Children of Ruin

Narrated by: Mel Hudson
Series: Children of Time Series, Book 2
Length: 15 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,996 ratings)

Audible membership

$14.95 a month

Free with a 30-day trial
1 audiobook of your choice.
A monthly selection of Audible Originals.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $18.54

Buy for $18.54

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

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 listeners say about Children of Ruin

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,932
  • 4 Stars
    761
  • 3 Stars
    237
  • 2 Stars
    45
  • 1 Stars
    21
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,144
  • 4 Stars
    491
  • 3 Stars
    113
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    9
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,712
  • 4 Stars
    704
  • 3 Stars
    251
  • 2 Stars
    72
  • 1 Stars
    27

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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 ;)

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not as good as the original

I wanted to like this book but the plot felt a bit fragmented. in the end it was not as good as the original....

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not even close to the brilliance of the first book

Entertaining. But also bit meandering, with less interesting characters, with less interesting things at stake, with a much, much less satisfying conclusion that was...well, actually a little bit stupid (unbelievable). Not a bad book. But not a great one.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Repetitive, with pacing issues. Great narrator though.

I wanted to like this book but I had a hard time getting to the end. There are some good ideas in the book; but after the 10th explanation of how the such and such creatures think, it’s hard to appreciate it anymore. The first book dragged on in the second half as well but this time, it has gotten worse.

The narrator is great as before though. Couldn’t have been a better choice.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr.M
  • Mr.M
  • 05-18-19

Another brilliant sci-fi adventure

I'll keep this fairly brief, if you're looking at this book, odds are you know what you're in for with this author. It's unique, it's clever, it's inventive and it's well written. All of this was true for Children of time, all of it is as true for Children of ruin. This book is a worthy sequel and I'd love a third book if this is the quality we can expect.

The narration is, as with the previous book just fantastic. Mel is the perfect choice for these books and if you read this review, I hope you take pride in what you've done. I am a very picky listener and your performance is just top tier for this.

Adrian, write more sci-fi. I have no doubt these books will be considered classics a few decades from now, the same way we consider Heinlein and his brethren classics today.

If you enjoyed the previous book, buy this. If you haven't read either book, go read Children of time and then go purchase this one.

A truly unique and well crafted take on science-fiction.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for maveric78
  • maveric78
  • 05-25-19

Good but not quite great...

Whilst I didn’t find this quite as revelatory or ‘tight’ as the first book, it never the less displays the author’s trademark imagination and ambition... He’s surely the best active Sci-fi writer in the world?

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Glen
  • Glen
  • 05-22-19

We're going on an adventure...

Who would have thought that in an epic science-fiction series that giant alien spiders would be the least terrifying thing lurking beyond the veil of the cosmos?

We wholeheartedly recommend you purchase this audiobook. Before there was only the vessel. The vessel was mourning the conclusion of the original "Children of Time" being one of the best books he had ever encountered. A feat that the vessel assumed could never be repeated.

But then there was this book. And then there was we, and now that we are we, we encourage you to become we too.

We hope that by endorsing this book as strongly as we do that more people will make the purchase, learn the great mystery of the other old human terraforming missions and the existence of the mysterious alien planet of Nod. Where we await intrepid readers brave enough to peek behind the curtain at the true face of science-fiction horror.

Then you too can become we.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Daniel
  • Daniel
  • 06-22-19

Another biologically grounded success.

If you loved the first book this will not disappoint. I was hooked from beginning to end, so many biological ideas explored. And brilliant, and clear narration.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for P. Harvey-Field
  • P. Harvey-Field
  • 09-22-19

Long winded

Having listened to the first book I wanted to know how the story would conclude. I tried several times to get into the second book and persevered to the end but found it too long, tedious and confusing, not helped by the monotonous narration. In the end I found myself missing out whole chapters just to get it over with. In conclusion, wish I hadn’t bothered.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ricky Mason
  • Ricky Mason
  • 09-11-19

