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  • Shards of Earth

  • The Final Architecture, Book 1
  • Written by: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Narrated by: Sophie Aldred
  • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (125 ratings)

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Shards of Earth

Written by: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Narrated by: Sophie Aldred
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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the thrilling science-fiction epic Children of Time, winner of the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Shards of Earth is the first high-octane, far-future space adventure in Adrian Tchaikovsky' Final Architecture trilogy.

The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery...

Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade his mind in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.

Eighty years ago, Earth was destroyed by an alien enemy. Many escaped, but millions more died. So mankind created enhanced humans ­such as Idris - who could communicate mind-to-mind with our aggressors. Then these ‘Architects’ simply disappeared, and Idris and his kind became obsolete.

Now, Idris and his crew have something strange, abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects - but are they really returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy as they search for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, and many would kill to obtain it.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2021 Adrian Tchaikovsky (P)2021 Macmillan Publishers International Ltd

What the critics say

"Brilliant science fiction." (James McAvoy on Children of Time)

"Full of sparkling, speculative invention." (Stephen Baxter on The Doors of Eden)

"One of the most interesting and accomplished writers in speculative fiction." (Christopher Paolini)

"If Homer had written space opera.... Enthralling, epic, immersive and hugely intelligent. This might be Tchaikovsky's best so far, and that's saying something." (Stephen Baxter)

What listeners say about Shards of Earth

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing but not for the uninitiated

This is great hard sci-fi, but may not be for the casual sci-fi fan, but if you like the Revelation Space, Children of Ruin, or Void series this is for you.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Solid but a little shallow

Missed opportunities to dive deeper into concepts while focusing on action and violence. Meh

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Eugenics

Doing the apology of eugenics is not acceptable. Point bar.

No idea how this book is rated any favorably.

1 person found this helpful

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Probably a good book but can't finish

This is probably a great book.. but the narration is like being read a story from siri or a robot. Hard listen. I want to finish but I can't. The lack of emotion and drama confuses scenes and blurrs the story making it boring. Sorry, but just can't finish it. I'm sure it's a good book though based on what I did listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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Mispronounced words were distracting

Overall the performance was quite good. Unfortunately a set of key words was frequently mispronounced.

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Not what I expected from author

Not much in the way of a sci-fi, 4/5 of the book is a silly wild goose chase, the main character is more of a wizard, and the guard is a Charlie's Angels, feels a bit like a detective story and little about science or aliens.
Coming from Children of Light, this book is nothing like that.

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I love the banter

shadows of the apt is one of my favorite series because of the banter. the author does not drop the ball here. nor does he fail to deliver on a exciting emotional science fiction experience.

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Pretty good listen but the plot is a miss for me.

The performance is great, each character feels unique and alive, great execution on emotion and humour as well.
The story as a whole is pretty interesting, the universe is enthralling with different factions and alien species, but it loses me when it comes to characters and plot. My main gripe is with the protagonist, he seems wholly impotent. As the plot move along the protagonist is like a leaf in the wind, all the supporting characters are there to pull him along, save him from every bind, figure out every problem and solve every mystery. Ultimately it feels like he lacks the will and strength to act, he exerts very little authority and half the book is about exactly whose slave will end up being. Other than that the book was pretty enjoayable.

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very boring

Almost nothing happens that is interesting. plus the would is so vaguely described. really had high hopes for this book but I wouldn't recommend.

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My least fav of his books so far but still good

it's a good book, but I just struggled to like any of the characters that much until the very end.

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  • Pascal Scheffers
  • 2022-10-18

Great space opera and the narration is fine.

If you like a good, adventurous space opera this book will suit you.
Someone else really disliked the narrator, but it’s fine.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Daniel Salmon
  • 2021-11-26

Great Story. Shame about the narration

I loved this book so much that having finished it in paperback I got the audiobook so that my wife could listen to it. Suddenly I couldn’t stand the book. The narration made me cringe. Such a shame. I hope it gets done again by another narrator some day

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jon
  • 2022-07-22

Great adventure

Tchaikovsky doing it again. Love his stuff. A long adventure with a lot of players

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  • Mark
  • 2022-07-09

Absolutely perfect

Story, characters, concepts, language and dialogue are exceptionel - in true Adrian Tchaikovsky style! Looking forward to the next book!!

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  • doctorstarch
  • 2022-06-30

Great narrator; wonderful sci-fi story

I have really enjoyed book one.

I sometimes read it and sometimes listen to it, depending on my mood.

I really love the narrator. She does a great job making each character an individual and I find myself listening to a chapter I have read to get a feel for how she might have performed it.

Well worth a listen.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Pork Hunt
  • 2022-05-30

Good solid interesting story.

Not going to change your life, but an engaging tale that appealed to my Peter F Hamilton / Alastair Reynolds sensibilities. There seems to be a lot of hate for the narration, I found it totally fine. enjoyed the story and the performance.

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  • Pauli S
  • 2022-05-06

A compelling introduction to a new galaxy

The author does a job of introducing and building a new complex, future Milky Way. There are several alien species and an intriguing political web. The science is plausible enough but still a fantasy.
I will read the next book because I struggled with the narration. The "acting" didn't match my interpretation of the characters. However, the voice was very pleasing.

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  • J
  • 2022-04-27

The narrator's style does not suit the book

The story is relatively good. Not particularly novel.
The narration does it no favours. This is not a failing on the narrator's part, Sophie is quite competent in her own right. This is a production failure. It's like watching prima ballerinas performing in an MMA ring; a bit cringy.

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  • Andrew Ford
  • 2021-06-08

A Bingeable Space Opera

An excellent first installment in a new trilogy from Adrian Tchaikovsky. I've listened to Adrian's other sci-fi Series (Children of Time and Children of Ruin) and while I very much enjoyed the epic nature and inter-species perspective of those works, Shards of Earth is much more relatable.

This novel, whilst taking place on an Epic scale with the extinction of humanity as a potential outcome, makes itself accessible by it's character-driven focus on the crew of a salvage vessel as they become embroiled in politics and war through the unintended consequences of their actions. Sophie Aldred as narrator carries the performance well, managing characters of all genders with equal aplomb.

I will be eagerly awaiting the second novel in this trilogy, which will be an instant-purchase for me. I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys space opera or has read Adrian's previous works.