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Children of Ruin

Written by: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Narrated by: Mel Hudson
Length: 15 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (104 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It has been waiting though the ages. Now it’s time....

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.

And it’s been waiting for them.

Children of Ruin is the powerful follow-up to the award-winning Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

©2019 Adrian Tchaikovsky (P)2019 Macmillan Digital Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Just ok

Other than the last 10 minutes there was to much going on. I think I also was expecting it to be similar to the last book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic sequel to "Children of Time"

This is the sequel to "Children of Time" and you should definitely read the first book before reading this one or it won't make a lot of sense. But read the first one, it's also an amazing book, and then come back and read this one!

"Children of Ruin" follows the structure of "Children of Time" by jumping between two different time periods - the far past and the near present, which slowly converge over the course of the book as we see how they relate. The "far past" section deals with another terraforming ship, colleagues of Dr. Kern from "Children of Time", who went to a different planet with the intent to terraform it, only to find it already inhabited by non-intelligent life, the first actual alien life anyone has found. Rather than destroy it to make a new world for humans, they opt to terraform another planet in the same system that is less habitable due to being mostly ocean, but unoccupied. One team goes to investigate the occupied world, while a second team works on the terraforming, and because it is a water world, includes the creation of an uplifted breed of octopus intended to be the humans' helpers.

Without getting into too many spoilers, things go badly wrong, and many thousands of years later when a joint Human/Portiid expedition from Kern's World arrives in the system, they find a race of spacefaring octopods who are so panicked by the sight of a human being that it sparks a violent space battle and the remainder of the book involves the Kern's World alliance trying to figure out how to communicate with octopods, and why the sight of a human and even the suggestion of them visiting either of the populated worlds in the system induces terror to the point of open warfare.

I loved the spiders in "Children of Time" and the way Tchaikovsky believably describes their evolution into an intelligent, tool-using civilization without losing their spider-ness, and the only thing that could have delighted me more than the Portiid race is when he does just as well with the intelligent octopods. This book also has some moments of serious creepiness which were chilling and scary, and plenty of action as well as a thoughtful discussion of the problems of communication that would obviously exist when Humans, Portiids, and octopods attempt to learn to communicate. Dr. Kern is back also in ship's-computer form, and also a key part of the plot.

I felt the ending was resolved a little quickly and a bit predictably if you'd read the first book, as there are many parallels between the structure of the first book and this sequel. However, still lots of great and unique details along the way and some really alien aliens, so if you loved the first book this one is a must-read too. Definitely leaves room open for another sequel also.

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the sci-fi intelligent minds crave!

a bit hard to follow but completely forgivable seeings how the author is juggling REALISTIC: interspecies, interinteligences, inter-everything - language, culture, biological and technical barriers. truly hope there will be a third!

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Not bad.

I was hoping for better. Well narrated but the story was a bit lacking. It felt like it was an abbreviated version of what he wanted to write.

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like a black hole

As soon as I started reading was being sucked in with no way out. I was totally engrossed from start to finish.

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Amazing

worst part is when it ends. 10/10 narration and an awesome story. looking forward to tbe next.

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Superb sequel.

Damn this man can write. Excellent sequel leaves you wanting more as all good books should!

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He did it again.

Mr. Tchaikovsky has once again taken us to a place that no other sci fi author could. There wasn't a single thing I didn't like about this book. I can't recommend it enough.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Debraj
  • 2019-05-18

A brilliant, unique, and mind expanding sequel!

I loved Children of Time mainly because I found the story of the Spiders on Kern's World to be incredibly interesting. Their societal norms, technology, and mythos were wholly unique. The book was a Herculean example of world building, from Kern's world to the failed human empire that inadvertently spawned it.
Children of Ruin, does not disappoint! It expands on the characters you come to love for their unique traits and foibles, and introduces many more!
Mel Hudson's performance is transcendent. She gives every character their own voice and attitude. Her performance is a perfect compliment to Adrian's writing style. I highly recommend this book. It will take you on an adventure ;)

28 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Tiffany T.
  • 2019-06-13

Not What I Was Expecting

6/13/19
I discovered Children of Time a few months ago and was so addicted I was listening at every chance I got. Then I discovered this one was available for preorder and I jumped on it. I figured it would be about the new character introduced at the end of CoT, and it was sortof, but I was a bit disappointed that we didn't really get into her mind in the same way that we did for Holsten. By the end of CoT, I felt like I knew him, but after CoR, I don't feel like I knew his daughter at all. And I guess the point was to know Senkovi more. Anyway, I REALLY liked getting into the minds of the octopuses and the "whatever-they-were" from Nod. I don't want to give any spoilers, but I will say that I absolutely did NOT see the way the book ended coming, although maybe I should have. It was very anti-climatic for me, and there were a few times where I had to go back and re-listen to the chapter because I missed something and was very confused. I felt the book ended rather abruptly. I remember when I was listening and I heard the word "Epilogue" I was like, "What? It's over already??" Maybe I zoned out on that last chapter.

One great point was the language of the octopuses and the frustration of communication from both sides. I loved that the cephalopods used color and that the humans and spiders had no idea what to do with that, and the octopuses thought the others were mute. I did find the way the translations came about to be a little too easily won though.

I also liked the way the "whatever-they-were" on Nod were presented, and how and why they acted the way they did. Once I got to the end of the book and really understood what they were doing, I appreciated this even more.

