Jump to content
Garett Hornwood

Second Quarter 2019 Reading

Recommended Posts

Another audiobook for my commute, Nancy Isenberg's White Trash: The 400-Year Untold Story of Class in America. Very interesting book

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Ruin. Considering that Children of Time didn't feel like a book that needed a sequel, I think this has done a very good job of building on the first book by adding in many new plotlines and ideas while still staying true to the themes of the original book. Where the first book focused on the artificially accelerated evolution of a species of spider into an advanced civilisation and their encounter with a generation ship of human explorers/refugees, this time the spiders (and their new Human allies) are the explorers in a new star system. This system has two planets with life, a water world inhabited by octopuses who have undergone a similar evolutionary journey to the spiders in the first book and a second with a far more alien form of life. As in the first book, Tchaikovsky is excellent at making non-human perspectives seem very distinct and different while still being comprehensible at some level, and the new species don't feel like a repeat of the spiders of the first book.

This book has some hugely ambitious ideas (probably even more ambitious than the first book) and it does manage to use them to deliver a compelling narrative that remains coherent despite taking place over millennia. There are some very tense scenes (with the phrase 'We are going on an adventure' gaining some increasingly sinister overtones as the book goes on) and a genuine sense of a journey into the unknown, and despite the density of ideas the book does still seem fast-paced.

If I had a criticism it would be that the characterisation can sometimes feel a bit bland, particularly for the human characters. I think these books may have Tchaikovsky's best ideas, but I think his characters have been more interesting in his other books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We Cast A Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, NO attorney and auteur extraordinaire (also a helluva a nice person). Linking an NPR review of his book (beware of spoilers if you click the link). 

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/30/689747338/in-we-cast-a-shadow-the-horrors-are-close-to-home

Edited by Ravenhair

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×