Zach's Reviews > The Children of the Sky

The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge
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Feb 09, 15

Read from January 17 to February 02, 2015

This is my least favorite Vernor Vinge novel. It begins strong with a couple interesting premises -- group minds, and children from a post-singularity tech society awakening on a medieval pre-tech world -- but before long devolves into tedious politics and protracted travel passages. In my humble opinion, it's always a bad sign when a science fiction or fantasy author devotes a lot of pages to getting his characters from one place to another, and there's a lot of that happening here. It's really too bad, because I really enjoyed large passages of the novel. It just kept getting mired down in stilted, often awkward social dynamics and too-long episodes of adventure. I mean, seriously: there's a whole section where the protagonists pretend to be a traveling circus. That's a sure sign that something has gone seriously off the rails.

I could forgive all of the above and just enjoy the good parts for what they are, but for the fact that the overall plot, the one begun in A Fire Upon the Deep -- the one that is galactic in scope -- doesn't move anywhere noticeable in the entire book. This is less a sequel to the first novel than a loosely arcing set of short stories about the characters in that book.

And really, if I'm being honest, I could still forgive all that if A Deepness in the Sky hadn't been so incredible, making this book such a monumental let-down in comparison. That's not really this book's fault, but I can't help feeling that way.
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Reading Progress

01/17 marked as: currently-reading
02/09 marked as: read

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