Spiders in space

Children of TimeChildren of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Humans, the end of the world as we know it and an uplifting attempt, that went sideways and results into some pretty cool spiders. Classic sci-fi of colonization, aliens and odd societies.

Changing POV, pretty fashionable in recent years. I blame GRR Martin. There are our uplifted spiders on the one side and the remains of humanity, stuck on an ark ship and being the usual unreasonable species.

The insect view I liked a lot, it felt a bit like watching a National Geographic or Discovery Channel documentary. Suspenseful telling of the spiders’ developmental path through the ages. However, the great world building and very close look at their societal evolution in my view comes at the disadvantage of lacking character development. Ok, you say, how much personality can a spider have…. But they are being uplifted considerably over the course of the book.

There is a lot of internal monologue and reasoning, the struggle of the male spiders, fighting for their right not to get eaten after mating, religion, a mad god, interaction with other species, interesting bio-science and some great imagery. I would love to see Great Nest!

The humans in contrast seem rather uninteresting and stupid. It seems we can not learn from out mistakes. I could not develop any real interest in the human story arcs. The parts with more action were good, but generally the characters felt flat to me, with the minor exception of Holden. And even he came across as pretty bland.

It gets a little preachy at the end. I guess that is the required message you get in classic SciFi. So there. There is a nice view forward, with a good plot bunny for another book. Bottom line, great story.

The audiobook narration was good, I liked it. Good personalization of characters, nice flow and emotions came across well.

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