Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky (Physical/Audiobook)

I’ve got to admit, my fear of spiders has greatly reduced since listening to this book. In fact, I would even say I’m quite fond and sympathetic of spiders now. This is incredible story of a war ridden future for the human race, bioengineering gone horrible wrong and the debate of sentience, rights and life wrapped into a thrilling, epic sci-fi story.

Adrian Tchaikovsky has taken a somewhat saturated genre of the last chance for the human race coursing through a massive space opera and breathed new life into it. Broaching on subjects such as the god-like advancement of human technology, political divide and war and the rights of individuals, this book will make you question your humanity and belittle the short time you will spend alive on this dying planet.

Getting into more spoilerific territory, the chapters covering the beginnings, evolution and turmoil’s of Portia’s kind had me finding any excuse to keep listening. When this book ended, I was devastated that the spider’s story had come to an end, even though it was a very satisfying one. Adrian Tchaikovsky has managed to fully study an animal, discern its differences to humans and avoid anthropomorphising them. Rather than turn the spiders into a reflection of humanity, he manages to translate spider behaviour and communication into a way we can understand, or at least link to our own behaviour and communication.

I highly recommend this read to everyone and anyone, and will be recommending it well into the future. Additionally, the audiobook version is a fantastic performance by Mel Hudson.

Extracted – R. R. Haywood (Audiobook)

Seeing mixed by mostly positive reviews of this trilogy, I decided to dive headfirst into it. An interesting tale of time travel, paradoxes and the end of days Extracted really immerses you in the lives of the three main characters Safa, Ben and Harry.

Ultimately, I enjoyed this book, with some really beautiful moments and interesting character development, I’m excited to see where the rest of the trilogy takes the story. However, this book was obviously written with the intention of being a trilogy. The entire book is a mix between our characters origin stories and an drawn-out explanation of the trilogy’s plot. There were some very slow moments in the book, and sometimes the writing seemed to lapse in quality, however for the majority of the book and was left excited for the next page.

I feel as though a full review for this story would only be fair (and possible) after reading the whole trilogy, so I will continue through the second book before I pass any final judgement. Another note is that the audiobook version is performed at a brilliant level by Carl Prekopp, who adds atmosphere and value to the already gripping story.

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu, Sam Torode (Physical)

An insightful read, really makes you think about your approach to life and what your true goals are during our short stay on this planet. There are a lot of take-aways from this text that can be enlightening and advise one on how to approach many situations in life. If you can look past some of the more spiritual descriptions, Tao Te Ching has a lot of everyday wisdom that can be utilised by anyone and everyone.

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