Shards of Earth Review

Shards of Earth Review | Adrian Tchaikovsky

Having adored The Doors of Eden, there was no way I was turning down the chance to jump on this blog tour. There’s something about Tchaikovsky’s writing that works for me: the characters, the plot, the pacing – everything! Journey to the edges of space with my review on Shards of Earth.

Publisher: Tor | Date: 2021 | Genre: Science Fiction

Plot: The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .

Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade him in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.

After earth was destroyed, mankind created a fighting elite to save their species, enhanced humans such as Idris. In the silence of space they could communicate, mind-to-mind, with the enemy. Then their alien aggressors, the Architects, simply disappeared – and Idris and his kind became obsolete

Now, fifty years later, Idris and his crew have discovered something strange abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects – but are they returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy hunting for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, that many would kill to obtain.

I received Shards of Earth as part of TheWriteReads Ultimate Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Shards of Earth Review

Shards of Earth Review

Shards of Earth is pure science-fiction. From the first page, you’re flung into the midst of a raging space battle, with multiple species coming together to fight for survival. It’s gritty and tense, and the unique traits of the species makes this a cultural joy to read. It’s a long book, but the ever-increasing tension and way the plot unfolds means you won’t want to put it down.


The book is narrated by a number of characters. Their range of opinions and solutions makes this an entertaining jump between the pragmatic and military, to economical and emotional.

Offering oversight into all the characters is impossible – too many, and too in-depth. But I’ve got some highlights.

Idris’ talents make him a commodity to anyone and everyone. But he wants the quiet life: he’s had enough of adventure. I love the vulnerability to Idris – all he wants is to be left alone to deal with his scars. But when it comes to it, he’s got a core of steel and won’t accept defeat, no matter the cost.

Solace is a soldier, born and bred. Part of a genetic experiment, she’s built for war. But emotions are pesky things and carrying out her mission is harder expected when she finds herself part of a crew that, while may not accept her, give her a chance.

My favourite is Kris. As a disgraced lawyer, she can smooth talk her way out of anything and everything – handy when your client is always landing himself in trouble.

I loved all the characters; their traits and quirks, whether human or alien. Their passions and tempers and their refusal to back down when the odds stack against them.

Away into the void where nobody would ever find them. There was always more void. It was the universe’s greatest resource and you could mine it forever and never run out.

Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky


Tchaikovsky’s writing is fantastic. From the first page, you’re in this chaotic universe far from anything recognisable. But you never feel lost, or need to take check of what’s going on. Impossible space jumps, undefeatable opponents, gangsters, politicians… it has it all, set in an intricately crafted world with too many civilisations to keep track of who’s on top.

The pacing is strong throughout, with tension building, cresting, then building to a new layer as each chapter unfolds. The threats get bigger, the death-count higher, and putting down the book is nigh-on impossible.

‘World building’ is an understated term to describe Shards of Earth. From the complexity of space travel to the different planets; it feels it could be out there, just waiting for us.

The threat is on a planet-destroying level. There’re intense problems kicking off. At no point, however, was this a heavy book. It has rhythm, but more importantly, it has humour. The dialogue made me laugh on multiple occasions and really brings the characters to life.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a science-fiction fan, I can’t recommend this enough. A review doesn’t do it justice, but everything about this is a resounding yes from me. This is only my second Tchaikovsky novel, but I will certainly be working through his back-list and on the lookout for what comes next.

Does this sound like your kind of read? Have you read any of Tchaikovsky’s work?

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27 thoughts on “Shards of Earth Review | Adrian Tchaikovsky

  1. I’ve only ever heard good things about Adrian Tchaichovsky’s writing. And you’ve reviewed this no less. It comes across as a page turner. And the character ‘Chris’, like her too. Comes across as having a glib tongue!


    • I’ve only recently started reading his work and I’ve got to say that I’ve fallen in love with it. He’s such a talented writer, think he could be a firm favourite moving forward.


  2. I’ll admit that it’s been a very long time since I’ve read a good science fiction novel, but your rave review here definitely makes me want to check this one out! It’s a rare occurrence to truly love every character AND the plot so much, so my interest is totally piqued!!


  3. I remember when you read The Doors of Eden and I thought that sounded brilliant and this sounds just as good! I’m much better with sci-fi than historical fiction, sci-fi is one of my favourite movie and tv genres so I need to get in on some more sci-fi novels. Great review! xxx


    • I’d never read him before reading these two quite close together and although they are very different, they are brilliant! Definitely an author I’m going to explore more of for sure!


    • This was only my second, with the first literally a week or so before it, and I’ve fallen for his writing so much, I can’t wait to read more. I hope you get the chance too soon if you’d like to.


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