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The Children of the Company (The Company #6)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,175 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
Take a ride through time with the devil. In the sixth book of the Company series, we meet Executive Facilitator General Labienus. He's used his immortal centuries to plot a complete takeover of the world since he was a young god-figure in Sumeria. In a meditative mood, he reviews his interesting career. He muses on his subversion of the Company black project ADONAI. He con ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Tor Books (first published November 2005)
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Remember mortals, two stars is defined as "It was ok" by GoodReads. That's exactly what The Children of the Company was--ok.

First, as I was looking for the publication date, I noticed that it has several previously-published short stories worked into it. That explains why it seemed like one of those sitcom flashback episodes where the characters look back on different events and each one has a favorite story. It also explains why it delves into characters who are either minor characters or nonex
Aug 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
I bounced off this book a couple of times before I got through it; the one problem I have with Kage Baker is that she changes points of view so often during the series, and usually at the beginning of a novel. I pick up the next novel, and it's another person, and I really want to know what's going on with the people I already care about, not someone new. Of course, I eventually get into it and find out that what's going on in this new book has everything to do with the people I care about, but ...more
Grayson Queen
It felt like it too forever to finish this book.
Baker seems to have written a series of vignettes filling in some of the historical blanks her other novels missed. This might have worked if but for a few things:
1. She chose characters that hadn't had any depth, then tried to give it to them in these brief tales.
2. She tells more than shows and if she's not telling she's letting her characters pontificate the pages away.
3. Most of what was told her hold little bearing on the over all plot line a
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
January 22, 2009

not my favorite, although some good bits about Lewis


February 5, 2015

Executive Facilitator General Labienus demonstrates a very plausible evil for a gifted immortal: he hates the monkeys. Sometimes it's impossible to have a good view of humanity if you actually have to work with people. Ah, but Lewis remains a shining, hopeful figure.

Library copy
The Company book #6 is really a collection of stories. It mostly fills in some gaps that had been raised before now, although I don't think it brought anything new to the table. It was interesting to see previous events from a different point of view, but this p.o.v. didn't really add any new revelations.
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know, I haven't disliked a single one of Kage Baker's books - ever - but this one hit me really hard. The story format - small snippets of memories, seemingly unrelated at first - worked so with the gut-twisting content that I alternated between not being able to put the book down and absolutely having to put the book down.

Anything I say about this book will be a spoiler to those who are familiar with The Company series and will make no sense to those who have not read it, so I'll just say t
Two steps forward, one step back.

There was finally a feel of momentum about the last Company novel (The Life of the World to Come) -- we finally reached the future, and quite a few events came to a head. The cast of characters appeared to be complete with the introduction of Mendoza's third (and final, I believe) lover and his devious Captain; we finally got into the heads of some of those poor short-sighted mortals nominally in charge of the Company, and we came within striking distance of 2355
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 9, sf, 2007
Take a ride through time with the devil. In this book of the Company series, we meet Executive Facilitator General Labienus. He's used his immortal centuries to plot a complete takeover of the world since he was a young god-figure in Sumeria. In a meditative mood, he reviews his interesting career. He muses on his subversion of the Company black project ADONAI. He considers also Aegeus, his despised rival for power, who has discovered and captured a useful race of mortals known as Homo sapiens u ...more
Clay Kallam
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Kage Baker has earned critical praise with her excellent series on the Company, a time travel operation based in the 24th century that sends employees back into the past to save valuable works of art and then bring them back to the future (so to speak).

Some of those employees are immortal, rescued in the distant past by Company operatives and then physically augmented by Company doctors so that they have extra capabilities and cannot die, and they are the subject of ‘The Children of the Company’
Bob Nolin
Nov 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Here we are, six books into the series, and the future still doesn't make sense. A side character we've heard about earlier, Labienus, is the main character here, though, since this is really a fixup--a collection of previously-published stories mashed together with a framework--that's a bit misleading. This isn't a novel.

By this point, the main reason readers continue to read the books in this series, I suspect, is to find out what happens when the immortal cyborgs, living through the centurie
May 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Before I start complaining, let me say that "Son Observe the Time" is excellent, and well worth reading on its own. It can be found in the Gardner Dozois-edited Year's Best Science Fiction, Vol. 17, and it's earned its spot there.

Unfortunately, it's far and away the best part of this novelette collection, especially compared to the ridiculous and dire framing story. Virtually every appearance of Most Evil Dude Labienus leads to repeated and escalating attempts to communicate that he's the worst.
Jan 05, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On one hand, this is a REALLY tedious book to get through because after the conclusion of "Life of the world to come," you just want to find out what Mendoza does next, and there's little to no Mendoza in this book.

