The Children of the Sky (Zones of Thought, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Children of the Sky (Zones of Thought #3)

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  2,359 ratings  ·  307 reviews
After nearly twenty years, Vernor Vinge has produced an enthralling sequel to his memorable bestselling novel A Fire Upon the Deep.

In Children of the Sky, tenyears have passed on Tines World, where Ravna Bergnsdot and a number of human Children ended up after a disaster that nearly obliterated humankind throughout the galaxy. Ravna and the pack animals for which the planet...more
Mass Market Paperback, 704 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Tor Science Fiction (first published January 1st 1999)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Brenda
If your favorite part of Vernor Vinge's Hugo-winning "A Fire Upon the Deep" was the relations between two human children and the dog-like hive minds called Tines on the medieval planet on which they became stranded, then you will love "The Children of the Sky".

If you liked AFUtD for the peeks into the connected, multi-civilization melange of super tech species and near godlike transcended Powers, and the desperate flight of the rescue ship "Out of Band II" from the voracious Blight that was shut...more
Mike Ash
There's a scene in A Beautiful Mind where Nash is visited by a friend and former colleague after coming home from the mental hospital. Nash shows his friend his latest work, which is just childish scribbling, from a man who had previously done work worthy of a Nobel Prize. The friend gives him patronizing encouragement but it's clear that he's horrified at what has happened.

That's how I felt upon getting into The Children of the Sky. Vinge has produced two of the best books I've ever had the pri...more
Angie
ALMOST a 5.
I have seen some fairly critical reviews of The Children of the Sky, but it seems that in general they do not criticize the book for what it is but rather because it is not what they wanted it to be. Vinge fans have been waiting for this book eagerly, because the other two books in the series were so good.
My impression, though, is that there seem to be (at least) 3 kinds of readers involved, and we were anticipating 3 different books. First, there are the people interested in the al...more
Mike
First off, I was a huge fan of Vinge's other books, A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky. They were awesome examples of hard science fiction, rife with interesting and innovative ideas and characters. Sadly Children of the Sky does not come close to its predessesors.

To me it felt like the story suffered from Secondbookitis. It seems pretty clear that there is going to be a sequel, but this book just didn't know what to do in the interim. It was interesting to see how the humans were bo...more
Denny
When you're following up one of the best science fiction books of the late 20th Century (A Fire Upon the Deep), expectations will be high. And unfortunately, they're dashed here. There are parts of this book that are fantastic, but there are a few sections that are glacially paced. A bigger problem is the characters: One of the heroic leads from the first book comes across as a myopic idiot at times in this one, and having just re-read AFUTD prior to starting this, that was hard to swallow.

Also...more
Melissa Proffitt
It took me a while to warm up to this book. I hate it when well-meaning characters are betrayed by people who want power, but who claim to be acting "for the greater good." That made the first third of the book unpleasant to me even though I realized what was happening with the humans on Tines World grew naturally out of their situation (the now-adult children, remembering their lives in the highly advanced Straumli Realm, resent being trapped in a medieval world). But then that pattern keeps re...more
Sandi
Two credits. I had been anxiously awaiting the release of The Children of the Sky and totally planned on getting the audiobook because the ebook was too expensive. Then, it turned out that the audiobook was two credits on Audible. I hesitated for about one day. Then, I saw that it was narrated by my favorite narrator, Oliver Wyman and I caved. Wyman is absolutely wonderful and giving each character a unique voice and I have yet to hear a male narrator who does a better job at voicing women and c...more
David
Apr 03, 2012 David rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tines, anyone who loves space opera
I can't say I waited twenty years for this like Vinge's long-time fans, since I only read A Fire Upon the Deep last year, but damn it was good to read another Vinge space opera. His Zones of Thought books now rival David Brin's Uplift series for my favorite SF. Vinge writes awesome, galaxy-spanning tales that manage to preserve some level of believability given a populated galaxy with super-advanced FTL technology, and he's particularly good with aliens, as he has proven with A Deepness in the S...more
Kernos
The best thing about this novel are the Tine, a fascinating alien species, telepathic and with an individual existing as groups of individuals with a sense of immortality. Vinge explores the possibilities of such group minds quite well. Humans provide a foil which helps us understand the nature of the Tine. He does an adequate job, but throughout my read I kept wishing CJ Cherryh had written the work. She is The Master of alien/human interactions.

