Monday, 24 May 2021

Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Book Title: Shards of Earth
Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Genre: Science Fiction / Space Opera
Source: Blog Tour

Goodreads, Amazon UK

Plot: Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade him in the war. And one of humanity's heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.
After earth was destroyed, mankind created a fighting elite to save their species, enhanced humans such as Idris. In the silence of space they could communicate, mind-to-mind, with the enemy. Then their alien aggressors, the Architects, simply disappeared - and Idris and his kind became obsolete.
Now, fifty years later, Idris and his crew have discovered something strange abandoned in space. It's clearly the work of the Architects - but are they returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy hunting for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, that many would kill to obtain.

I received this book to read and review as part of a blog tour organised by @The_WriteReads tours team. All opinions are my own.

What did I think?

3.5 - 4 Stars.

Tchaikovsky is one of my 'will read anything written by them' authors, but I already know that I'll have to read this one a second time, and I'm hoping that I might even be able to give it 4 - 5 stars the second time around.

I didn't quite click with Shards of Earth, and I'm not sure if it's because I wasn't 100% in the mood for science fiction or if I just wasn't in the right frame of mind. I failed to emotionally connect to this book in the way I usually do with Tchaikovsky's characters.

I requested this book because 'ancient enemy' and 'old artefacts' are two of my favourite science fiction tropes. Then the cover, of course, I'm always a bit shallow.

Shards of Earth opens with a bang: Space. A invulnerable enemy. A war.

As usual, two of the major themes in Tchaikovsky's Shards of Earth are prejudice and conflict amongst different factions, and the need to come together and work together in order to defeat the current problem.

Tchaikovsky is great at both developing diverse and interesting characters as well as entire worlds and species. Idris is old, and he's tired because he doesn't sleep. Once crucial as an asset during the war, he's now a navigator. Solace is my favourite character in this book. She's basically a space Amazon. The entire crew is made up of interesting characters, but don't get too attached...

Despite its length, Shards of Earth is an addictive and easy read, well, easy once the groundwork is laid. The world is rather difficult to navigate at first, but the pacing is on point and before you know it, the pages are beginning to fly by.

Overall, Shards of Earth is a beautiful space opera with a meticulously detailed world filled with Tchaikovsky's vast imagination. The writing is straightforward, and the characters are a group to root for. I recommend it to every space opera fan.

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