my list so far for , so it gets 5 stars across the board. What a pleasant surprise. I had never heard of this author and have become very hesitant to download books by authors new to me.
In a time where the traditional barriers to publishing have crumbled, I tend to start with listening to the narrator in the sample on the premise that a talentless self publisher probably cannot afford a professional. This is a well written and expertly narrated book. The premise interesting and the science believable. The characters are engaging and the storyline moves along at a nice pace.
Sorry for not giving away any of the storyline. Let's just say it's a story of humanity, survival, and some really intelligent mistakes. I enjoyed it and hope ypu will too. This was a very nice surprise. I read a lot of science fiction, and it's rare to come across a take on an alien society that is unique, and as well fleshed out as the author has achieved here. The story concept is great, and the execution does not disappoint.
The start of the book didn't leave me expecting much - I found the main character in that early part pretty Very glad to say that quickly got better though, much better. Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Time presents an interesting take on intelligence development among insect species mainly spiders due to unintended human intervention.
After an experiment designed to observe evolution at an accelerated pace in primates goes awry and Earth implodes itself, a colony ship is all that remains of humanity. With nowhere else to turn, humanity must make a play for the planet to survive. The sci-fi elements are mainly centered around evolutionary biology and the development of intelligence and civilization.
Intriguingly, spiders come to dominate with females being the dominant gender evolving as a mirror image of humanity.
Rather than a random or artificial rationale for this development, the author identifies size females being larger as a consequence of reproductive necessity and the lack of need for child rearing duties as the basis for this development which provides a sharp juxtaposition and contrast relative to humanity. The devolution of humanity on the colony was less well handled and the final denouement was tending towards the preachy, but overall the tale is a fresh take on the evolution of intelligent life in a somewhat alien species without simply "aping" human developmental lines.
The narration was excellent overall with a solid range of voices of both genders. This is a thought provoking tale that starkly portrays evolution as an unfeeling taskmaster without the concept of right or wrong, but rather only consequences. As a huge fan of science fiction I have read countless works by countless authors, non have ever touched me as this book. An understanding of life, in my opinion, has never been expressed so eloquently and so broad at the same time. This story is possibly a gateway to a new and improved perspective of humanity and of life itself.
Amazing fantasy yet hopeful potential to be so much more. What we can achieve if only we can identify ourselves and the commonality between us and any other sentient being in the vast cosmos.
This book deeply touches on all aspects of known and unknown qualities that make up our human intellectual capacity as well as those of other life forms. Beyond great, this book is a start in understanding more in every direction possible. Adrian Tchaikovsky is a busy author.
Children of Time is the first book of his I have read and visits a familiar landscape in contemporary sci-fi: the Earth is becoming unlivable and great ships are being built to send stores of humans to far off worlds to begin new, terraformed colonies. In this story there are some fascinating wrinkles. The story opens with a ceremony marking the beginning of a terraforming project on one such far off world. The point of view is the narcissistic designer of this world drearily waiting through the formalities of her grand plan being put into effect. At the penultimate moment the pilot of the lead ship reveals himself to be a saboteur, a man whose personal convictions are that humans should not be imposing their view of the Universe on unsuspecting worlds.
His efforts result in the grand plan mostly failing and the designer escaping death by placing herself in a hibernation chamber. The plan for this project centered on a proto-virus that was introduced into the planetary ecosystem. The intent was for it to act as a catalyst and accelerator for evolutionary development of monkeys who were also to be introduced. The idea was to inoculate the planet with these elements, wait a few thousand years then descend a world pre-populated with humans at an early technological age and live as gods.
The monkeys did not make it and though the proto-virus had constraints to keep it from affecting every species, because only the monkeys were supposed to be affected, it turns out the native spider and ant populations were affected.
- Adrian Tchaikovsky, On Tropes, Writing, & Children of Time.
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Meanwhile, time passes for the Earth. A lot of time. Time enough for the fall of the technological greatness allowing such project, an ice age, and a rebirth of technology eventually allowing for a new series of colony ships to be built and sent out. Time is everywhere in this story. We watch the spiders evolve on their planet. The humans traveling in their colony ship have a stasis like sleep which can last for hundreds of years. They are periodically woken by the ship when their input or expertise is required to deal with issues and return to sleep.
It's a fascinating plot device that allows for characters to age at different rates and wake to completely different realities within the confines of the same ship they start in. The inevitable meeting of the two species, humans and spiders, in space is entertaining and exciting.
I've written before about an author's ability to tell a story without breaking my suspension of disbelief and Tchaikovsky manages it well with his telling of the battle that ensues. There is a fair amount of what I consider contemporary commentary of issues of the day like power, fairness, equality and the effects of technology on life. I thought this book would be better than it was, based on reviews and awards. It might just be me, but it was a little hard to follow along at the beginning of the book.