My main problem with the book was the plot or st...more
Rusty
Well, it's the sequel I've been waiting for - for almost 20 years. TWENTY-YEARS! Why, oh why, would a man who takes 20 years to write a sequel, clearly write something that does not wrap up the story? Yep, this is a trilogy, at the very least, and he puts these things out so slow, he's all but blackmailing the world to come up with some life extension technique that will allow him to continue writing for many more decades. Either that or we never find out how it ends.

That's why I'm a bit pissed,...more
Scott Hawley
I see several similarities between this book and Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead, his sequel to Ender's Game.

Both are sequels to exciting, mega-hit sci-fi novels involving space travel, action-packed battles, changes of locale, and more.

Both sequels are confined to one particular planet, confined to the politics and relations between humans and one particular alien race.

Both sequels, while somewhat well-written, are slow and mundane compared to the first novels they follow.
Tudor Ciocarlie
I've got mixed feelings about this book. I respect and admire what Vernor Vinge is doing with the aliens, but I have no love for this novel. It is long and some parts are, for me, really boring. Its prequel, A Fire Upon Deep, is much better but still has some of the same problems. Despite this, I will read the sequel of The Children of the Sky without hesitation (hoping the wait will not be as long), because the story in this middle book has great potential.
Liana
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew
It's been another decade, and Vernor Vinge has written another Zones of Thought novel. The first was a sprawling epic space opera married with Star Ocean-style cavorting on an underdeveloped planet; the second was a claustrophobic thriller set far in the past, about an encounter with a new (underdeveloped) species that goes wrong; this third book picks up after the first but confines itself to the Tines World.

Unfortunately, this story is a disappointment. It leaves behind the scope of the first...more
Amanda
This is my first experience with Vernor Vinge and his particular style of science fiction. Just so you know: this book is part of his "Zones of Thought" series, and this is book #3. #1 is A Fire Upon the Deep, followed by A Deepness in the Sky as #2. There is also a free Kindle download for "After the Battle on Starship Hill: Prologue to The Children of the Sky." I probably would have enjoyed this book more if I knew I was starting in the middle of a series... but this is what happens when we re...more
Cassidy
A Fire Upon the Deep is one tough act to follow. Writing another book like it seems almost impossible. And yet Vinge already did it once, with his brilliant and utterly surprising prequel, A Deepness in the Sky.

So it's hard not to approach this new book without some seriously inflated expectations. I feel that that's what's behind some of the 2- and 3-star reviews here. And who can blame them? This story doesn't come close to the scope of the other two--it takes place entirely on one planet (how...more
Daniel Goldsmith
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dane
A study in the dangers of high expectations.

I so, so wanted to love this book. Vernor Vinge is a great author, and the other books in the Zones of Thought series serve as shining examples of the very best that science fiction has to offer. But while Children of the Sky is by no means a bad book, it is thoroughly average. The characters lacked life, the dialog was awkward, the plot twists alternated between being incredibly obvious and incredibly contrived, and on the whole it lacked the sense of...more
Ken Burruss
I was one of the numerous people who was looking forward to this book yet like so many others I found that, while it's enjoyable, it falls far short of the mark of its predecessors. A sequel to A Fire Upon the Deep, it's far more thematically similar to A Deepness in the Sky.

There are two big drawbacks to this book. One is the glacial pace (I easily skimmed at least a hundred pages in the middle of the novel with no loss). Antagonists who are so obviously evil that they should've been dispatche...more
Matt Uebel
I had the great luck to have read "A Fire Upon the Deep" just a couple years ago, and so didn't have to wait quite as long as some graybeards that were onto this from the very beginning. "A Fire Upon the Deep" was a VERY engaging book from me, and one of the very few that was really a constant, read for hours, page turner. One of the clear differences between AFUtD and it's sequel, "The Children of the Sky" is that the sequel doesn't have the galactic wide "zones of thought" sort of stuff as AFU...more
Mary Davis
May 24, 2012 Mary Davis rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Readers
Shelves: books-read-2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim Hicks
Darn. Another big book that doesn't tell you IT ISN'T GOING TO WRAP THINGS UP until the next book. OK, it does a decent job of coming to the novel equivalent of a large semi-colon. I wish there was a way to find out whether a book's a standalone without risking big spoilers.

There's a lot of five-star in this book, but also quite a bit of three-star.

Surprisingly few reviewers have noted how interesting the exploration of the Tines concept is. I smiled every time I read "One of X came closer" or...more
Kevin Farrell
Mr. Vinge is a top notch SF writer with a long list of great books. I picked this up after reading some reviews. I did not fully understand that it was second in a series when I selected it. That did not detract from my enjoyment in any way.

