Customer Reviews


10 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it again!
I won't give away any details of the story at all. I WILL say this though... the first time I read this book I thought 'Oh no! What's V.V. done??'
The story didn't go at all in any direction that I could have anticipated, and I was so busy waiting for what I thought SHOULD happen that I almost completely missed what DOES happen.
There were a couple of sections...
Published on 22 Jun 2012 by robert

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Is this the same guy who wrote "A Fire Upon the Deep"?
There is so much wrong with this book, I don't even know where to begin. The main protagonist is weak, dull and unimaginative. The central conflict on which the rest of the plot hinges (is she a religious nut or is she telling the truth?) is terribly contrived. The children of the sky, for whom the book is named, come across as inexplicably stupid and deeply unpleasant...
Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer


Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Is this the same guy who wrote "A Fire Upon the Deep"?, 24 Jan 2013
There is so much wrong with this book, I don't even know where to begin. The main protagonist is weak, dull and unimaginative. The central conflict on which the rest of the plot hinges (is she a religious nut or is she telling the truth?) is terribly contrived. The children of the sky, for whom the book is named, come across as inexplicably stupid and deeply unpleasant. The central betrayal (Vinge seems very fond of betrayals) is never resolved satisfactorily. The plot is pedestrian and plodding, with none of the breath-taking grandeur of "A Fire Upon the Deep". The ending is absolutely anti-climactic, and the Tines are the only mildly interesting thing in this book - but they are not nearly enough to hold it all together. How could the author muck it up so badly? He had everything in place for Season 2 of a grand galactic opera - what came out instead feels like a "Highlights of the Year" section in a New Year's edition of a parish newspaper.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a worthy sequel to "A Fire Upon The Deep", 16 Jan 2012
By 
S. J. King "zh84" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Children of The Sky (Hardcover)
I feel that "A Fire Upon The Deep" is the best SF story I have ever read, so it was always going to be a hard act to follow, as the cliché has it. Vernor Vinge's first step in that direction was "A Deepness In The Sky", a "prequel", which I also have. That isn't quite so superlative, but judged by ordinary standards it is another excellent book. Both are full of ideas, with a gripping plot and interesting characters. "Children of the Sky" is, by comparison, feeble. In "A Fire Upon The Deep" the antagonist is a transcendental being which threatens to reduce all intelligent creatures for a thousand light years every way to mindless slaves; in "A Deepness In The Sky" the humans must fight a dictatorship which can take control of their individual minds, while on the planet below an alien race is rushing through twentieth-century technology and on the verge of a nuclear war. In "Children of the Sky" the antagonists are a bunch of silly conspiracy theorists. Unlike "Deepness", the sections of the book that deal with human-human interactions are almost entirely tiresome: only when we are learning more about the Tines and their world does it become interesting and fun. The end of the story doesn't even resolve much: it looks as if Vinge has left himself hooks on which to hang another sequel. My own opinion is that, if he has another chunk of story in mind, he would have been much better putting it into this book and cutting out a lot of the material that just holds up the plot. I also felt that the "crusherbushes" were a bit of a deus ex machina, an implausible cheat to get the characters out of a sticky situation. Usually Vinge is much more rigorous than that.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Devastatingly disappointing. So sad., 5 Jan 2012
By 
S. Maller "(Steve)" (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Children of The Sky (Hardcover)
Fire Upon the Deep is one of my favourite books. Reading this sequel I came to believe VV didn't know what is was that worked in that book. In Children of the Sky there is no sense of a galactic stage. No space opera. No practical theology or variable technology or net of a million lies. No sense of awe. The setting is all on the ground, the theme is a squalid little power struggle, the timescales, events and characters are all very mundane. OK, so there is an alien race, suitably alien, but with very little rewriting you could have had a kitchen-sink contempory realism soap opera. But at that point people would notice the poor characterisation and dull plot and it still wouldn't work. It was boring. I am so sad.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it again!, 22 Jun 2012
By 
robert (BATHGATE, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I won't give away any details of the story at all. I WILL say this though... the first time I read this book I thought 'Oh no! What's V.V. done??'
The story didn't go at all in any direction that I could have anticipated, and I was so busy waiting for what I thought SHOULD happen that I almost completely missed what DOES happen.
There were a couple of sections which caught my attention however, and I immediately went back and re-read the book.

It's great! Once you realise that the entire tale will be set on Tines world, and that 10 years have passed and the Children are not all kids anymore, the story moves along at a fair clip, and the characters and situations are fabulous.

Read it at least twice. I guarantee, your eyes will be opened :)

10/10, Mr. Vinge!

EDIT: I'm now in the process of listening to the audiobook edition. I've never listened to an audiobook before, but I'm finding this story even more enjoyable through this medium. Amazed!

2nd EDIT: I can't stop listening to this audiobook. Some really important plot points are created simply by specific Tines characters using specific voices at specific times... something that might be slightly lost in translation when reading the written dialogue as opposed to its importance being highlighted when listening to the narrator's interpretation. I'm amazed to say that the audiobook presentation is far superior to the written version. The narrator (Oliver Wyman) does a wonderful job with a great-fun story.

