Audible: Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Recently, I finished listening to Children of Time (2015) by Adrian Tchaikovsky, a British science fiction writer. This audiobook is read by the English actress Mel Hudson. The total recording is 16 hours and 31 minutes long.

I loved Mel Hudson’s narration. She speaks very clearly and is good at acting out the different voices of the main characters. I nearly forgot that I was listening to just one person read. The first time I tuned in, I listened for two hours straight.

Of course, it helped that Hudson had a great story to read aloud. Children of Time is set in the far distant future and tells the tale of two societies. One is the last of humankind, clinging on in an ark ship called the Gilgamesh. The other is a species of genetically engineered and highly intelligent spider. Tchaikovsky does a brilliant job of charting the development of spider society and the plight of the last humans.

Tchaikovsky’s world building is fantastic. So it’s a shame that in the middle the story seems to drag a bit. The action takes place over many centuries, dipping in and out of the characters’ lives. This long time frame supports Tchaikovsky’s achievement of constructing two entire societies from scratch. Unfortunately, it also stretches the story out a bit too much.

Am I glad that I listened to Children of Time? Absolutely. The world created by Tchaikovsky made it totally worth it. Say hello to Portia, Bianca and Fabian when you give the story a go.

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