Children of Memory by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Okay, anybody who’s been following me for a while will know that I count Adrian Tchaikovsky as one of my all-time favourite authors. I’ve only read a small portion of his oeuvre, but what I have read has been pretty consistently excellent, and rarely disappoints. This book is in no way an exception to that trend.
My first encounter with Tchaikovsky’s work was Dogs of War back in 2018, and to say it blew me away is putting it mildly. Shortly afterwards I finally gave in to peer pressure and cracked open my copy of Children of Time and once again, my mind was blown. This book, Children of Memory is the third in the Children of Time trilogy, and Tchaikovsky is still leaving me speechless, still blowing my mind with his writing.
This time around, the story centres on a failing colony of humans, though as the story unfolds, it quickly becomes apparent that nothing is as it seems on the world Imir.
I think the best way to describe the narrative in this book is as a snow-globe. You can see the scenery inside the globe, but in almost every other chapter Tchaikovsky picks up the globe and gives it a good shake, completely changing the view, and re-writing everything we think we know about what’s going on. Right up to the last maybe forty or fifty pages, he keeps you guessing, keeps pulling away one curtain after another, until the final reveal leaves you breathless and awestruck.
I want to say this might be his best work to date, or at the very least the best I’ve read so far. It left me with the same sense of amazement I got from Children of Time, and took me on a similar emotional roller-coaster to Dogs of War. It’s definitely my number one book of 2023, and I will never grow tired of recommending this entire trilogy to people.