Epeolatry Book Review: Lords of Uncreation by Adrian Tchaikovsky
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Title: Lords of Uncreation
Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Genre: Science Fiction
Release date: 2nd May, 2023
Synopsis: He’s found a way to end their war, but will humanity survive to see it?
Idris Telemmier has uncovered a secret that changes everything – the Architects’ greatest weakness. A shadowy Cartel scrambles to turn his discovery into a weapon against these alien destroyers of worlds. But between them and victory stands self-interest. The galaxy’s great powers would rather pursue their own agendas than stand together against this shared terror.
Human and inhuman interests wrestle to control Idris’ discovery, as the galaxy erupts into a mutually destructive and self-defeating war. The other great obstacle to striking against their alien threat is Idris himself. He knows that the Architects, despite their power, are merely tools of a higher intelligence.
Deep within unspace, where time moves differently, and reality isn’t quite what it seems, their masters are the true threat. Masters who are just becoming aware of humanity’s daring – and taking steps to exterminate this annoyance forever.
This is book 3 of the Final Architecture series from Adrian Tchaikovsky. Epic, hard sci-fi is not usually my favourite, but after reading his second epic sci-fi series , I’m slowly being converted.
We would like to believe that when faced with a greater threat, humanity will set aside its differences and band together to fend it off. However, this is unlikely, and in a universe filled with conflicting governments and alien races, “banding together” becomes ever more complex. The time has come for the final war against the Architects and their masters, and everyone has a different solution.
Idris wants to spare the Architects, whom he sees as victims not enemies, and instead focus on killing their masters. However, Idris is our Cassandra figure and his message is buried under others’ sweeping desire for revenge against those who destroyed their homes and entire species. Other factions see the war not as the end to a problem, but as an opportunity to push forward their own political agendas. Tchaikovsky’s world-building brilliance shines as he explores the philosophies and cultures of the myriad civilizations he has created.
One of the core conflicts through the series has been between Olli and Solace. Olli was born “without the regular complement of limbs” but has learned to adapt (even master) her environment through technology. She has several frames that help her get around, fight, and run her ship, the Vulture God. She is crass, endearing, tough, and loyal. And in Solace’s Parthenon world, Olli would never have been born.
The Parthenon is a genetically engineered female warrior race dubbed “the Warrior Angels”. They were invented by Doctor Sang Sian Parsefer and her allies as the ideal of humanity. Each of the Partheni is born in a vat and engineered toward a specific purpose. They were meant to protect and fight for humanity, but are often regarded with suspicion. Solace is one of these warrior angels and is unflinchingly loyal to the Parthenon and what she believes is its purpose. Beginning with a confrontation between her and Olli in book 1, Solace has to grapple with the reality that the society she was raised in may not be what she thought it was. It is in this third book that Solace must face what the Parthenon (and herself) truly stands for.
Tchaikovsky examines how complicated morality can be through conflicts such as these, filtered through the lenses of real characters. Solace’s Parthenon sounds noble and almost utopic, but as Olli points out, it’s still eugenics. And in a world like that, the diversity that makes us human is missing.
I could spend pages exploring each of the civilizations and races in this trilogy, but it’s best you read it for yourself. I’m sad this series is complete. It’s only three books, but each is an epic unto itself. By the end, I spent so much time with Olli, Kris, Solace, and others that it’s hard to say goodbye. But the ending proved satisfying, and each character had a solid resolution befitting their arc.
I recommend this book to Tchaikovsky fans, or epic sci-fi fans, or those who are not epic sci-fi fans (like me) but are open to conversion.
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Melody lives in Ontario, Canada and writes short, dark fiction. She has been published in several anthologies and online publications. In university, she studied Ancient Greek and Roman Studies and often infuses her work with elements of Greek mythology. She also loves reading, embroidery, and martial arts. You can follow her homepage at: https://www.blog.melodyemcintyre.com/