However, this is the book that gets to the heart of of the Zeus conspiracy, and it's absolutely integral to the story line.

Much of the book is told from Labienus' point of view, and he's very much Not a Nice Man. Once you get the gist of his chapters, you can kind of skim through them
MB (What she read)
Oct 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers w/a brain who enjoy complicated plots and a mixture of genres
6/8/11 Comfort Re-read
I love this series! This book is a very dark entry however. Almost too dark for me. Labienius and co. are such horrible psychopathic megalomaniacs! (Enough polysyllables?) But, if you're a Company Fan, you really need to read this one, because it is how you find out about a lot of the backstories, and get your loose ends tied up, and red herrings explained. This book doesn't really add much action-wise to the overlying plot action arc, but wow!, it is important to add rich
Stuart Dean
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basically a collection of short stories linked by their connection to Labienus and his nefarious plan for world domination. Just about every cyborg mentioned in the previous books who have not had their own story get one here, usually with their origin included. They each play some part in the master plan Labienus has for taking over in the year 2355, some as willing partners and some as unwitting pawns. A great many pieces of the overall puzzle are revealed, and events that had been vaguely all ...more
Molly G
(x-posted from my review of "Sandman IX: The Kindly Ones")

Reading this series and the [Neil Gaiman Sandman] series simultaneously (alternating installments) is yielding the weirdest parallels. The same themes and buzzwords popping up in ridiculous synchronicity. I don't think it's just Observational Selection Bias… They're vocabulary or concepts with which I'm already familiar. It's more how they're matching, not just just from one series to the next, but in which installment I happen to be on o
Jamie Collins
I loved the first book in this series, but the rest of them have been uneven, and this book was another disappointment. There are a few good scenes, but for the most part I was simply uninterested in the story that was being told. The writing is quite good and the characters themselves are interesting, even though my favorites (Joseph and Mendoza) are absent yet again.

This is actually a collection of short stories, very loosely tied together. Every time I began a new one I got my hopes up, but n
Jim Mcclanahan
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jim by:
I think I indicated somewhere else that this book is something of a speed bump in the Company saga. It serves to bring the reader up to date (for the most part) by intertwining some short stories with a covering narrative from the cyborg human hater, Labienus. Keeps you from getting too rosy a view of how things may ultimately turn out. As usual, the text is intelligent, compelling and evocative. The only sad part is that I'm only two books away from the end of the series because of the author's ...more
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok you guys. I have read 70/180 books for my 2014 reading challenge, which means I need to read 50 books in November and 50 books in December. Thank God for holidays. Had a brief crazed thought that I could read 20 books tomorrow to get halfway there, but people, this is a stretch even for me. A book an hour with four hours of sleep does not sound fun.

