The headline to this post is a lie; this is not going to be a review, not even by my standards. This is just, like, me waving this thick-ass paperback around and squeeing at people. I love Adrian “Spiders” Tchaikovsky a hell of a lot, and he approaches if not exceeds Brandon Sanderson levels of prolific, so there is an awful lot of him out there to read, only I don’t feel like I talk about him in this space all that often.
The reason for that is simple: his books are batshit insane, from start to finish, all of them, and it makes him kind of hard to write about, because when you try to describe what happened in a Tchaikovsky book the tendency is to wave your hands around and, like, make gurgling noises and say “trust me” an awful lot. I actually fooled myself on this one; it actually starts off in the real world, and for the first hundred pages or so you could be fooled into thinking it was either a book about cryptids or a murder mystery, and while I enjoy both of those kinds of books they would end up feeling awfully pedestrian coming from Tchaikovsky.
Yeah, by the end of the book there are sentient, human-sized rats in plague doctor costumes, a computer the size of a planet made entirely from ice, giant spacefaring trilobites that communicate via manipulating piles of centipedes into an approximation of a human face, technologically advanced Neanderthals, and something like a dozen timelines all collapsing into each other including a part where you get section one of chapter seventeen something like eight times in a row only it makes sense and it’s cool, and oh okay it’s a fucking Adrian Tchaikovsky book after all.
Note that, despite looking like a perfect match to Children of Time and Children of Ruin, this book is not connected with those books in any way that I was able to figure out. I’ve got it on the shelf next to them because it looks like Volume 3 of a trilogy, but it’s not. And, looking on Google to see if I can find an image of the three books next to each other, I just discovered that there actually is a third book from that series coming in November, called Children of Memory, and I’ve already got another book by him in a different series on my unread shelf, meaning that by the end of the year it’s not unreasonable to believe I’ll have read four Adrian Tchaikovsky books, which will probably easily top 2000 pages between the four of them. He’s also got a (completed) seven-book fantasy series out there that I haven’t even touched yet, and he also writes three hundred novellas every year.
Christ, dude. I love you, but … slow the fuck down.