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Child Of The River (Confluence #1)

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  240 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Where all things flow together...everything comes apart.
Untold millennia ago, the Preservers made the world called Confluence and peopled it with ten thousand extraordinary bloodlines "shaped" from beasts of every sort. Then the Preservers abandoned their creation - leaving behind their law, their bureaucracies...and their trillions of machines, awake or slumbering, in the
Published (first published 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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4.5 stars. Excellent novel that had elements of Jack Vance's dying earth novels, David Brin's Uplift novels, and the standard fantasy hero quest of discovery. The author did a great job of creating a very unique world set in the far future peopled with very cool characters and using it as the back drop of a really good story. Recommended.
Brent Hayward
Dec 20, 2009 Brent Hayward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had heard that this trilogy was like Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, though this first part turned out to be nowhere near as complex or obscure. Nonetheless, Child was smart, always interesting (if a little linear), and aimed at readers other than sf's standard seventeen year old boy. Sure, it was a bit derivative, but I think of it as a tribute, not a rip off, and the writing was good enough to succeed.
Interestingly, this series was also mentioned in a review of Filaria, and there were moments w
George Harris
May 27, 2012 George Harris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a story set in an ancient world with a rich and deep history about a young man of mysterious birth and possible great destiny. Yeah, that story. Nevertheless, it manages to weave a rich tapestry of a world without resorting to plain exposition, and as Yama tries to uncover his origin and destiny we uncover a complex setting and well-defined characters. The atmosphere is somewhat similar to that of Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, albeit if anything someone more naturalistic. Highly reco ...more
Jun 20, 2012 Racheal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was given to me as a gift by my older sister who just happened to pick it up in a Wal-Mart for my birthday. It was one of the best gifts she's ever given me, as it turned out I devoured the book and loved it. In fact it took my family three years and several frustrated searches through second hand book stores to locate the next two volumes in the series which I am deliciously excited to read!
Apr 18, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Boy, did I get this one wrong. You see, I’ve passed this one by, more than once, and I only have myself to blame.

With a series title, Confluence, as well as the title of this first book, Child of the River, it just did not make me think that it was SF. Even when I took a cursory glance at the plot synopsis, it made me think that it was more about gods, prophecies and some sort of mystic pantheon rather than SF. And to me, Paul, winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award, is ‘an SF writer’, and often to
Mike Franklin
I have only read one previous McAuley novel – The Quiet War – which I recall finding quite good but this one disappointed despite being an intriguing idea and setting with good well drawn characters. The problem was how it meandered aimlessly through many small incidents that had little or nothing to do with the plot and, whilst they possibly enhanced the reader’s understanding of the setting, were otherwise little more than red herrings; the story itself could have been told in less than half t ...more
Sep 02, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, fantasy, scifi
I bought this book years ago and had sort of pushed it to the back of my to read list and had lost all enthusiasm I had for it. I picked it up this weekend because it was small, relatively short, and would fit in my purse during my flights to and from Yellowknife. Well, I'm very glad that I picked it up, because it was quite unexpectedly good. Great characters, cool world, and a very rich story. I'm excited to see what book two hold!
Tahle kniha (sáhl jsem po ní v rámci akce "seznamujeme se se spisovateli moderních space oper") mě nějak neoslovila, což není ani tak způsobeno její kvalitou, jako prostě tím, že to prostě nebyl můj šálek jihlavanky. Nebylo tam nic, co by mě zaujalo... tedy kromě toho, že ačkoliv je kniha sci-fi, je její příběh ryzí a ničím nekořeněné fantasy. Máte tam mladého nalezence, který pátrá po své minulosti, prochází bizarním světem, čelí nebezpečím, objevuje své magické (tedy vlastně technické) schopno ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in November 2002.