This is the next book in Baker's The Company series, this one following an evil facilitator. He's so despicable that reading his sections is obnox
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sixth novel in Baker's 'The Company' series, not counting the short story collection 'Black Projects, White Knights" (which I'll probably read next). At this point, I'd have to say this does not work as a stand-alone novel. To enjoy this book, you really have to know what came before, and be interested in what's eventually going to happen (in the 24th century). I did enjoy the book - but because I do really like this series. Mainly, it forwards the growing concepts the The Company is ...more
Yet again, Kage Baker changed literary styles in this book in the "The Company" series. Instead of a novel, she wrote a series of short stories that explained events referred to in earlier books. We find out how Latif came to have a childhood, what happened to Kalugin, Lewis' experiences in Ireland, who "the bad toymaker" really was, and why Victor wears gloves. Victor turned out to be a tragic character and the story of Master Simeon broke my heart. Most of these stories are sad, but Latif's ch ...more
Steven Bragg
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kage Baker seems to do better with short stories, so that she can build a storyline quickly, come to the point, and neatly wrap up and move on to the next topic. This book worked really well for me. She covered a lot of material, filling in holes in the plot from her main series of books, and expanding characters that had previously been lightly-drawn. Her black humor really permeates these stories, much more so than her other works, so you have to be in a snarky mood to really go where she lead ...more
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Baker spends this book filling in gaps on some of the key cyborgs in the company, the eponymous children. It diverts us a little from the main arc: I for one am anxious to get back to Mendoza. Much of the book was published as short stories elsewhere and she strings them together with narrative from Labienus and Victor, among others. Regardless, she does an excellent job and much of the material is important for what comes later, and/or answers some stuff hinted at in previous books. So, still F ...more
Ron Henry
I found this installment of Baker's Company series a little harder sledding than the ones before. The "fix-up" nature of the book is more evident than ever and I was found the "And then Libienus picked up the next folder and read..." technique that would start each of the distinct story-length sections of the book annoying. The sections varied a lot in how compelling their stories were -- Latif in Amsterdam I had trouble getting into, but the agents preparing for the destruction of San Francisco ...more
Apr 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I love the variety in this series. Different books emphasize different aspects - romance or historical or political plotting or sf. This installment takes the form of short stories within a slight framing narrative. It is mildly disappointing because (1) the connections between stories is too tenuous and (2) the framing narrator is a rather unpleasant fellow. The first made me care less about the plotting and the second made me care less about the characters, so I never really got involved in th ...more
Jul 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read this series out of order. As a result I was able to really enjoy this set of short stories built into a frame. I now know a lot of the background for the last book, which I've already read.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to reading the series out of order. I am not one of those people who cares one way or the other about spoilers. In fact my definition of a good book is where you already know what the ending is going to be, and want to read the book anyway just to find out
Apr 22, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, series
This is definitely a mid-series book. Not a good starting place for people new to the series. And, as I found, not a good book for a person who last read the previous book in the series about 6 years ago. While I remembered the basics of the universe, it was still very confusing and tangled and I kept losing track of who was plotting what and why should I care about this person again? I suspect if I'd read it straight on the heels of The Life of the World to Come, I would have had a much differe ...more
Jeremy Preacher
This was... weird. I liked it, don't get me wrong, but it's basically a collection of short stories (several of which I had read before) spliced together. It's not a novel in the usual sense. There are some eye-opening moments, and it was fun to reread some of the vignettes now that I have much, much more context for them, but it was a bit disappointing, especially after the brilliant previous novel
Aug 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Okay, no Mendoza and only a little Joseph (but a lot of Lewis, yay!), but I liked this book better than the previous one because it went back to the "historical events as seen by future-savvy creatures" stuff, which is what I like. This almost seemed like a set of related short stories than a novel, but that's fine - it filled in the bits of blanks from the previous novels in the series. And the 1906 earthquake was faboo.
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very visibly a fix-up novel, but many of the stories that have been patched together here are really quite good. Some very lovely, lyrical writing, too. The seams where the parts have been fitted together really show, though, and Labienus is a bit too mustache-twirly to be entirely convincing - more a cartoon villain than a fully-rounded character: he even catapults intruders from his office with a springboard!
Lady Knight
Loved this enstallment! A novel that is basically a bunch of short stories strung together should have been a disaster, but it wasn't! Kage Baker takes through multiple eras and civilizations all seen through the eyes of immortals we're familiar with. The over arching story follows Labienus and his dastardly schemes to seize control when the end finally comes...

Great book that is sure to capture fans of the Company series!
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Born June 10, 1952, in Hollywood, California, and grew up there and in Pismo Beach, present home. Spent 12 years in assorted navy blue uniforms obtaining a good parochial school education and numerous emotional scars. Rapier wit developed as defense mechanism to deflect rage of larger and more powerful children who took offense at abrasive, condescending and arrogant personality in a sickly eight- ...more
More about Kage Baker...

Other Books in the Series

The Company (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • In the Garden of Iden (The Company, #1)
  • Sky Coyote (The Company, #2)
  • Mendoza in Hollywood (The Company, #3)
  • The Graveyard Game (The Company, #4)
  • The Life of the World to Come (The Company, #5)
  • The Machine's Child (The Company, #7)
  • The Sons of Heaven (The Company, #8)
  • The Empress of Mars
  • Not Less Than Gods
  • In the Company of Thieves

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“He is aware that he feels a vague respect for the woman. Mendoza, at least, had never done the reasonable thing, never settled for less, but held to her one insane passion even as it had dragged her into the flames. Such a valuable quality in a pawn.” 1 likes
“If a place can hold the memory of death, surely the badlands of Montana retained it. Labienus peered from the window the Silverbolt as it bounced over bare rusty earth and rock, trying to imagine what it had been like on that hellacious Cretaceous day when the end had come for them all: the maiasaur with its touching maternal concern, the vicious tyrannosaur no less a good mother, the little sneaking egg thieves with no shred of moral respectability whatsoever, all the rumbling honking thundering life that had held sway since forever. Even if they'd had the brains to see it coming, how could any of them have understood the End? What, for us? Rulers of the earth for the last hundred and sixty million years?

But the earth had understood, and remembered still, and offered up white bones still bedded in clay red as fresh meat for the edification of its present rulers, who utterly failed to take the hint.”
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