The Arthur C. Clarke award-winning author of Children of Time brings us the second novel in an extraordinary space opera trilogy about humanity on the brink of extinction, and how one man's discovery will save or destroy us all.
After eighty years of fragile peace, the Architects are back, wreaking havoc as they consume entire planets. In the past, Originator artefacts – vestiges of a long-vanished civilization – could save a world from annihilation. This time, the Architects have discovered a way to circumvent these protective relics. Suddenly, no planet is safe.
Facing impending extinction, the Human Colonies are in turmoil. While some believe a unified front is the only way to stop the Architects, others insist humanity should fight alone. And there are those who would seek to benefit from the fractured politics of war – even as the Architects loom ever closer.
Idris, who has spent decades running from the horrors of his past, finds himself thrust back onto the battlefront. As an Intermediary, he could be one of the few to turn the tide of war. With a handful of allies, he searches for a weapon that could push back the Architects and save the galaxy. But to do so, he must return to the nightmarish unspace, where his mind was broken and remade.
What Idris discovers there will change everything.
Tchaikovsky again shines with his suspenseful second Final Architecture space opera (after Shards of Earth). The Architects, moon-size alien entities who destroyed Earth 50 years prior, have returned, and Idris, a genetically enhanced Intermediary able to traverse the void of unspace, is one of the few capable of communicating with them. After learning that the architects are slaves to an unknown force that commands them to destroy planets, Idris makes for the planet Arc Pallator to investigate the ruins left by the ancient Originator race, the only artifacts known to repel the Architects. He's then kidnapped by a cyborg, a parasitic alien, and a mad scientist and brought to the irradiated planet Criccieth's Hell, which houses the only known functional Originator laboratory. As an Intermediary, Idris alone can use an ancient Machine left by the Originators to peer into the unspace where he makes a startling discovery about the relationship between the Architects, the Originators, and unspace itself. Meanwhile, the Parthenon, a cloned race of militant women, work to understand their connection to the Intermediaries. Tchaikovsky's intelligent worldbuilding captures the essence of classic space opera, with an intricate plot that whisks readers along on a humorous, sometimes convoluted, but always memorable adventure. Series fans will be eager for more. Agent: Simon Kavanagh, Mic Cheetham Agency.