There seems to have been a rash of science fiction books featuring octopuses just lately, with at least one nominated for a Nebula (The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler). Not sure I can see the appeal, myself.
I could just about cope with the uplifted spiders in Children of Time, Adrian Tchaikovsky‘s far future space opera about the scattered remnants of humanity and what became of them. But I waited a long time before getting around to the second in the series, Children of Ruin.
And now the uplifted spiders and their Human friends are exploring the galaxy and come across a system where humans tried to settle and failed, leaving a chaotic legacy behind in the form of uplifted octopuses and… something else.
And it’s at this point that I check out of the series and lose interest. It might not have been so bad, but this book is so very, very long (576 print pages) and quite honestly, there just is not 576 pages worth of plot. So it gets very repetitive and becomes a massive drag. It takes a good couple of hundred pages to set everything up, but by this time I was bored with it.
I read it to the end out of sheer stubbornness, since I’d read so far that to turn back would have been as tedious as going on. But by the end I was completely disenchanted with this series, and I’ll skip the last one (Children of Memory), even though it comes in at a mere 496 pages.
I wouldn’t mind the length if it was packed full of plot and I cared about the protagonists, but somehow the vast scale (in both space and time) of this is just off-putting, and neither the spiders nor the octopuses are particularly interesting to me.
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