Children of Ruin

Narrated by: Mel Hudson
Series: The Children of Time Novels, Book 2
Length: 15 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,327 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The astonishing sequel to Children of Time, the award-winning novel of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet.

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.

For more from Adrian Tchaikovsky, check out:
Children of Time

©2019 Adrian Tchaikovsky (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Children of Ruin is wonderful - big, thinky SF that feels classic without being mired in the past, absolutely crammed with fun ideas. Anyone who likes sweeping, evolutionary-scale stories will love this." (Django Wexler)

"A novel of sublime plot twists and spectacular set pieces, all underpinned by great ideas. And it is crisply modern - but with the sensibility of classic science fiction. Asimov or Clarke might have written this. A hugely satisfying sequel." (Stephen Baxter)

"Magnificent. This is the big stuff - the really big stuff. Rich in wisdom and Humanity (note the 'H'), with a Stapledonian sweep and grandeur. Books like this are why we read science-fiction." (Ian McDonald)

What listeners say about Children of Ruin

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

Exceptional Deep Sci-Fi

If you're looking for a book that makes you think, wonder, imagine and marvel, you cannot find a better series. Outstanding world building, excellent interweaving of plausible science with near-magical technology and deftly managed scope.

If you're looking for an easy-listening, laser-beams-and-hyperdrives book, this isn't it. But you should still read it, because this novel is both thoughtful and suspenseful, intellectual and exciting. You do have to listen carefully, however; rhere were a few times I found myself having to scrub back through a chapter during which I'd been distracted and missed a key event.

Performance is good. Never really noticed the narrator one way or the other, which to me is it's own kind of understated excellence.

Absolutely worth a credit or full price. But definitely start with Children of Time if you haven't yet read it. I imagine the overall plot might seem like a pretty big leap otherwise.

32 people found this helpful

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A perfect sequel!

Another fantastic entry! Adrian captures the essence of Sci-fi in a way seldom seen since Star Trek first aired, and Mel Hudson brings unique, alien intelligences to life with skill and flair.

This is a little high-minded compared to the first book in the series, with a little less emphasis on individual characters, but don't let that dissuade you.

10/10!

20 people found this helpful

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we're going on an adventure!

I'm not much of a review writer, but this book is unreal. Tchaikovsky has imagined and created something truly alien with this tale. it's brilliant, but at times incomprehensible, and i never would have imagined i would describe a incomprehensible story elements as a good thing, but here it only adds to the richness of the story. bravo!

18 people found this helpful

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Not ideal for audiobook format

I wish I had not purchased this book. (note: I loved book 1)
The story is fine, but the time jumps and other details in the narrative are too easy to miss, leaving one playing catchup on various parts of the story.

The story itself is decent, but hardly a "must listen" after Book One, which is absolute perfection. This story gets lost in the tech weeds a bit, and of course the jumping back and forth in time with nothing but a single word to note the transition makes for a confusing and frustrating experience

As a solo book, book one is a 5-star experience.
As a two book series, the end result is just a resounding meh.
Book 2 drags the whole experience down and is not even half as compelling as Book One.

If you are a completionist you aren't going to listen to this review anyway, this is meant for those who want to avoid mediocrity and retain the untainted amazement and wonder of the first book.





14 people found this helpful

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The Next Installment of the Children of Time

For a story that picks up on where book 1 leaves off, I was alarmed to see such a slide in continuity. The stort itself evolves beautifully but at several moments seems to lunge forwards across vast gulfs of time with little to no evidence beyond a single, pivotal sentence, which can leave the listening reader lost and unsure, without what I'm sure would be a page break or paragraph to lend the story its shape.
Great second book, though.

12 people found this helpful

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99% buildup 1% resolution

Let me start off by saying I loved loved loved this author's previous book. It dealt with deep themes, had strong characters and investigated the concept of legacy in a really cool and new way. But for all that I really didn't think it was a book crying out for a sequel. It did what it did and resolved itself in a satisfactory manner so from the jump this book had to justify its existence for me. Why do I need to read this? What does it add to the story?

Annnnnnd it sort of succeeds? Adrian remains masterful at conceiving and explaining alien modes of thought and I must say that most everything good in his previous book continues on here. Except for the characters. There isn't really much character in this book. By that I mean that the problems they're dealing with are so huge and so dire that there is very little time for us to get a sense of the cast's personality. They're all just people working to fix a problem with barely room to breathe.

And lastly as my title suggests the ending to this book is extremely rushed. 3 hours from the end I had the thought "How the heck is he going to tie up all these loose ends?!" Then it was 2 hours, then 1. Then BAM! He rushes the resolution in the last 40 minutes of the book. It honestly feels like a missed opportunity.

So yeah, a very qualified asterisk asterisk, if you liked his last book, recommendation.

9 people found this helpful

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always enjoyable on new perspectives

I loved the Children of Time prequel book and the different view points Adrian utilizes to tell the story. The new creatures and characters are excellent additions. The different species thought processes, wants and desires are perfectly alien. I dont want to reveal to much but the interactions between the aliens with humans are the best parts of the book. You can feel the frustration of the characters as they try to communicate and understand each other.

8 people found this helpful

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Advancement of the story

This sequel did a great job of building on and expanding the world created in the first book. It did a great job feeling both familiar and unique.

7 people found this helpful

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It's good, but...

The length of this audiobook was nice, but, the story was a bit extreme. Another sequel or more closing details would be nice. I was getting very frustrated towards the last half.

6 people found this helpful

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amazing. simply amazing

Children of ruin is the best science fiction story AND the best performance I've listened to this year. If you are reading reviews to determine whether you should buy it or not, this is me telling you to do it.

6 people found this helpful