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Guest Review: And I Read: Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky

You can pretty much assume that everyone at Utopia State of Mind gets excited about epic space operas. Going back to the roots as a SFF fantasy blog, it’s always lovely when we can remind ourselves how it all started. Keep reading this book review of Shards of Earth to see the latest space opera review.


The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .

Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade him in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.

After earth was destroyed, mankind created a fighting elite to save their species, enhanced humans such as Idris. In the silence of space they could communicate, mind-to-mind, with the enemy. Then their alien aggressors, the Architects, simply disappeared—and Idris and his kind became obsolete.

Now, fifty years later, Idris and his crew have discovered something strange abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects—but are they returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy hunting for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, that many would kill to obtain.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I’m not sure what I expected from Shards of Earth, but Adrian Tchaikovsky certainly managed to surprise me. The entire world-building is absolutely amazing. No matter if you look at the political intricacies, the somewhat believable technological explanations, or coherent historical background, all of them are beautifully worked out.

Especially at first, I was a little bit overwhelmed by the complexity of the story, but after the first few chapters, I got the hang of it. It’s a perfect setup to expand on in the upcoming sequels. I also never encountered any other book which taught me so many new, maybe slightly uncommon, words. How did I ever live my life without knowing what “aggrandisement” stands for?

The book is highly recommendable for any sci-fi fan of an epic series, but it can also be read as a standalone story.

Find Shards of Earth on Goodreads, Amazon (US) (UK), Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite space opera?

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