this. THIS. This is what great, classic sci-fi is about. Eons spanning evolution and conflict, finding understanding in an ever changing universe.
I loved coming back to my favorite spiders (and my least favorite AI, Avrana Kern), felt a bit like coming home. Tchaikovsky’s writing is, again, superb, with so many great passages that I stopped highlighting after a while, lest my book was entirely colored in.
Like this gorgeous piece that uses all the right words to explain the characters state of being:
She gave him the works, and thirty minutes for it to kick in, and when they reconvened he felt a new man, bright and crisp and fragile like ice. Beneath that ice the old abyss still yawned; he felt the hungry pull of it past the slightly manic flicker that frizzed at the edge of his vision.
Tchaikovsky certainly has a way with words and the way he uses that to fabricate multiple alien species and have the reader interact with them is nothing short of amazing. I was already blown away by how much craftmanship was on display in [book:Children of Time|25499718] when he created the Portiid species, but I was not prepared for what happened here. Absolutely gratifying stuff.
Every time I had to stop reading, I felt myself pulled back again, wanting more. This book never became stale or boring and I love it for it.