The Promise of the Child by Tom Toner

“the year is 14,647 AD. Humankind has changed, fractured, Prismed into a dozen breeds of fairy-tale grotesques, the chaos of expansion, war and ruin flinging humanity like bouncing sparks around the blackness of space. Man has been resculpted in a hundred different places, and the world as he knew it –this world –is gone for ever.”

I expected some sort of scenario where the races of the universe were amazing beings living in harmony while the worlds went on turning. I thought it would be a space adventure where history would give consternation and the beings would strive to move forwards with improved knowledge.

Instead I found it to be somewhat political with extremely detailed (and dull) descriptions of landscapes and environments interspersed with moderately engaging, and iftens confusing, entanglements between the characters (both lesser and greater) in the novel.

I struggled to keep my interest in the book on an ongoing basis and consequently it took me a long time to read it, which meant re-reading some parts to ensure that I knew what had gone before.

Ultimately the book was based on racial prejudice and a mysterious other who seemed intent on taking control of the universe.

I don’t think I can recommend the book as I don’t usually take 4 weeks to read anything.

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

3/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Official description:
An extraordinarily inventive and hugely original SF novel that charts a compelling vision of a future and spins an hypnotic narrative around it. A novel that could command the same amount of attention and furore that met the publication of The Quantum Thief. The richness and originality of its vision combined with its playful take on hard science make this a novel with real commercial potential that will be talked about for years and should launch a major career in SF.

In the far future man has spread out into the galaxy. And diversified. Some have evolved physically into strange new forms, some have become immortal. Some hark back to the old ways. We have built a glorious new future. One that stretches from the sleepy Old World, to new terraformed planets and Dyson spheres built around artificial suns. For as long as we can remember (and some have lived 12,000 years) we have delighted in a rich new existence. Yes there have been wars but we are content in our splendour. Art is revered, life is easy, death forgotten for many. But now there are rumours of a bid to oust the Emperor and a worrying story that our history is not as we remember it – not only man left Earth…

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