Adrian Tchaikovsky is one of the most prolific authors we currently have working in science fiction and fantasy. In the last few months alone, I have read his last doorstopper sci-fi novel The Doors of Eden (released in Fall 2020, mini review here) and the novella One Day All This Will Be Yours (review here) which was one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. He writes spanning the breadth of the genres, and always at high levels of quality. So I was thrilled when I was offered a review copy of Shards of Earth by the lovely Black Crow PR and UK Tor. All opinions are my own, and if you’re intrigued, I’m doing a flash giveaway on Twitter for an Adrian Tchaikovsky bundle today!
RELEASE DATE: 27/05/2021
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
SUMMARY: 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. (from UK Tor)
OPINIONS: This is epic space opera the way it should be written. It is compelling, well-paced and interesting. 550 pages of action in space. I really enjoyed reading another Tchaikovsky, and I am looking forward to seeing where this series goes. Grand scale intergalactic war, yes please. I’m usually far more of a fantasy person than a sci-fi reader, but I will always make an exception for Tchaikovsky.
The architects are a true menace to the world as we know it – giant entities capable of reforming space. Earth has basically exploded years ago, and now the threat seems to be reforming. Idris – an intermediary, a sort of superhuman capable of piloting ships faster than light speed – and his crew are on a mission to figure out what is going on. And I just want to give all of the characters in this story a big massive hug. Humanity is on the brink of extinction and the exhaustion of the characters is palpable.
There is a lot going on in Shards of Earth, and I for one am grateful for the inclusion of a glossary and timeline at the back of the book. I feel like I already want to reread the book to get even more out of it now that I know about those aids (because, obviously, I’m too silly to go check in the first place). But it’s a great sign that the story captivated me so even if I was a bit confused at times and wasn’t fully sure of what was going on.