The strange world of Confluence is the setting for McAuley's trilogy of the same name; Child of the River is the first volume. It was created by the Preservers, who populated it with diverse creatures derived from Earth's animals raised to human intelligence, and who then disappeared. Confluence is now considerably decayed, full of machines whose purpose is not understood, whose workings follow the Arthur C. Clarke dictum and are indistinguis
Tony Manning
Jun 08, 2016 Tony Manning rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an enjoyable book that used an expansive vocabulary to help paint the setting. The creatures within were both plausible and interesting. The world was alive even though it was dying. The story was well-written, but the plot was a bit scatterbrained in my opinion. The overall goal remained the same, but the method of achieving that said goal seemed to change every few chapters, especially early on. The path of the story seemed almost random as if arrived by chance. One could say this is ...more
This is an atmospheric first novel in a trilogy set on an alien world inhabited by a large number of separate human species (or sub-species). The book begins with the strange and almost supernatural appearance of the baby who will become the protagonist. As he grows older he becomes increasingly curious about his own strange and apparently unique bloodline.

The strength of this book lies in its atmosphere and the author's ability to evoke a strange setting on a world of decayed technology that h
Sep 23, 2014 Ank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-read
An excellent world-building first book of a SciFi trilogy with a believable story and great characters! Teenager Yama is endearing and grows up under our eyes to a bitter and vengeful young man and eventually to a wisdom beyond his years (at the end of the trilogy). The professor McAuley's background in biology shows at every page, as the details of the fauna and the flora of the man-made 'world' are described in astonishing and sometimes extremely boring detail. I must confess to skipping a lot ...more
Apr 08, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had some difficulty following parts of this book- which is not my norm. But I found it was worth the effort. The author had an unusual approach of letting the characters unearthly characteristics reveal themselves in the context of the story, rather than laying them out in an obvious way. There was no "Thaw was a mixture of a walrus and a man..." Instead, he referred to Thaw as a man, but through contextual revelations, we read about Thaw's tusks, or the moonlight glinting off of his loose, gr ...more
Leo Ovidiu
Jan 04, 2015 Leo Ovidiu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prima parte dintr-o trilogie destul de neinteresantă, deși trebuie să recunosc, McAuley are o imaginație impresionantă. Multe „seminții”, multe personaje destul de bine conturate, multe aventuri, totuși nu ca în HP sau LOTR. Din păcate sunt multe oportunități ratate. O carte bună pentru împătimiții de trilogii SF.
Feb 24, 2016 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
3.9. McAuley is an author I can usually assume I'll love, but I can't seem to predict the 'tone' of his books. This one is different again to those I've read previously - short form Neal Stephenson meets Mervyn Peake.

Also surprisingly, this one doesn't pass the Bechdal Test
Dec 12, 2009 Keith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reminds me of Gene Wolf's Book of the New Sun, only worse. (Read those instead.) The obvious plot didn't engage me enough to want to pick up the abrupt ending in the 2nd book of the trilogy.
Jul 27, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This was such an odd book, the only thing kind of like it would be The Book of the New Sun, although of course this is not nearly on its level. It was a good book though, the first of a trilogy
Steven Appelget
Mar 22, 2012 Steven Appelget rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Takes a while to get going,but pretty entertaining. The characters are a bit flat, but the world us interesting.
Mar 16, 2012 Heather(Gibby) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not finish the book, which is extremely rare for me, but could not get into it at all. I do not read science fiction very much, so was trying to give the gnre a chance.
Brennan Griffin
Apr 25, 2011 Brennan Griffin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intriguing world that owes a lot to Gene Wolfe, although clearly having its own themes and interests. I'm looking forward to the sequels.
Sergey rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2012
Cameron rated it really liked it
Aug 12, 2007
Troy rated it really liked it
Feb 02, 2014
Maladjets rated it liked it
Apr 01, 2013
Chad rated it it was amazing
Dec 18, 2012
Pontus Gagge
Pontus Gagge rated it liked it
Sep 12, 2012
Thomas rated it really liked it
Sep 11, 2013
Gene Coatney
Gene Coatney rated it really liked it
Aug 24, 2011
Ruby rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2015
Toni Milovan
Toni Milovan rated it liked it
Feb 08, 2015
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Since about 2000, book jackets have given his name as just Paul McAuley.

A biologist by training, UK science fiction author McAuley writes mostly hard science fiction, dealing with themes such as biotechnology, alternate history/alternate reality, and space travel.

McAuley has also used biotechnology and nanotechnology themes in near-future settings.

Since 2001, he has produced several SF-based tech
More about Paul McAuley...

Other Books in the Series

Confluence (3 books)
  • Ancients of Days (Confluence, #2)
  • Shrine of Stars

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