Monday, December 05, 2011

Review: The Children of the Sky

The Children of the Sky
The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I do love Vinge, and this is an excellent sequel following up on the Tines, from [b:A Fire Upon the Deep|77711|A Fire Upon the Deep|Vernor Vinge||1253374]. I was so excited that he'd written a sequel, that I went back and read the original again first... which was useful for understanding this one, and a great pleasure in its own right, but it did throw a few things about the sequel into rather sharp contrast.

There are a number of questions Vinge leaves hanging at the end of Fire:

1) What happened to the Blight?
2) What WAS the Blight (well, we _think_ we pretty well know by the end of Fire... but were we right?)
3) What was the Countermeasure?
4) What happened to all the civs "above" Tines World?
5) What happens to all the characters left on Tines World?

The Children of the Sky answers the last of these (mostly, albeit incompletely) but doesn't even touch on the rest of them. As such, its an excellent story in its own right, but it feels a little narrower in focus than the first, and loses some of the sweeping grand scale that that book had. Given the number of other still-unanswered questions left over from Fire, and the relatively open ending of this one, I think we'll be seeing a third book in the series. I'm looking forward to it!

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