ARC Review: CHILDREN OF MEMORY by Adrian Tchaikovsky

I received an ARC through the publicity company on behalf of the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Title in white on black blur on white and grey
Genre: Sci-Fi
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 3.5 stars
Series: book 3

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for CHILDREN OF TIME and CHILDREN OF RUIN*

Blurb:

Book cover for CHILDREN OF MEMORY: title in white on orange planet on space with spaceship

Earth is failing. In a desperate bid to escape, the spaceship Enkidu and its captain, Heorest Holt, carry its precious human cargo to a potential new Eden. Generations later, this fragile colony has managed to survive, eking out a hardy existence. Yet life is tough, and much technological knowledge has been lost.

Then Liff, Holt’s granddaughter, hears whispers that the strangers in town aren’t from neighbouring farmland. That they possess unparalleled technology – and that they’ve arrived from another world. But not all questions are so easily answered, and their price may be the colony itself.

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

CHILDREN OF MEMORY is the third book in a series that, in a nutshell, is “people tried to terraform, it didn’t go as they expected and now, centuries on, more people are coming to the planet and have to deal with the botched terraform.” Where CHILDREN OF TIME is about spiders and CHILDREN OF RUIN octopuses, this book is a little less obvious. There are crows, but also (it appears) humans just trying to eek it out on a planet that is not meant for them.

I really liked the focus on the declining colony, the idea that they’d come all this way to escape this same thing but then it happened. Lots of small things stacking up and propagating. It gave the book a chance to explore “us vs them” mentality that comes from fear in an ultimately unhelpful attempt to survive by retreating inwards.

Like other books in this series, CHILDREN OF MEMORY takes place over several time frames. There were two main ones, so far as I could tell, and then a few “much further back/explanation” time frames. I was able to keep it all straight until about halfway through, when some events happened and seeming inconsistencies cropping up that completely threw me. At this point, I did entertain DNF’ing after completely failing to understand a section. However, I had a suspicion about what was causing it all, so I simply assumed that was true as it let me at least feel like I wasn’t entirely lost, and kept reading. (I was correct in the end.)

I’m glad I did keep going (I like feeling vindicated in my guesses) but I also wish I hadn’t had to make that choice, that the transition when the “things are odd here” becomes really obvious, had been eased in a bit. I felt at that point like I must have missed something very big.

The book begins with a brief recap of the previous books, introducing the main characters, which was very helpful for following who was who and the references to events that had come before.


Read my reviews of other books by Adrian Tchaikovsky:

Children of Time (this series):

The Final Architect:

Dogs of War:

Standalones:

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