Read my review of the author’s previous book – The Doors of Eden
The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .
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.
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.
My thoughts: after the genre bending epic Doors of Eden this is something of a more traditional sci fi story, set years after the final destruction of Earth by an alien species known as the Architects for their remodelling of everything, planets, ships, that crosses their paths.
Idris is one of a tiny handful of people who can communicate with these strange creatures and he helped turn the tide of the war against them. But now he and the ship he currently crews on have discovered that the Architects might not be as gone as they’d hoped.
With stolen ships, warrior women, alien races and various crime factions and religious acolytes in pursuit, Idris and his colleagues, those his captain refers to as family, must retrieve their ship and prepare to face the Architects again.
I liked the crew of the Vulture God, Rollo was an emotional and mostly benevolent captain, and his misfits suited their roles well. I thought the crab-like Hanni were interesting and Kit, as Idris’ sort of personal attorney, was a clever touch; Idris constantly needing to prove he was a free man so has a lawyer around to defend him, made for an interesting comment on a trope of sci fi – the humans enslaving or being enslaved by aliens, here instead they’re just enslaving other humans, again.
The Parthenon and Solace was also intriguing, vat grown female super warriors, extremely long lived and battle ready, especially with Mr Punch to hand.
All the different factions competing for resources and bodies, all keen to get Idris to work for them, considering what he can do, all the trappings of a rollicking space adventure. This was a fun and highly entertaining book, I really enjoyed it, the ideas and concepts were very interesting, the writing hooked me in straightaway with the giant space monsters and exploding spaceships. I highly recommend it.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.