Here we have a ubiquitous, intelligent, and technologically advanced alien presence that has come to planet Earth. The story is interesting, and you get hooked immediately with the mystery and intrigue surrounding our alien overlords. Where do they come from, why have they chosen our planet, and if they’re here, what’s out there in the universe for us to discover?
You watch the world evolve for decades while under the watch of these unfathomable alien overlords, trying to solve the enigma of their presence. We observe humans’ evolution in terms of psychological, socioeconomic, and even biological growth as they grapple with their new reality over decades. The journey through time was an enjoyable ride, and all that mystery builds up to an astonishing ending.
As for the characters, this is mostly plot-driven. The individual characters were not all that dynamic in any sense, but the characterization of humans as a whole delivered a lot. If you like unique, individual personalities, you won’t get much of that here. On the other hand, if you like big picture analysis and anthropological studies, you’ll likely love this.
Childhood’s End is a relatively short book that’s easy to get through, entertaining at times, a bit dense at others. It’s packed with thought-provoking ideas about humanity’s existence and the infinite Universe. It’s philosophical and ultimately transcends finite concepts of what it means to be human; Of course, it’s sci-fi, but it’s almost spiritual at its core.
I’m blown away by this masterpiece, and I can’t believe I waited so long to pick it up.