The sequel to Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time, begins with an Earth terraforming program ship sent to the stars, where it makes an unexpected discovery. A planet is seemingly teeming with primitive life forms, only to later discover the planet’s ecosystem is far more advanced than first thought. An aeon later, humanity together with its new spider allies, detect early fragmentary radio signals of their discovery and dispatch an exploration vehicle in the hope of finding cousins from old Earth. However, the ancient terraformers have woken something that would have been better undisturbed.
I enjoyed the characters in Tchaikovsky’s award winning novel, particularly the protagonist, Senkovi and his interaction with the captain of the ship, Baltiel. This is hard science fiction at its very best as Tchaikovsky takes the reader on a future voyage into intergalactic flight, planetary terrraformiig and colonisation.