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The Children of the Company

(The Company #6)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,330 ratings  ·  83 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
Mass Market Paperback, 359 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Tor Science Fiction (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
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
REREAD #1: 9 April 2018 - 14 April 2018 (9/10)

I was going to write something new and hopefully interesting here, but when I reread what I wrote in my review last time, I realised that I've said it already. So I'm going to be lazy and, if you're here to discover my thoughts, I'll just ask you to scroll down and read what I wrote last time.

ORIGINAL READ: 10 July 2007 - 11 July 2007 (9/10)

Take a ride through time with the devil. In this book of the Company series, we meet Executive Facilitator Gene
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
Aug 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
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. ...more
Kaethe Douglas
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jenny Yates
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, time-travel
I’ve enjoyed all the books in the series very much up to this one. I think it’s because the main protagonist here is Labienus, a thoroughly detestable person. The author doesn’t devote any time to fleshing out his character, just presenting him as a sadist.

Also, there isn’t really a central plot in this book. It zigs and zags all over the place. But still there are a few gripping stories set in this world that Kage Baker has created, a world of time travel and immortals.

Perhaps the most riveti
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
The Fizza
2.5 STARS: You know that part in the movie (or TV series) when they flashback to all the things that happened from the other character's perspective, that is this whole book. It is interesting, for that, as I have read 5 books already however it is not a strong book on it's own. In fact it's not much of a book at all. Still the writing is pretty solid and it's helpful in uncovering some of the mysteries but was that important? I mean did we need to know everything? Clearly Baker thinks we do and ...more
Aug 03, 2020 rated it liked it

The sixth Company book takes a break from our ongoing plotlines to fill in the backstory of a couple of minor characters, and also fill the reader in on some of the political machinations that previous books have hinted at. This one was more of a bummer, though still very engrossing, as one of the characters is an amoral human-hating mass murderer, and the other has a lot of ethical qualms but is being manipulated by various factions into doing horrible th
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bit of a fix-up this, as short stories and novellas are stitched together to chart the rise and rise of Labienus as he plots across millennia to overthrow his human masters, defeat his immortal rivals, and commit lots of germ-based genocide. It's chilling and horrifying, bit also funny and warm and clever. I quite like it when the books skip across time like this, plot threads and characters weaving in and out, gives it a great sense of epic scale and impending crisis. ...more
Tom Loock
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, collection
I just love the Company-canon of stories and novels, and this one is no exception.
"The Children of the Company" is another collection of novellas and stories, though it is disguised as a novel by a negligible and very short narrative that connects the stories and has (the villain-of-sorts) Labienus go through his folders reminiscing about other employees of Dr Zeus.
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Apparently this book has several previously published short stories woven into it, which helps explain the varied POVs and time periods. Yet it hangs together quite well and gives a wider perspective on the power struggles within The Company.
not my favorite in the series. characters i care less about. good for backstory though.
Sharleen Nelson
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful blend of sci-fi and time travel. Read every book in the Kage Baker Company series; you won't regret it. ...more
Nov 09, 2018 rated it liked it
These books are getting increasingly disjointed, and the flashback structure of much of this one really bugged me. Still, I want to know as much as anyone what happens in the end!
Ray Francis
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it
The weakest of the series thus far, but it ties up some loose ends.
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
Clay Kallam
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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
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
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
Molly G
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
(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
Stuart Dean
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Jim Mcclanahan
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Feb 02, 2010 rated it liked it
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
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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

Other books in the series

The Company (1 - 10 of 13 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)
  • Not Less Than Gods
  • In the Company of Thieves
  • The Women of Nell Gwynne's

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