I did find the way Mel Hudson pronounced "cephalopod" to be extremely grating and, similar to another review, an odd tarnish on an otherwise brilliant narration. I thought maybe it was a US vs UK pronunciation, but no. So that was a bit distracting.

All in all, this was a wonderful book. I think maybe I didn't give it my full attention and missed some things because I had an overall feeling of disappointment when it was over, and I'm not sure why that happened. After reading a ton of other reviews now though, and how awesome CoT was, I think I need to do a re-read sometime soon. If/when I do, I will update my review.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Sehra
  • 2019-06-10

Hard Science Fiction that makes you care

There are few science fiction writers that have captured the impartiality of science in tandem with the emotions and vibrancy of character development. The author does a beautiful job of bringing to life all manner of intelligent beings.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-06-18

A good book but

But it's predecessor was fantastic. This one had a similar pacing, and story telling, and tone, but the novelty wasn't there. In many ways it felt like I was reading exactly the same book over again. There were exciting and creative parts but there were also huge sections that seemed to drone on and on about nothing, very nearly repeating itself.

Again, all and all a good book, and I don't regret reading or buying it, but it not the same quality.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris Cyr
  • 2019-05-28

Simply amazing

I loved the first book and am very impressed with this one. Hard science fiction to the core . I will be eagerly be waiting for book 3

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • pondo
  • 2019-05-20

Rigged reviews

It seems as though the reviews on Audible are rigged nowadays. I have at least 10 books in my library that had glowing reviews that I can't persuade myself to finish, I feel like I got ripped off. Anymore if I see 5 stars across the board for a book, I check the reviewer, and if they have less than 3 reviews I disregard their submission. Point being this is a genuine review by a nonbiased listener. Children of ruin is well worth the credit. As the book started off, I rolled my eyes, Adrian isn't trying to make me buy into another scenario like this is he, seriously! But the main reason to write a book is to entertain, and C o R did that, it was entertaining enough that I enjoyed the beginning and my eye roll faded away like a dream. Then the middle of the book got very intense, I HAD to find out what was going to happen next! Great fun the middle of the book. The end somewhat anti-climatic, but sensical. Also, a scifi pet peeve of mine is, how come all aliens speak English. Adrian's aliens don't speak English, as a matter of fact, his aliens are so different all but the most rudimentary communication is impossible. So I appreciate that someone addressed that problem to a fuller degree than I had ever pondered. Like I said well worth the credit and you will be thoroughly entertained. The performance was one of the best I've listened to, fantastic voice and production.

39 of 48 people found this review helpful

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  • Chase B.
  • 2019-05-19

Bold, funny, terrifying, hopeful. Excellent!

Great humor, deeply informed /and/ playfully insightful (a special combination), hopeful with a side of cosmic terror. If you've ever been to school for bio or psych you'll enjoy another layer of this, a layer of deliciously integral details that nonetheless does not harm the rhythm and pace of this book.

Like Children of Time this book does not talk down to you, which is awfully refreshing, but I would say it starts off faster. Adrian was courageous in opening our eyes to the local universe, not taking the easy way out by just wrapping up what we know happened at the end of book 1 - Portiad:Human relations.

Mel Hudson constantly mispronouncing the word "cephalopod" was mildly irritating, but I suspect only those of us with a bio degree will be very vexed by that. Still, would it have been that hard to just Google it? An odd tarnish on such a great performance.

Highly recommended all around. This is getting a second listen in the near future, coupled with a third no doubt when the next book comes out.

I discovered Children of Time around a month ago and devoured it in days. I was happy not to have to wait so long for this sequel and it took some discipline not to kill the entire book in a sitting. That said I'm more than happy to wait for Adrian to put out quality over quantity.

What a book!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • docnitrous
  • 2019-07-25

Not nearly as good as the first book but has many interesting ideas

The first book was excellent and this one picks up on that universe. However, as a story it’s much less interesting. While many of the ideas are quite good, it seems far less plausible than the first book. It also doesn’t have any characters you can connect to which makes it much harder to read. In the middle section I almost gave up. But, then it got it more interesting again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elissa
  • 2019-07-23

One the best Sci-fi reads I have ever encountered

This series of books is perhaps one of the best I have ever found. Very creative, original and it makes you feel like there are some scientific basis behind the whole plot. I’m bad at doing reviews but I have to say this is the best I have found in a long time.Both, children of time and Children of ruin are some of the best sci-fi out there!
I also think the performance is amazing. Very well done. Completes the whole experience!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Cristian Cuna
  • 2019-07-13

Still evolving

The book continues from where the previous ended and enlarges the universe with new species and new adventures.

Being a fan of evolution theories it amazed me how the author brought into play another revolutionary entity and a new species uplifted by humans. The main species of this part focus their communication on a different sensory input. If until now the series actors communicated logically using hearing and tactile actions the new actors are the opposite communicating emotionally using visual elements. This part kinda mirrors the 1st past as the rigid social order of the Portiids is replaced now with the ever-changing factions of the octopodes. The book highlights this social volatility by a reference to the ship of Theseus- if a ship has all its components replaced it's still the same ship?

In terms of overall content, this part uses the same blueprint as the previous one, filled with other interstellar events. Based on the teaser from the end of the book l expect however for the template to change in the 3rd installment of the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful