“She could see worlds stacked sideways, extending out in a direction human beings had never needed a name for until now. Not just worlds but Earths – each radically different . . . catastrophes, prodigies, monsters.”
The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky is an ambitious blockbuster of a book that transports your imagination to places beyond comprehension. At the begining I was pretty much overwhelmed by how hardcore it was in terms of science fiction, but thankfully this was such an easy read to get into once I became fully absorbed by the premise.The story starts off with Lee and Mal who are two best friends. Both are the type of people to go on adventures and expeditions together into the unknown.
They yearn to find legendary monsters and in the process become legends themselves.However, when they come across a YouTube video of a creepy looking creature on a farm known as the Birdman of Bodin. Both Mal and Lee jump on the chance to find out if the creature is real or just a very well done CGI hoax. But as expected, things go horribly wrong as Mal vanishes into thin air with no evidence as to where she may have gone. Lee is left distraught at the disappearance of her friend and as we find out lover.Then suddenly after four long years Mal returns out of the blue and has changed in many ways. The question is though, what happened to her and where on Earth did she disappear too!
“You ever get the feeling there are cracks in the world? And the answer to that was ‘Yes.’. The answer to that was ‘My girlfriend fell into one somehow.”
We also have the characters of Julian an MI5 agent and Allison an intelligence analyst. Strange things are happening on their end to as computer windows are randomly popping up. These are leaving messages that Allison at first can’t seem to understand.
“There were models, fractal patterns, geometry and telemetry that sought to describe impossible spaces extending in unknowable directions. She saw everything.”
Then there is Dr Kay Amal Khan who is a transgender scientist and genius when it comes to mathematics. The events and premise of the story is something she researched and predicted long before they begin to happen. Because of this many forces are out to use her for her knowledge of this.Finally we have the character of Lucas May aka “Gym Bro “who is a hard boiled former soldier and now muscle for hire. He works for the stories main antagonist, Rove who is opportunistic individual looking to take advantage of what is currently happening. Rove was absolutely ruthless and conniving.
You’re probably wondering what connects them all together? Well the fact is that unexplainable events are occuring throughout England. Small anomalies/cracks are appearing that is causing people and creatures from parallel Earth’s and timelines to leak into each other.We find out that each parallel earth has evolved differently consisting of a wide range of various societies, species, and advancements in technology. But again these cracks aren’t getting any smaller which means more danger for the world. It’s therefore crucial that all the characters comes together in order to find a way to close these cracks before all parallel world’s leak into one.
All in all, I was very much invested in the journey of every character in the story. Even though at first I was overwhelmed that the story was being told from the POV of six different characters, everything slowly clicks into place as you begin to understand their motivations and purpose in the story.I found Allison and Julian to be a fantastic duo who really bounce off each other. They are basically trying to make sense of all the unexplainable drama that is happening. I guess you could say they’re like Olivia Dunham and Peter Bishop from the Fringe.Dr Kay Amal Khan was definitely my favourite and absolutely loved her dialogue with the other characters. She is very much straight to the point and takes no BS from anyone.The relationship between Mal and Lee for example was brilliant. I loved their passion for discovering the unknown and the unbreakable bond they had. I was really intrigued by Mal and what she had been doing while travelling through other world’s with the “Cousins”.I think it’s also important to consider the brilliance of the non human creatures that
Adrian Techaikovsky showcases in the story. There’s the Nissa, which is short for the Neanderthal Security Agency. They are highly intelligent beings tasked with policing each parallel world. There are also rat creatures, spiders, birdmen which creeped the shit out of me, dinosaurs, and many more that make your imagination to backflips.
“Lucas stared up at the dinosaur. The dinosaur regarded the car with instant and motiveless rage and then surged forwards along the edge of the stream.”
Tchaikovsky is exceptional at creating these other worldly interpretations of earth and the life forms with in them. I was truly blown away by the set pieces, detail, and the amount of research that has gone into this standalone novel. For example, there are interludes which explains parallel evolutionary timelines. I also felt that the ending set piece was something out of a blockbuster movie. It was a mix of Interstellar, and Independence Day rolled into one. The fact that the ending also leaves the story open for further books has me super excited. But I also feel it has ended in a way that means a sequel isn’t needed.So yeah overall this novel was superb and blew me away. It was such a fun read full of exciting set pieces and jaw dropping moments.
If you love sci-fi shows like the Fringe and X-Files then this will definitely be your cup of chai ✊🏽. Having now read my first Tchaikovsky book, I now understand why Adrian Tchaikovsky is well loved amongst sci-fi fans and can’t wait to read more of his novels.Thank you to Tor for the early e-copy😊.