Blog Tour Book Review: SHARDS OF EARTH by Adrian Tchaikovsky

I received an eARC from the publishers as part of this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Blog tour graphic: title in white on stars next to image of book
Genre: Sci-fi
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - first book in trilogy


Book cover for SHARDS OF EARTH: title in white on space with broken planet

Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade him in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.

After earth was destroyed, mankind created a fighting elite to save their species, enhanced humans such as Idris. In the silence of space they could communicate, mind-to-mind, with the enemy. Then their alien aggressors, the Architects, simply disappeared – and Idris and his kind became obsolete.

Now, fifty years later, Idris and his crew have discovered something strange abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects – but are they returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy hunting for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, that many would kill to obtain.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.

About the Author:

Adrian Tchaikovsky is the author of the acclaimed Shadows of the Apt fantasy series, from the first volume, Empire In Black and Gold in 2008 to the final book, Seal of the Worm, in 2014, with a new series and a standalone science fiction novel scheduled for 2015. He has been nominated for the David Gemmell Legend Award and a British Fantasy Society Award. In civilian life he is a lawyer, gamer and amateur entomologist.

Find him on his website or on twitter.


SHARDS OF EARTH feels both similar and different to the other more “space-y” books I’ve read by Adrian Tchaikovsky. It has the same epic scope of DOORS OF EDEN and CHILDREN OF TIME, but doesn’t feel as intense on the science – and has no focus on evolutionary science.

There is still a very rigid set of science rules the world follows that makes the tech feel cohesive and not “anything goes”, which I really like as “anything goes” often feels a bit cheap and get-out-of-jail-free to me. Instead, it’s clear that a lot of time has been put into creating the world and ensuring the rules are followed. It makes escapes and victories feel so much more earnt and satisfying.

The other major difference is this book is a bit more space opera-y – big bad aliens, humanity at peril, multiple alien races across the galaxy with tensions between them. Everyone is fighting for control of Idris, and the ship his crewmates accidentally stumble upon. It’s Star Wars (A New Hope) in that they’re space-couriers-just-trying-to-eek-a-living-but-get-caught-up-in-bigger-matters, and partly a war epic, except they think the war is over.

The Architects are a really unnerving enemy. Partly it’s because they’re so unknowable (what are they? what do they want? why?) Partly it’s because of how horrific their abilities are – reshaping whole planets into twisted, beautifully perverse shapes without obvious means to do so (aka, no hands.) It’s the peeled-open earth on the cover, and it’s a really effective way of making these moon-sized entities thanks to a prologue showing one of the historic battles and then new soldiers being shown the remains of Earth. Thanks to this, they’re a massive threat looming over the book, despite them not being there for most of the book.

The information control around the Architects is brilliantly done – enough that you can follow what’s going on and want to know more, but not enough that you stop reading because there are no more secrets to dole out. Some of it isn’t secrets, but what happened in the war, another set of mysteries to keep you hooked.

It’s a very good start of series, and it makes me want to read the next book now!

Read my reviews of other books by Adrian Tchaikovsky:

The Final Architects (this series):

Dogs of War:


Children of Time:


3 thoughts on “Blog Tour Book Review: SHARDS OF EARTH by Adrian Tchaikovsky

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