Hello readers! Welcome to my stop on the Ultimate Blog Tour for Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky! Thank you to Dave @The_WriteReads for including me in this tour and also to the author for the opportunity to read this book!
Title: Shards of Earth
Series: The Final Architects #1
Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Genre: Science Fiction
Published: May 27th, 2021 (Tor)
Synopsis: 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.
Thank you to the publisher, Tor, and NetGalley for providing this eARC as part of a blog tour with The Write Reads in exchange for an honest review.
In the war, Earth was destroyed and turned inside out by an alien enemy known as the Architects. To combat this foe, man created mentally enhanced humans called Intermediaries, and they, Idris amongst them, were successful in forming a mental link and communicating with the Architects, driving them away. With the war seemingly over, Idris wanted nothing more to do with the humans who now forcibly create Intermediaries for commercial purposes and bind them to contracts. Forty years later, Idris tries to keep a low profile as the pilot of the Vulture God, a salvage vessel that takes on missions in deep space, perfect for his particular talents. When he and his crew stumble upon the remains of a ship that looks exactly like the work of the Architects. Before they can dwell on the magnitude of what they’ve found, the crew has become the center of attention and target for everyone, from governments to gangsters, because they now possess an artifact that if genuine, is beyond price if the enemy truly is returning.
This was my first time reading a book by Adrian Tchaikovsky and I had pretty high expectations after seeing all the great reviews for both this book and the author’s other series. Shards of Earth certainly did not disappoint! Sci-fi novels set in space are a more recent favourite of mine, and this is the first non-YA book of the genre I’ve read. The world-building in this book is truly worthy of praise – I was extremely impressed at how much thought has been put into it, from the history of the planets, to the intricacies of the many species, the various battles we see in flashbacks and even the many factions – governments and otherwise that have a stake in the ongoing political struggles. This level of rich detail and the grand adventure feel is something I’ve come to expect more of epic fantasy novels, which is why this book stood out to me and I’d really enjoy seeing more world-building of this calibre in sci-fi novels too.
The plot itself was fantastic and while it was a little hard to follow initially while the groundwork was being laid, once the action started it never stopped. One thing followed another and I read most of the book with bated breath wondering what the next twist was and how trustworthy any character the crew ran into would turn out to be. I loved the crew of the Vulture God and how despite being from different species and cultures, they were such a tight-knit group and it was so easy to root for these characters. Idris in particular was a very interesting character. He has been so modified and enhanced that his abilities put him far beyond mankind, yet his thought processes and dialogue are so undoubtedly human. I’m still very curious about the Architects, what they are exactly, where they come from and their real purpose for attacking any planets with life. This book leaves a lot of unanswered questions from this aspect and I’m excited to know more.
Shards of Earth is not a quick read, regardless of its fast moving plot, but the effort is well worth it. Overall, this was an amazing start to a new series and I can’t wait to see what happens after that explosive ending and all the revelations that came with it. I’m also hoping to check out the other series by this author really soon. This was a thoroughly enjoyable, well written read and one I would highly recommend!
About the Author
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.
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