Children of Ruin

Paperback, 592 pages

English language

Published July 28, 2020 by Pan Macmillan.

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4 stars (4 reviews)

The astonishing sequel to Children of Time, the award-winning novel of humanity’s battle for survival on a terraformed planet.

Thousands of years ago, Earth’s terraforming program took to the stars. On the world they called Nod, scientists discovered alien life — but it was their mission to overwrite it with the memory of Earth. Then humanity’s great empire fell, and the program’s decisions were lost to time.

Aeons later, humanity and its new spider allies detected fragmentary radio signals between the stars. They dispatched an exploration vessel, hoping to find cousins from old Earth.

But those ancient terraformers woke something on Nod better left undisturbed.

4 editions

reviewed Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Children of Ruin

3 stars

This is the sequel to Children of Memory. It's got some similar set up to the first book, in that it's got a dual perspective (historical development of Nod and Damascus, and then current time trip there with characters from the first book) and it's got some uplifted non-human creatures (octopuses!!). However, I think this book also has a huge new horror element to it that the first book didn't have that it pulls off very successfully and creepily.

This book suffers a little bit from second book syndrome in that the first book felt much more tightly crafted and the ending resonated in a satisfyingly foreshadowed way. Book two is doing a few too many similar things, and it doesn't quite all come together in the same way. I think for a book two of a (presumed?) trilogy, I was hoping for more indication of some larger planned arc …

Imaginative scifi at it's best

5 stars

Tchaikovsky's Children Of Series focuses on the lifeforms left behind by mankind's self-destruction. The sentient spiders from Children of Time are back, and are exploring a solar system caught in a civil war. One of science fiction's strengths is being able to imagine other beings, and Tchaikovsky's depictions of their life and thoughts are excellent here as well.

avatar for maxheadroom

rated it

4 stars


  • English literature