Shards of Earth (The Final Architecture, #1)
Eyes of the Void (The Final Architecture, #2)
Lords of Uncreation (The Final Architecture, #3)
By: Adrian Tchaikovsky
My Rating: Four out of Five Stars
Best for: 18 and up
That was dense…
Wow. That was dense. And intense. And suspense(ful).
I probably need to stop being unexpectedly impressed by Adrian Tchaikovsky and just plan on being impressed. Each time I read one of his stories I’m blown away by the originality and commitment to detail he gives to every book. My first experience was a short fantasy novella called Made Things, and I remember being shocked at how skillfully he was able to build a completely unique and fascinating world in under 200 pages. I remember wondering what he could do in 600?
Turns out, he can do a whole lot.
If you’re not familiar with Adrian Tchaikovsky and you’re a fan of big and detailed science fiction and fantasy stories, then you’re probably going to want to give him a try. After Made Things, I read Children of Time and Children of Ruin and they were so good, but so heavy. I gave myself some time to cleanse my palate (Two years. Did I mentioned his books are a lot?) and was ready to jump into The Final Architecture.
And…it was A LOT. Exceptional, but a lot.
It’s a fantastic story, told across three, 600-page books. A ragtag group of mismatched characters, working on a beat up old space salvage vessel-for-hire, sign on for what should be a simple job and instead become the central figures of a cross-species battle for the survival of all sentient life in the galaxy. Someone has to step and be the hero, and it might as well be the misfits. The story is inspiring, enlightening, uplifting, exciting, and heroic! The story begins strong, grows in the middle, and nails the landing in book three. That’s the exceptional part.
The a lot part is everything else.
I think I was probably 40% through book 1 before I could comfortably explain what was going on, who was who, when things were happening, and who they were happening to. It’s one of those kind of very detailed, world building books that you either love or hate. I tend to love them. I have friends to tend to hate them. I say just know what you’re getting into. For me, the complexity is part of the brilliance, and figuring it out is part of the fun.
One of the coolest things was the detail Adrian Tchaikovsky gives to the actual science of space travel merged with the made up science of the world he created. He did the same thing in Children of Time. He has this amazing ability to understand the most complex concepts of advanced math and physics, and then give plausible applications to what we understand as theoretical–turning science fact into very, very cleaver science fiction.
I was so impressed with The Final Architecture. The story was terrifically complex, though, and it took a lot of brain sweat to read the trilogy. Was it worth it? Yes! Will I read them again? Probably not!
There’s some violence, but no significant sexual content. There was a whole universe worth of F-bombs though. I guess even spacers centuries in the future still know how to swear like sailors.
Best for 18 and up.