Review: Shards of Earth

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Book:  Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Series: The Final Architect

Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Orbit

Release Date: August 3rd, 2021

Pages: 548


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Every few months you think that you have finally reached peace because I haven’t posted any solo posts in a while and then BAM I ruin your day 🙂

Anyways, hola, I’m smashing back into the blogosphere to talk about a book! A science fiction book actually. Whaat? Science fiction? I thought you were into Fantasy only?? Wrong. I’m a changed person. My tastes have evolved and developed over my 2 months away. (Also this book just sounded so good so I couldn’t not read it).

Shards of Earth is a futuristic sort of post-apocalyptic space opera. The year is very far in the future and Earth has met its destruction, and not by way of global warming. Rather, through the act of an all powerful destructive alien entity (dubbed, the Architects) that humanity has no chance against. The destruction of Earth starts a century long war (if it can be called a war when one side is being brutally defeated by the other) that is ended by humanity’s elite new weapons, Intermediaries. 50 years after the war Idris Telemmier a member of the first class of Ints stumbles upon something big. Something that might mean the war isn’t as over as humanity thought it was.

This book has everything, aliens, war, unexplained space voodoo, cults, and a ragtag team of misfits. If you’re into found family this is the book for you. 50 years after the war Idris wants nothing to do with the government that created him, so he’s slumming it as a deep space pilot of a scavenger ship where every member of the crew is some kind of outcast. There are aliens, artificial intelligence hive mind entities, and some of your run of the mill outcasts (aka on the run for committing accidental murder).

I’m not going to go into every member of the crew but my general review of them is that I enjoyed the ones that stuck around! A nice thing about this book was that it was told in 3rd person POV that occasionally focused on other characters. Initially I thought we would be stuck with Idris for most of it, but we got to see other fun stuff primarily Kris (intergalactic badass lawyer extraordinaire) and Havaer (space cop) were my favorites!

In terms of worldbuilding, I feel like there were two sides to it. On the one hand, Tchaikovsky did a great job of outlining the weird space civilizations and their rules and structures. The government was understandable, the individual history for each of the stations and planets visited was given over in a way that didn’t feel like telling but didn’t leave the reader confused as to what was going on. All in all, the worldbuilding of the worlds and cultures? 10/10. However, when it came to actually explaining what Intermediaries do, I was veryyy confused.

Ints are a central focus of the book, what with Idris our main character being one, but 548 pages later and I still don’t really get what they are. Experiments are done to alter the brain. And then intergalactic magic? I would be open to accepting unexplained magicky stuff but the scope of the Intermediaries abilities are also not really discussed. I think that there is a part of the Intermediaries that is intentionally left a mystery, an unexplained side effect of Idris’s transformation being that he doesn’t age or sleep why is that? No one knows. Brain altering experiments and radioactive therapy can do that to a guy apparently.

Plotwise, a lot was happening, but in a good way. Shards of Earth did a fantastic job at setting up the trilogy but still managed to be action packed in a way a lot of “intro” books aren’t. There were some shortcomings forsure, some characters I didn’t like, unexplained details that I couldn’t let go of, but overall Shards of Earth was a well rounded read that sets up what is sure to be an exciting trilogy.

3.5 Stars

This book gets a 3.5 stars from me and a recommendation for anyone who likes unique science fiction!

Do you like science fiction? What’s your favorite book with a group of misfits? If aliens attacked Earth would you survive? (I wouldn’t)

2 thoughts on “Review: Shards of Earth

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