***** 5 STARS ALL ROUND! I want MORE!

:)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars The Children of the Sky, 4 Jun 2013
By 
Steve D (London, England) - See all my reviews
It's difficult to know what to write about this one without posting massive spoilers for its predecessor, A Fire Upon the Deep. I think, first and foremost, it seems to me that this is a sequel to a book that didn't need a sequel. It took Vernor Vinge 19 years since the publication of AFUtD to come up with this book and, on some levels, it seems even given all that time even he didn't quite know what to do with it.

Moving the tale on ten years after the events of the previous book, The Children of the Sky is a planet-bound story that eschews all the galaxy-spanning awe and excitement and concentrates instead on a power struggle on Tines World (and the machinations of one particular Tine who quite literally got away with murder in the first book). It's kind of like Star Wars: The Phantom Menace - you've seen the previous films and are hoping to experience that sense of wonder and excitement all over again but, instead, you get a trade dispute . . . Okay, CotS is nowhere near as bad as Phantom Menace. In fact, it is very entertaining in its own way. The main problem is that it wasn't needed and, as much fun as it is to revisit some of these wonderful characters, it's just not the same without the excitement, tensions and drama inherent in the plot of the previous book. And, what's worse, it leaves even more questions unanswered for what seems likely to be yet another sequel. Ka-ching!

Still, there is fun to be had. The characters, old and new, create much warmth and humour and it is good to find out what happened to them. Hopefully the next book, whenever it may arrive, will get back to what Vinge did so well before.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars I love, adore, Vinge -- but this one is dull!, 1 Feb 2013
I am probably literally the biggest Vernor Vinge fan !

I idolize, apotheosize, Vinge.

He's the ultimate. Everyone should read every Vinge book immediately.

Vinge's five best books are the five best books - of any type - ever - ever written!

But it has to be said that this book is essentially very slow. It's all medieval - it's just set on a (boring!) planet where they are waiting for 20 years for something to happen. The whole book is basically a very slow history of the comings and goings of these rural characters. It has to be said, totally boring.

Basically, not your typical Vinge book!

If you're lucky enough to be new to Vinge, just pass this and read - quite simply - any other one of his books.

Every single other book he has written, is an epoch-making masterpiece. Thank you, Mr. Vinge! (Err, but not for this one! :) )
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, 1 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Children of The Sky (Hardcover)
"A Fire Upon The Deep" is one of the best SF novels of the last 30 years. It has a brilliant setting that immediately captures the imagination of the reader, perhaps the most stunning conceptions of alien lifeforms ever put in writing, and a plot that is engaging enough, albeit in the usual "quest against primordial evil" format of old fashioned space opera and thus possessing all its dramatic limitations, particularly in the denouement. Vernor Vinge was never much of a writer, literary speaking, but his writing there displayed an economy of words and a sense of humour that transcended the basic clunkiness of his prose.

Sadly, it is clear that this was an aberration. Already in the prequel "A Deepness In The Sky" many of the faults that doom this ultimate sequel were beginning to show: a slow and rambling plot that was frankly uninteresting, "good" characters that were emotionally unstable and inexplicably stupid, one-dimensional caricatures of "evil" sadistic masterminds, more clunky writing - and so, so much of it. In the "Children of the Sky", Vinge has given free rein to those aspects and the result is unbearably bad. The good guys are even stupider and more unstable, and the bad guys are all evil geniuses who can do no wrong -until they screw up in their big moment in the worst Bond villain tradition of course. The plot is slow, rambling and uninteresting, and the writing ponderous and completely devoid of any elegance. There is no evidence of Vinge's ideas that once seemed so fresh and far reaching. In fact they have all but ran out. This could have been easily condensed into a (poor) short story. As a full-scale novel it's one of the worst books I've ever read, in any genre. Avoid.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it, 2 Jun 2012
By 
Julia (Guildford, Surrey England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Children of The Sky (Hardcover)
I was a little worried when I bought this given the reviews, but then I was pleasantly surprised as I did enjoy it. I was pleased to meet GreenStalks descendants. I thought all the characterisations were good. I am looking forward to the next one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather liked this, 20 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Children of The Sky (Hardcover)
I rather liked this book and found that it was an enjoyable page turner until the end.

I've alway liked Vernor Vinge's work and have read all his novels. This book was a revisiting of the Tine's world and playing with the characters there. All the action takes place on the single world, with no galatic information making it's way to the slow zone.

The book felt slightly rushed towards the end and seems ripe for a sequel.

In it's depiction of development of technology it revisited the same ground as 'Deepness in the Sky'. This book does not have the same depth as the other two but I still found enjoyable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tines are Back!, 15 Oct 2013
By 
A. C. Mcknight (Uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A sequel to 'A Fire Upon the Deep' and I thoroughly enjoyed it and just hope that Vernor Vinge finishes his story of the Tines and the Humans with another book. When he makes his characters vulnerable he is at his best!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Children of The Sky
The Children of The Sky by Vernor Vinge (Hardcover - 14 Nov 2011)
£15.86
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews