January 2010, Orbit
656 pages, paperback
Ease of reading: 2
Martin's recommended rating: ♥
The first intelligent species to encounter mankind attacked without warning. Merciless. Relentless. Unstoppable. With little hope of halting the invasion, Earth's last roll of the dice was to dispatch three colony ships, seeds of Earth, to different parts of the galaxy. The human race would live on ...somewhere. 150 years later, the planet Darien hosts a thriving human settlement, which enjoys a peaceful relationship with an indigenous race, the scholarly Uvovo. But there are secrets buried on Darien's forest moon. Secrets that go back to an apocalyptic battle fought between ancient races at the dawn of galactic civilisation. Unknown to its colonists Darien is about to become the focus of an intergalactic power struggle, where the true stakes are beyond their comprehension. And what choices will the Uvovo make when their true nature is revealed and the skies grow dark with the enemy?
Science fiction has never been first on my reading agenda and after reading Michael Cobley's new space opera 'Seeds of Earth' I won't be rushing to add the genre to any future reading agenda either. There's no doubt that this is a very well written piece of literature, told in the third party, but it fails in my opinion to captivate the reader. Some chapters of the book are extremely captivating, whilst others are too descriptive and quite honestly - boring.
There are many interesting characters throughout the book, namely those based on the forest moon of Darien. The Uvovo people in particular are almost evocative of characters from a Tolkien novel. But the interaction between the Humans and Aliens generally fails to work. Cobley's use of third party narrative brings in the main characters, Greg, Catriona, Theo, Robert and Chel of the Uvovo amongst others.
Michael Cobley is planning a sequel to 'Seeds of Earth' entitled 'Humanity's Fire'. I for one will not be at the head of the queue for a copy on its release.