Children of Memory

Hachette Audio. (Children of Time, Bk. 3). Jan. 2023. 13:27 hrs. ISBN 9781668622193. $31.99. SF
Audio fans of Tchaikovsky’s (Children of Ruin) “Children of Time” series will likely know that series narrator Mel Hudson’s performance is unparalleled. Hudson is the voice of scientist Avrana Kern and the many species that inhabit this world, from Portiid spiders to sentient octopuses. This third installment in the series introduces the spaceship Enkidu and its captain, Heorest Holt, who transported settlers to the planet Imir. The colony manages to survive, but its tenuous existence is put to the test when strangers with new technology and resources arrive. The plot’s structure is occasionally challenging, as a recursive element may make listeners wonder if their audiobook was rewound. That, however, is the point, for in Tchaikovsky’s universe, time is murky and hides satisfying plot twists within. Listeners should expect to be confused, but in the best possible way—creating and discarding exciting theories until the end.
VERDICT While it is possible to enjoy this book as a stand-alone, recurring emotional threads and connections to Tchaikovsky’s previous novels make this better experienced as part of a series. It’s difficult to imagine a follow-up novel, but listeners will hope for one anyway.
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