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Children of Ruin

(Children of Time #2)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  516 ratings  ·  75 reviews
The astonishing sequel to Children of Time, the award-winning novel of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet.

Thousands of years ago, Earth's terraforming program took to the stars. On the world they called Nod, scientists discovered alien life - but it was their mission to overwrite it with the memory of Earth. Then humanity's great empire fell, and the pr
Kindle Edition, 609 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Orbit
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4.35  · 
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 ·  516 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
I never thought I would say this... ever but...

I want to keep reading about giant sentient spiders!!
ARC provided by the publisher—Pan Macmillan—in exchange for an honest review

3.5/5 stars

Children of Ruin retained everything that’s great about the Children of Time by following its predecessor’s footstep really closely.

Although Children of Time worked absolutely well as a standalone, please do not read Children of Ruin without reading the previous book first because this isn’t a standalone sequel. Tchaikovsky builds upon the foundation and ending from Children of Time to expand the universe with
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this from Netgalley, but this household has already purchased the audiobook.

Let me talk about Adrian Tchaikovsky for a moment: I'm always surprised to find that he's not selling books as though they were hot cakes fresh from the oven. Possibly, because he's so versatile, that not only is each book a completely new adventure, Tchaikovsky switches genres as if it were no big deal.

He's written some brilliant science fiction, an epic high fantasy series that spans ten volumes, but also ma
I admit that I was afraid that this might not have turned out as good ... as brilliant ... as the Children of Time, but now that I've read it, I'm happy to say that I'm very happy indeed.

We left our spider/human crew off to explore new worlds and peoples and guess what they found?

A new world and multiple alien species. :) We have all the goodness of Dr. Kern, her ants, the Portias, and the human crew stumbling face first into a free-for-all (or close enough), reacting very badly to the news tha
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Children of Time was my first experience with Adrian Tchaikovsky, and it was like a revelation. This was a book I loved so much, I wasn’t even sure I had room in my heart for a sequel, so I admit when I heard about Children of Ruin, I approached it with no small amount of skepticism and trepidation.

Well, it seems I needn’t have worried, as Children of Ruin turned out to be a very enjoyable follow-up. I’ll also say that whi
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Genuinely, I may have enjoyed this even more than Children of Time (a book I loved so much I made a whole podcast about it - see Without going into any spoilers, I will just say:

- All my favorite elements of the first book are here, but still such a fresh variation.
- Just as many twists and turns and unexpected plot lines. I do not know how he does it.
- The answer to any question you probably have about the sequel is "yes".
- Incredibly satisfying in every way.

Please rea
Children of Time is one of my favourite books of all time and I've eagerly awaited its successor. It didn't disappoint. There's more of what we had in the first novel - more spiders, more Kern - but now there's so much extra on top - octopuses and other things. We're given new worlds to explore, in the past and in the present, and it is all stunningly visual. The characters, whatever their species, are well worth spending our time with. Some sections are actually really frightening. This is engr ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Space. The final frontier. These are the ongoing adventures of the space spiders! Yay!

This is the sequel to The Children of Time in which we followed some humans escaping the war on Earth and searching for a potential new habitat for the human race. They found a suitable planet but then there was an accident resulting in a virus on board the human vessel landing on said planet and infecting the local population of arachnids - who subsequently became much more intelligent and therefore advanced f
Adah Udechukwu
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Children of Ruin is a great novel but it is complex.
It is not the good kind of complex. It is the bad kind of complex.
It is the kind of complex that is long, exhaustive and sometimes boring.
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have waited for what feels like an eternity for the second book in the Children of Time series by critically acclaimed science fiction writer Adrian Tchaikovsky whose name has become synonymous with epic adventure and high-quality, intelligent SF. Being someone who is terrified by spiders in real life the presence of gigantic sentient spiders was a shock to the system, but after discovering they were a lot more friendly than their Earthly counterparts I realised they were a stroke of genius. T ...more
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Thank you to Pan Macmillan for the early proof copy.

*Spoiler Free Review*

First let me say; Tchaikovsky's earlier title, 'Children Of Time' is necessary reading to be able to fully appreciate and understand the story this book is telling.