The book starts out as a 2 star rating (for me) until about page 150. Then things got rolling pretty well. That is because the story is about a small surviving group of humans on a foreign world. The inhabitants of that world as very different from us and it...more
Ed
The first half was weaker than I expected. Set in the years after Fire upon the Deep, the book deals with humans on Tines' World and their efforts to grapple with their new existence in the Slow Zone, recreating high technology from scratch.

Unfortunately, the book was far less compelling than its forbear. The politics and betrayals and long fought-for coups that marked Fire upon the Deep and Deepness in the Sky seem almost... transparent here. There were times when I put the book aside knowing...more
Milele
I really liked this sequel, following Johanna and Ravna in their life on the Tines' world.

I remember the idea of a race like the Tines blew my mind when I read Vinge's first story about that world. This book seems less wildly inventive than Vinge usually is, because the setting itself has no major completely new races, technologies or other sci-fi bells and whistles. The setting limits the bells and whistles because the book set on a world where the main species is technologically behind humans...more
Brian
There are books that never go where you expect. And then there are books that never go where you want them to.

This book is both of those at different times.

First off the obvious - it's a sequel to a personal favourite story that's arguably one of the best sci fi novels ever. And no, it's not any where near as awesome. (They never are).

If you haven't read that book, this one probably won't make much sense, or even convey how wonderful the original was.

This book is a very different kind of sto...more
Tim
Maybe it's because I read A Fire Upon The Deep at just the right age for it to have completely blown my mind, but my impression of that book is so great that anything else Vinge does just pales in comparison. That said, this is quite a tale, and it both fascinated me with its twists, turns, and technical details, and frustrated me with its odd writing style and plans within plans within plans.
And yes, I can't wait for the next Zones Of Thought book.
Cheryl
The editor should be shot! I enjoyed the first book in this series but this one contributed very little to the story line - lots of stuff we did not need to get the points I think the author was trying to get across in way too many words. I like the concept of the series so I will continue to read the series, unless the next book is like this one - then, like the wheel of time series, I will drop it - something I rarely do!
Hugh Mannfield
The Children of the Sky is a sequel to A Fire Upon the Deep and picks up shortly after the advance of the blight is stopped by countermeasure. The book covers a long and winding political and technological intrigue as Ravna strives to awaken and teach the cargo of surviving human children and drag them up into a technological society. Co-queen Woodcarver struggles with internal (to her pack) problems and external assaults on her domain involving technology thefts and foreign spies. Some old vill...more
Joey
Nowhere near the fun of A Fire Upon the Deep or subtlety of A Deepness in the Sky. Took the least interesting part of AFUtD, the part that drags for me most when I read it, and expanded it to a whole book. Also added lots of airships, presumably because steampunk sells these days.

Disappointing, but I do hope the obvious sequel is written.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Vortex
  • Engineering Infinity
  • Lady of Mazes
  • Neptune's Brood (Freyaverse #2)
  • Firebird (Alex Benedict, #6)
  • Troika
  • Distress
  • Manhattan In Reverse
  • The Fractal Prince
  • The Rapture of the Nerds: A tale of the singularity, posthumanity, and awkward social situations
  • City of Ruins (Diving Universe, #2)
  • The Hydrogen Sonata (Culture, #10)
  • The New Space Opera 2: All-new stories of science fiction adventure
44037
Vernor Steffen Vinge is a retired San Diego State University Professor of Mathematics, computer scientist, and science fiction author. He is best known for his Hugo Award-winning novels A Fire Upon The Deep (1992), A Deepness in the Sky (1999) and Rainbows End (2006), his Hugo Award-winning novellas Fast Times at Fairmont High (2002) and The Cookie Monster (2004), as well as for his 1993 essay...more
More about Vernor Vinge...
A Fire Upon the Deep (Zones of Thought, #1) A Deepness in the Sky (Zones of Thought, #2) Rainbows End The Peace War (Across Realtime, #1) Marooned in Realtime (Across Realtime, #2)

Share This Book

“Politics is good; when it works properly, disagreements get solved without people beating each other up. But when a regime knows its days are numbered, there's always the chance it may use its position to change the rules and make the debate it is losing irrelevant.” 6 likes
“Tycoon had a peddler's talent for using words to redefine reality.” 4 likes
More quotes…