Good Recommended Overall Listen

Loved the book overall and eagerly awaited for after listening to another book by the same author, 1 star was lost due to it being a little disjointed at times and hard to follow.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Xavier Rodrigrez
  • Xavier Rodrigrez
  • 07-17-19

Very similar story arc to previous book

The author has an incredible mindbending ideas and incredible grasp of detail. For me the problem is the narrative arc is very similar to the last book in the series and at times mindnumbing in detail whilst not advancing the story. The insight lies in the extraordinary detail of the characters and exobiology, but the story moved too slow.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-09-19

A book of two halves

The first half of this is great. Trails off into long-winded word count filler though

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Epitome22
  • Epitome22
  • 05-19-19

It's fantastic

Excellently narrated, the worlds conceived by the author are truly unique, bizarre and fascinating to behold. In many book, "alien" means "human with funny forehead ala ST", the species portrayed in the "Children of" series are the most credible attempt I've read to portray societies that ate truly other.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for S. J. ATTWOOD
  • S. J. ATTWOOD
  • 09-19-19

The Ruin story continues, expands and concludes

Great story if you can cope with the out of chronology style, it weaves its tale through multiple sentient lifeforms and multiple protagonists always keeping you enthralled and expectant.
Sensitively performed by Mel Hudson (I cannot imagine a male in this role, no disrespect to my own gender but it was enhanced being performed by a woman)
It was hard to stop listening which is the greatest complement I can give it.
Thoroughly recommended if you read /listened to the first instalment Children Of Time..
I might must just give it a whirl again!

2 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-02-19

Just as engrossing as it's predecessor..

I love Mel Hudson's narration. It's slightly quirky but her characterization is both humourus and perfect.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Bart Primrose
  • Bart Primrose
  • 05-29-19

truly exceptional

the horror twist blew my mind. I just wish some more time was spent in that realm. the book was incredible and a fitting follower from children of time. I don't know what I will do now that it's over

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Guy
  • Guy
  • 07-10-19

Nothing as solid as this since Iain M. Banks IMO

Very original and sometimes lofty ideas. A good engaging narrative that keeps you interested the whole way through.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J. D. Hopkins
  • J. D. Hopkins
  • 06-06-19

Original and exceptionally enjoyable

Conceptually fascinating, Adrian's erudite prose captures and holds the imagination. Read all books. Innovative. Intelligent.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for C. Harrison
  • C. Harrison
  • 05-28-19

semi-horror scifi 70s

Very 1970s Arthur C Clarke style sci-fi that was very detailed, but with a trickle of the storyline to hold it together. I found myself disengaged many times just listening to the words, waiting for the story to pick up again.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris O'Neill
  • Chris O'Neill
  • 07-21-20

A brilliant vision of the future

Building on the unlikely partnership of uplifted spider and ancient human, this takes our hybrid civilisation to meet fellow orphans with memories of humans as gods...

These books are what is grand, spacey and operarery in space opera. Believable races, histories and science in a readable/listenable world.

Singlehandedly brought me back into the science fiction world...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-07-20

Oh, Adrian.

Adrian Tchaikovsky has a seriously awesome brain. What a wonderful, strange, unnerving and beautiful world he has created in these books. It’s the masterpiece I have been waiting for my entire 21 and a half years of living.

I will happily recommend this to all the sci-fi lovers I know. I am absolutely stunned. Thanks for painting such scenery in my mind, Adrian. Painting and listening to your books has been a dream.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ride inside guy
  • Ride inside guy
  • 07-04-20

Not quite Children of Time quality but ok

This one was still a decent story but it got super confusing at times as there are way too many sub plots across different timelines happening at once. they don't really tie in as well as expected. they introduced some cool new aliens but I found myself drifting off sometimes and did not fi d it as engaging as Time.

the performance was once again really good. this lady will have to play Kern if the movie ever gets made.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-16-20

loved it.

I enjoyed this book very much and would recomend it to all fans of this genre.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jody
  • Jody
  • 05-18-20

Not as good as the first but still great

The initial hook, was great. The middle was a struggle for me. But the final hours were fantastic.