This book contains everything I adored about the first installment. Brains, language, spiders, space travel, technology... All while making subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) comments on topics such as over-population, colonisation, religion, sentience, evoluti
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

A worthy sequel to one of my favourite books of all time, Children of Time.

I've spent a lot of time with Tchaikovsky this month, having also read his other new release, Cage of Souls. Both books showcase Tchaikovsky's talent as an incredibly creative and literate writer. The only thing I feel I can ever be assured of with his SF stories is that I never know what I'm going to find between the pages (so to speak, as I read everything on my ereader, but the sentiment remains).

I don't want
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Children of Time was an awesome achievement of a book, chronicling the rise of a non-human intelligent species (nano-machine modified portia spiders) over centuries and their eventual contact with humans. It ended with a tantalizing epilogue, skipping another few centuries into the future to the point where humans, spiders and an uploaded partly-organic AI depart their world on a mission of discovery to the stars aboard the Voyager. "Spider Trek" as it were.

The story starts with the deep history
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding followup to Children of Time, following similar themes of first contact and extra solar terraforming gone horribly awry, mostly as a result of human hubris. Tchaikovsky weaves a fresh, wildly imaginative tale, building on the previous story's foundations. This, however, is considerably darker, and often feels like a thriller, with some definite creepy (view spoiler) and apocalyptic vibes. The story is masterfully crafted, with alterna ...more
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He did it again!

Does the story of this book has similarities with the first novel "Children of Time"? Yes, it has. Does this bother me? Not the slightest!

Again Tchaikovsky takes an in fiction rather seldomly wrote about species, the octopodes, and shows their evolution using biological specialities of those kind of animals. As with the spiders in book one he stays true to the animal nature of his protagonists and avoids anthropomorphization - which is a rare. This alone is worth 5 stars for me.
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This sequel didn't quite reach Children of Time levels of mindblowingness, but it was still an excellent story. Yet again, Tchaikovsky manages to balance multiple viewpoints over an extended time frame and still achieve excellent world-building and character development. I found it substantially creepier than Children of Time (intelligent fictional spiders don't creep me out, apparently), which was not really a plus for me, but which other readers may enjoy (see the content note below for more). ...more
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t believe I have to wait till May isn’t it enough I have to wait till April for game of thrones?!!?
Dawn C
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: media-audible
Well. This was the worthiest of the worthiest of sequels. While it’s true that it holds perhaps less surprises than Children of Time, it doesn’t really need to either. What I love about Tchaikovsky and what I want from him is a positive, exciting, detail-oriented tale of life, of preserving life, of wishing to communicate with life. I was at times reminded of that TNG episode where Picard and an alien spend the whole episode trying to learn how to communicate because It Is Important in itself. O ...more
Oleksandr Zholud
This is a sequel to Children of Time. It should be noted that the previous volume was initially written as a standalone. Quite often sequels of standalone books are much weaker than their predecessors. However, it is not the case with this one. I hope that it will be popular enough to be short-listed for the major SF awards (Hugo/Nebula/Locus) for this year, for it is totally worth it.

There are two plot lines: past and present. The former starts at the same time as the initial book (destruction
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The more time goes on, the more I think Children of Time is one of my all-time favourite science fiction novels. Despite my enthusiasm for what I thought was a stand-alone novel, the prospect of a sequel did make me a bit wary. The novel had reached a satisfying conclusion; I couldn't imagine where a sequel would go. I shouldn't have been so nervous. Children of Ruin is bigger, yet scaled more intimately, and, instead of retcons or time travel or space battles, is a thoughtful exploration of sen ...more
I came to Children of Ruin (CoR) with a bit of trepidation because the preceding Children of Time (CoT) is one of my all-time favorite books. In the end, though, I think Tchaikovsky pulled it off beautifully. At the final page I think the phrase "wonder filled" was the one that really stuck with me. And it earned that. I'm frankly astounded that he stuck the landing a second time. This book was, technically, quite a bit more difficult to pull off. There's more balls in the air. There's an elegan ...more
Georgiana Derwent
I absolutely loved the first book in this series, Children of Time. It was such an all-encompassing sci-fi novel – 10 000 years of history! The evolution of an entire intelligent species! – that I was a little surprised to see a sequel. I couldn’t help wondering how the author was going to top or match that and where he could possibly take the plot next, but I was excited to find out. Ultimately though, while this was an interesting and entertaining enough read, it never really hit quite the tho ...more
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4,8 stars

I am not capable of reviewing this coherently.

