Children of time – Adrian Tchaikovsky

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It’s always a great pleasure when one writer takes time and care to write a deep and thorough story about themes that fascinate me as, in this book, « natural » time travel and « artificial » natural evolution.

This fantastic read must enthral you since the very beginning as the text is long, and thorough, quite slow in a very satisfying way, deeply fascinating but clearly not for everyone.

The book is nearly two books in one, as we follow travelling humans (running away from Earth) every other chapter, their story alternating with another one, the tale of a terraformed planet – the travelling  humans’ promised land. A planet where animals don’t quite evolve as supposed…

By « natural » time travel I mean stopping someone life by a scientific way or another (using cryogenic for instance), letting years go, and revive the person at different times. This particular choice gives much possibility of narrative developments, especially when people aren’t revive at the same time, and are potentially put again in hibernation. I was frequently reminded of a book I liked very much, « Marooned in Realtime » by Vernor Vinge. In « Children of time » a similar idea is used, brilliantly, with good, human and credible characters.

But surely the best part of the book was for me the tale of the planet where evolution is artificially accelerated, without any supervision, quite freely, randomly, in a very similar way as our natural evolution happened. If you’re passionate about biology, genetic, animals, bugs, epidemiology, ecosystems and so on  (even without much if any background, no need to be learned in those subjects), you’re in for a treat!

I like the end very much; I guess some people could criticise it’s message, but I loved its positivity and wisdom.

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