But it picked up fast and ended up being a wonderful read. What I really enjoyed about the book was my inability to predict what was going going to happen. The author had me on my toes the entire novel because of this. Every big twist and guess was just so far out from what I had in my mind.
Upcoming: CHILDREN OF TIME and CHILDREN OF RUIN by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Orbit/Tor)
Really incredible novel. Intersting story with a couple twists that keeps the listener engaged till the end. Unfortunately the narrator is a little flat when it comes to story telling. She was spot on with the character "Lane," but a limited repertoire when it came to differentiating the others. I enjoyed the originality of this book. It is told in such a way that I found myself rooting for both sides, and I felt the development of an 'alien' intelligence that is derived from something not alien at all was particularly interesting.
The means by which the author deals with untold generations of spiders cohesively is also very clever. My thanks to Adrian Tchaikovsky, and to Mel Hudson for bringing me on such an exciting, unpredictable journey. I highly recommend this book and will be looking out for more work from this author. This is genuine high-quality science fiction, in terms of pacing it's probably closer to Heinlein than Scalzi or Star Wars but it's innovative, well thought-out and fairly challenging.
It's definitely at the thinking reader's end of sci-fi. It has to be a clever book that gets you rooting for spiders and sympathising with them. This book covers issues of morality, decency, survival and has probably one of the most unique treatments of the age-old battle of the sexes I have ever read. The treatment of time and lifespan is equally clever. There are almost three distinct timelines here. The relatively short-lived spiders together with the humans being able to engage in various uses of suspended animation could have resulted in a real mess with dozens and dozens of varied characters.
I thought this was particularly well-covered with the implementation of a logical mechanism to provide consistency of character among the arachnids and longevity with key humans. Mel Hudson does a fine job of the narration, no easy task this one making this in all a very high quality entry to the genre and I would echo Carl's thought's that we need more of this author on Audible. It seems Tchaikovsky is still writing Symphonies! Loved this.
Was a deeply satisfying story of humanity and something else The crew members are only awakened when their duties permit it necessary so our first contact with the human ensemble is when they are approaching the said planet. This brings me to the second perspective which is written from the point of view of spiders — a species that are also receptive to the advancements in evolution that the nanovirus presents.
This complication was not accounted for and may be problematic. The main spiders we follow are Portia, Bianca, and Fabian. They may share the same name but often have very different personalities. Often, science fiction stories that I read are overly complex with tech-lingo and it sometimes feels like the author is trying to prove how smart he is. In the first few pages of Children of Time , I thought it would be the same again. However, after the first chapter or two, it became crystal clear that this is a novel where the story, characters, and development are the top priority. It is beautifully written, and has been extremely well researched and is expertly paced.
Children of Time is packed full of highs and lows. For quite a lengthy book I was reading this at a blistering pace. Chapters tend to be between pages so it was always tempting to just read one more which soon became another pages. But something goes wrong: a terrorist cell embedded within the mission reveals itself, sabotaging the station and causing its monkey payload to plummet to the planet, burning up on entry.
Kern alone manages to get to a life raft, which puts her body to sleep and uploads a copy of her consciousness to a computer while she waits for rescue. In fact the terrorists, opposed to both artificial intelligence and the uplift of nonhuman species to sentience on the grounds that the universe belongs to humans and humans alone, are more faction than mere cell. A civil war erupts across human civilization between the humanists and the transhumanists, crashing the extrasolar colonization project and indeed technological human civilization as such.
Children of the Light
Except the whole place is now overrun with superintelligent giant spiders, who were infected with the uplift virus after the accident and have built their own civilization in the meantime — and who are protected from orbit by the immortal computer intelligence of Avrana Kern, who has determined in the intervening centuries that she likes the spiders better than people. Incandescently brilliant in its transformation of the classic motifs of space opera, Children of Time was without any hesitation or qualification one of the most enjoyable science fiction novels I have read in years.
Of course, there was no need to worry: cleverly remixing his core plot elements without breaking his rules or announcing heretofore unheard-of new ones, Tchaikovsky arranges for a new narrative situation that parallels the structure of the first book while deeply complicating its thematic coordinates and delving into entirely new dimensions of cosmic horror.
I now await the publication of the third book with severe trepidation. The surprise resolution of Children of Time saw the war between the humans and the spiders end with the infection of the desperate and barbarous human remnant with the uplift virus, an event which altered their thinking enough to allow them to see the wisdom of peace. So the team splits up: part goes to the icy Tess g to attempt to melt its water and create some possibility for a human outpost for potential future colonists, while the remainder stays in orbit around h to explore its biome.
Light-years from Earth, they monitor the worsening political crisis between the humanists and the transhumanists until the day comes that they receive a signal sent by one of the two factions that crashes their computer systems and kills half the crew; no subsequent signals from Earth are received afterward.