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Darwin's Children [Library Binding]

G. Bear
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 2004 141773762X 978-1417737628 Reprint
Evolution is no longer just a theory - and nature is more of a bitch goddess than a kindly mother - in this tense science thriller from the author of the Nebula Award-winning Darwin's Radio Stella Nova is one of the 'virus children', a generation of genetically enhanced babies born a dozen years before to mothers infected with the SHEVA virus. In fact, the children represent the next great evolutionary leap and a new species of human, Homo sapiens novus, but this is officially denied. They're gentle, charming and persuasive, possessed of remarkable traits. Nevertheless, they are locked up in special schools, quarantined from society, feared and reviled. 'Survival of the fittest' takes on a new dimension as the children reach puberty. Stella is one of the first to find herself attracted to another 'virus child', but the authorities are watching and waiting for the opportunity to strike the next blow in their escalating war to preserve 'humankind' at any cost.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Darwin's Children, Greg Bear's follow-up to Darwin's Radio, is top-shelf science fiction, thrilling and intellectually charged. It's no standalone, though. The plot and characters are certainly independent of the previous novel, but the background in Darwin's Radio is essential to nonbiologists trying to understand what's going on. The next stage of human evolution has arrived, announced by the birth of bizarre "virus children." Now the children with the hypersenses and odd faces are growing up, and the world has to figure out what to do with them. The answer is evil and all too human, as governments put the kids in camps to protect regular folks from imagined dangers. Mitch and Kaye, scientists whose daughter Stella is swept up in the fray, become unwillingly involved in the politics that erupt around the issue of the new humans. Harrowing chases, gun battles, epidemics, and tense meetings about civil rights ensue, all brilliantly narrated. But just when you think you've got the book figured out, Bear throws a massive curveball by introducing... religion. That's right, a good old-fashioned epiphany, plopped down in the middle of a hard science fiction novel. But even skeptical readers will be swept along with Kaye as she tries to deal with what's happening to her and how it relates to the fate of her daughter's species. Keep reading past the words that make you uncomfortable--the hot science, the cool spirituality--and you'll be rewarded with a story of complete and moving humanity. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

In this masterful sequel to his Nebula Award-winning Darwin's Radio, Bear takes us into a near future forever changed by the birth of millions of genetically enhanced babies to mothers infected with the SHEVA virus. These children may represent the next great evolutionary leap, but some fear their appearance rings a death knell for traditional humanity. Geneticist Kaye Lang, archeologist Mitch Rafelson and their daughter, Stella Nova, have been hiding from an increasingly repressive U.S. government that wants to put the so-called "virus children" in what are essentially concentration camps. Eventually, the family is captured, and when Mitch resists he's arrested on a trumped-up charge of assaulting a federal officer. In later years, Kaye returns to genetics and Mitch, once he's out of jail, to archeology, but neither gives up hope of finding and freeing their daughter. Meanwhile, Stella, imprisoned but surrounded by her own kind, begins to explore the full significance of what it means to be post-human. Though cast in a thriller mode, like much of Bear's recent work, this novel may contain too much complex discussion of evolutionary genetics to appeal to Michael Crichton or Robin Cook fans. Nonetheless, Bear's sure sense of character, his fluid prose style and the fascinating culture his "Shevite" children begin to develop all make for serious SF of the highest order.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Darwin's Legacy Oct. 27 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've been a fan of Greg Bear for sometime, it started, I think, with Eon. Like Orson Scott Card, another favourite, Bear writes stories about people, draped over a science fiction setting, driven by the same emotions as us all. In that regard, Darwin's Children doesn't disappoint; there's no escaping Mitch and Kaye's love for their daughter and each other, tested as it may be. After finishing Darwin's Radio, I was hesitant to pick up the sequel. I found Darwin's Radio to be cluttered with genetics 101 to the point of losing the story. Darwin's Children doesn't make that mistake. It finds a better balance of story and science. I read on the web that the book will soon be turned into a movie, which surprises me, as there's very little in the book that would seem attractive to Hollywood. It's a great read that gives pause. Enjoy.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been happy with just Darwin's Radio June 26 2004
This sequel tells the story of Kaye's daughter up to about 16 years of age. The new species of man Bear creates proves to be not all that different. There are new social interaction possibilities, and new english phrases, but they really aren't that much different. This makes it not that interesting. Additionally, the more group focus of the new species leaves the individual characters seeming disinterested or plain.
