Mihira Wanninayake's Reviews > Childhood's End

Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
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Aug 25, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed, recommended-scifi

In childhoods end, earth is visited by an alien species with intelligence an order of magnitude or more that of humans. The benevolent beings administer the human race to usher in a golden era of human civilisation where hunger, war and poverty are eradicated. The story is about the true identity of the overlords and their true purposes.

The narrative is form beginning to end engaging and I desperately wanted to find out what the ultimate goal of the overlords were. The overlords themselves are quite fantastic creatures and their appearance was quite a shock. It was interesting how Clarke manages to explain this.

What I like about childhoods end was the fantastic possibilities brought to mind. The idea about humans, evolution and spirituality ( and I can’t be more descriptive without giving too much away). There is of course enough fantastic scientific possibilities to keep us interested: faster than light travel and utopian societies where hunger, war, and poverty are eradicated.

Despite the strong science fiction themes and enough ideas to keep the reader entertained this is definitely not a character driven novel and there really are no characters the reader can develop any strong feelings for.

Clark’s fascination with the paranormal no doubt inspired some part of this plot. He doesn’t go to any lengths to explain these ideas, which in hindsight was a good idea as it prevents giving us too much information from which we could form a logical rebuttal. Regardless, we cannot help but amuse Clark’s fascinations and ask the question what if that could happen. Clark’s novel if anything allows the reader to engage in the quite pleasurable past time of imagining and envisioning a fantastic future. Thoroughly recommended to science fiction fans.
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