I loved Children of Time to the point of it being my favorite read of 2018. I've been waiting for Children of Ruin since I finished the first book, even before I knew for certain there would be a sequel. I had incredibly high hopes for this. And this didn't disappoint.

I am in awe of Tchaikovsky's ability to create cultures, and civilizations, and creatures that are at the same time familiar, alien, and completely believable. On top of that,
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, audio
This sequel was just as good as the first. Not only are there spideys and humans (er...I mean Humans) on this interstellar voyage, but also other friends are along for the ride this time. I loved the evolution of both additional species, but especially one in particular added some delightfully creepy and horror-like scenes that pleased me immensely.

Audiobook narrated by Mel Hudson.
Alex Nuttgens
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Children of Ruin - Adrian Tchaikovsky, a review:

I really enjoyed Children of Time, so I've been quite eagerly anticipating this one.

Although similar in structure, this book is considerably more complex than its predecessor, and starts out really quite difficult to comprehend what's going on. I'm pretty sure this is intentional though, as comprehension of different ways of thought is pretty much what this one's about.

All in all, it's a pretty ambitious work of science fiction, which attempts to d
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this even more than Children of Time, which sits as one of my favorite novels of all time.

The themes are familiar, but freshly rendered with new twists and angles. I was in suspense throughout the book, unlike Children of Time, which I felt dragged at points during the human storyline. The writing in this book felt tighter.

Even with the parallels to Children of Time, the story felt full of unpredictable twists and turns, while flowing naturally and unforced.

No other author I know of make
May 01, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Can it be May 14 already, please?! Desperately need to have my second dose of sapient spiders and intricate world-building.
Elaine Aldred
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Children of Time’s sequel, when Earth’s terraforming mission finds a world they call Nod, the intended transformation of the planet does not take place as expected. Then as Earth succumbs to catastrophe and contact with it is lost the decision is made to terraform a nearby moon and explore Nod more thoroughly. The decision to explore Nod will have catastrophic consequences for the members of the expedition. Meanwhile expedition member Disra Senkovi’s cephalopod experimental subjects develop i ...more
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
“I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus' garden with you.” - ‘Octopus Garden’, Richard Starkey.

This SF novel features evolved octopuses, which made me very happy. Such amazing creatures.

First though my thanks to Pan Macmillan/Tor for an eARC via NetGalley of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s ‘Children of Ruin’ in exchange for an honest review.

This is a follow up to his award winning ‘Children of Time’ set in the same universe though with new characters facing fresh challenges.

I don’t feel that I can adequ
S.J. Higbee
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once more, this is an ambitious, well-written epic adventure featuring humans, spiders and octopuses all as intelligent, sentient beings. Not only does this book encompass three species and convincingly depict their struggles to communicate with each other and amongst themselves, it sprawls across a brain-achingly long timespan. Furthermore, it does so whilst fracturing the timespan, so that some of it is told out of sequence…

I am a solid fan of Tchaikovsky’s work and familiar with the recurrent
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ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY was born in Lincolnshire and studied zoology and psychology at Reading, before practising law in Leeds. He is a keen live role-player and occasional amateur actor and is trained in stage-fighting. His literary influences include Gene Wolfe, Mervyn Peake, China Miéville, Mary Gently, Steven Erikson, Naomi Novak, Scott Lynch and Alan Campbell.

Other books in the series

Children of Time (2 books)
  • Children of Time (Children of Time #1)
“evolution had gifted them with a profoundly complex toolkit for taking the world apart to see if there was a crab hiding under it.” 1 likes
“An inclination to play God was part and parcel of wanting to go out and terraform other worlds, but good practice was to at least play nicely with the rest of the pantheon.” 1 likes
More quotes…