If you liked Darwin's Radio - I would suggest you leave it at that, and use your imagination instead of reading this.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The first novel from Bear I didn't finish June 25 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Greg Bear was my favorite writer, period. If I saw a new novel from him, I'd buy it, no questions asked. But Darwin's radio falls short. His mutated children characters could be fascinating, but he doesn't spend enough time on them. On and on we go, about Washington, hearings, and recriminations. Hey, if I wanted to see that crap, I can turn on C-SPAN and watch the 9-11 hearings, I don't need to pay eight bucks. Where is the wonder and majesty of the Way, in the Eon series? The vast loneliness of space, and awesome sense duty in the Forge of God books? The strangeness and alien humanity in Queen of Angels? This book is a disappointment. If you want to go find the wonder that was Greg Bear, go get yourself an Alistair Reynolds book. That guy ROCKS! And Mr. Bear, please go back into the wonder business, so I can go back to buying your books again without worring about wasting my time.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Boring, Disjointed and Over-rated June 12 2004
By Publius
The sequel to the considerably better Darwin's Radio lacks much of interest - the injection of recent understandings of the possible role(s) of viruses in evolution aside.
The topic matter at hand truly could lend itself to very interesting story-telling, but in this text Bear does not seem to push hard enough. What it lacks is a penetrating insight needed to take expository texts into the realm of worthwhile fiction.
Also, I think that a chief problem in the plot arcs is that they do not cohere very well. Much is left out and context is often absent, with the result for me being that I really didn't follow the story - as it were - too closely. I found myself skipping/skimming over large portions of the text.
The "science is good" in the text, sure, but the "science is good" also in Scientific American. In the SF genre, good science absent good ploting means, ultimately, a less fruitful yield.
What perhaps irks me the most is that the actual payoff of the text is so asymmetrical with the tout & hype.
Put another way, if this is considered "masterful" science fiction, then we are in a dark period of science fiction writing. My view is that the science fiction genre, emblazoned as it used to be with irreverance and occasional iconoclastic brilliance, is now almost completely subject to creativity-dampening strictures of political correctness. Bear's work is almost a monment to P.C. in writing.
Put anoyther way: P.C. and S.F. are utterly incompatible. Since the publishing industry will not publish those texts which do not jibe with current notions of what's P.C., and since the American readership is evidently so docile and easily pleased, then we may predict an extended dark age for the SF genre.
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3.0 out of 5 stars X-Men 2 All Over Again June 7 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This isn't really a bad book, but it is almost a rehash of the second X-Men movie. Here you have a school (or a series of schools) for gifted children beset by government officials or self-appointed vigilantes who want either to kill them outright or put them in "camps", as in the X-Men movie. I kept expecting adamantine claws to extend from a character's hands to slice up a bad guy (but that never happened). I tried to push the images of Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Children out of my mind, but I couldn't do it. The writing is competent, but the drama is flat. The other lasting criticism I have of both books together (Darwin's Radio and Darwin's children) is that the specialness or unique qualities of the new children aren't made all that clear. Perhaps this will come in the last novel of the series. As it is, there are far greater classics of mutants in the genre. It's hard to beat Van Vogt, Stapelton, and Sturgeon who've already done it better.
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Why you should read this:
Many of the devoted fans of Bear who read with relish Darwin's Radio will eagerly look forward to buying this book. For them, it will be a very quick and, perhaps in some ways, satisfying read. It will answer certain questions about "what happened next" and could even leave room for yet a third novel. It is otherwise a harmless novel that will not enlighten but not irritate a reading audience(...)
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Trapped in the words
I do not like to read, and was forced to read a book for an english class I took. I chose this book randomly off of the libray shelves judging only by the science fiction label on... Read more
Published on March 24 2004 by Debora Stinner
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent near-future thriller
Ah, the wonders of on-line communication! This is my third attempt to write a review of this novel. The first was submitted, acknowledged, but lost, the second disappeared when I... Read more
Published on March 21 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellant near-future thriller
I'm writing this review of Darwin's Children, but it actually applies to both that work, and the one preceeding it, Darwin's Radio. Read more
Published on March 19 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Just plain terrible.
I read the first book. Like, read it, on paper. I enjoyed it. So, on a whim, I picked up the sequel to Darwin's Radio on the iTunes Music Store. Boy, it was just awful. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2004 by Jane Avriette
1.0 out of 5 stars Lost
I read and enjoyed Darwin's Radio and gave it a good review. Before reading Darwin's Children I read the reviews on Amazon and generally found them discouraging. Read more
Published on Jan. 23 2004 by Thomas Atkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Evolutionary stresses
Writing a trilogy presents writer and reader alike with a dilemma. The writer must try to make each book, especially the middle book, stand alone. Read more
Published on Dec 6 2003 by Stephen A. Haines
1.0 out of 5 stars One star is too generous
I read this novel in the misguided hope that it would improve as it went on. It did not. I honestly can't think of a single thing that would make this book worth a read. Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2003 by ...
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