Blog Tour: When the Children Return, Barry Kirwan

Book Review: When the Children Return, Children of the Eye Book 2, Barry Kirwan

When the Children Return, Children of the Eye Book 2, Barry Kirwan

Science Fiction: When the Children Return, Children of the Eye Book 2, Barry Kirwan

Blog Tour December 1, 2021

 

The invasion of Earth was complete. Aliens had successfully persuaded human adults to murder their own children and then subject themselves to the aliens’ control. A few were immune. A few were lucky enough to be somewhere safe–a sub, Antarctica, underground. Even fewer happened to be awake when the signal was sent and managed to continue staying awake until they found somewhere safe to sleep, for the signal was sent into dreams. Those adults managed to rescue a few kids, and roughly 300 of them along with a few adults made it to the alien ship Athena and fled Earth to live in space.

 

Now, ten years later, they are returning to Earth. A home many of them barely remember. A planet no longer controlled by its native population. They are determined to take back their planet…but no one knows the cost. Can they successfully repel the aliens with the help of the sentient AI that guides Athena? Will there be people on Earth who will join the fight? Or is this a doomed exercise in futility?

 

When the Children Return is a brilliant sci fi novel. I absolutely loved the first book. I just might love this one even more. Kirwan spins a colorful yarn then knits it together into a beautiful project. The only thing I disliked about this book was finishing it and knowing the next one is almost a year away.

 

As in the first novel, Kirwan has several strong female characters who do not need a man to rescue them from any tower. Frankly, it is the women who lead the attack against the aliens’ tower. One thing that is a little different is the presence of senior adults. Some of the characters from the first book have aged into their 70s and 80s. Too often science fiction ignores characters older than 35, or gives them a stereotypical role (gentleman 17 walking with a cane). Kirwan’s old and young people are resourceful, intelligent, bold, and brave. I guess any generational gap loses importance when you’re facing alien invaders.

 

Kirwan also raises some profound questions that we may someday have to answer. What happens when an AI becomes too powerful? Can we rely on a machine that ultimately makes its own decisions and choices? And if it turns on us or lies to us, what can we do? The book provides some answers in the context of the plot, but it leaves a lot of meat on that bone for the next book to feast upon.

 

Another question facing the Athena’s passengers is the question of genocide. If they can defeat the aliens, should they kill all of them without mercy? Certainly that was the approach the aliens took when conquering Earth. But if we adopt our enemy’s values, have we become as bad as our enemy?

 

Do get the first book in this series, although this one stands alone very well. Both are good but some things make more sense in the context of the first novel. This is a series I definitely hope to return to as soon as the third book is released.

 

Barry Kirwan, Author

When the Children Return, Children of the Eye Book 2, Barry Kirwan

 Our thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours for our copy of When the Children Return, given solely in exchange for our honest review. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla. For other perspectives on this book check out the other bloggers on this tour.

 

Also see: Book Review: When the Children Come, Barry Kirwan 

 

When the Children Return, Children of the Eye Book 2, Barry Kirwan

Book Review: When the Children Return, Children of the Eye Book 2, Barry Kirwan

One thought on “Blog Tour: When the Children Return, Barry Kirwan

  1. This is simply the best review! I loved the comment about older generational characters – I was reading Old Man’s War at the time, so maybe it influenced me. Also good to know you liked the strong female characters, and the AI aspect, both of which were challenging (as I’m a bloke and not a robot :-)). Again, many thanks, hope you can post this on Amazon/Goodreads, such a superb review!

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