Hello, sweet peas!
I was lucky enough to being part of another blogtour with the @TheWriteReads gang! I have so much to tell you! Also, since I’m not the only one who has a lot to tell about this book, be sure to take a look what the other participants of the blog tour think about this book. You’ll find them here. I have changed the way I’m gonna build up this blogtour post, so it’s a bit easier to read for you guys. I hope it’s fine like this!
At this point I also wanna give a special thanks to Netgalley and Tor for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!
This high-stakes space-based adventure will be perfect for those who loved Children of Time, also by Adrian Tchaikovsky.
The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .
Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade his mind in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.
Eighty years ago, Earth was destroyed by an alien enemy. Many escaped, but millions more died. So mankind created enhanced humans such as Idris – who could communicate mind-to-mind with our aggressors. Then these ‘Architects’ simply disappeared and Idris and his kind became obsolete.
Now, Idris and his crew have something strange, abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects – but are they really returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy as they search for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, and many would kill to obtain it.
I was not sure was I had gotten myself into, when I first downloaded this book. I mean, I knew that it would be vast and extensive when I asked to be part of the blogtour – back then I was hellbent at widening my horizons and try something out of my comfort zone. I like science fiction but I had never really tried anything like what Shards of Earth promised to be, so I thought it might be as good a place to start as any. I still feel that I was not prepared for what this book actually was.
When you start out, the book throws you right in there. You’re immediatly confronted with the Architect, an alien being that destroys whole planets and cannot be taken down by mere force. You’re also immediatly introduced to another humanoid alien race and are not given much time to adjust before everything goes to hell.
This is one theme of this book, you are right in the middle of things, as a reader you don’t know left from right or top from bottom and I felt like scrambling a lot but still Tchaikovsky manages to keep you roped in. The glossary at the end of the book helped too.
I ain’t gonna lie, it took me a while to get into this book. I was really intimidated. I didn’t know if I bit off more than I could chew. But the farther I got, the more I enjoyed it and the more I got glued to the pages. After about half the book, I was so invested I basically flew through the rest of the book.
While the worldbuilding is extensive, the book really rides on the backs of the characters. While Idris and the genetically engineered humanoid Solace are surely the main focus, you also see a lot of the other characters, humanoid or not. I loved the dynamic of the Vulture’s crew. They were so diverse and different. They had many different skills and roles on board of the ship and everybody had their own personality and goals and believes. Of course that makes them clash and bicker which each other which made me grin while reading time after time but it also made me think about their arguments and their viewpoints.
What really impressed me though, were the battle scenes. From the few brushes with high fantasy books I’ve had, I’m used to the fact that battle scenes are boring or confusing and I tend to skip over them. Not my finest point, I know. With Shards of Earth I didn’t have that problem at all. The battle scenes were engaging and I loved reading every bit of it.
The ending of the book was thankfully rather neat, without much of a cliffhanger. Still there were hints and promises of more and future “adventures” to come that rounded it up pretty nicely in my opinion.
All in all, I’m a bit sad, that it took me so long to get into this book but it persuaded me to try more books in that direction, surely also from the same author. While the beginning was slow and some parts rather confusing, I still enjoyed the book and would also recommend it to readers who want to get their feet wet in this genre, with strong hints to the glossary.
Adrian Tchaikovsky is the author of the acclaimed Shadows of the Apt fantasy series, from the first volume, Empire In Black and Gold in 2008 to the final book, Seal of the Worm, in 2014, with a new series and a standalone science fiction novel scheduled for 2015. He has been nominated for the David Gemmell Legend Award and a British Fantasy Society Award. In civilian life he is a lawyer, gamer and amateur entomologist.
So, what do you think? Do you feel like reading this book now or do you maybe even already have it on your tbr?