The Human Son review: Humanity and parental connections explored in new sci-fi novel

Books, Reviews

The premise is familiar to fans of SciFiNow: The Earth is broken due to a multitude of factors, and can no longer sustain human life, leaving humanity with one last hope at a brighter future.

In Adrian J Walker’s The Human Son, the saving grace is the Erta, an engineered super-being, capable of being faster, stronger and smarter than their human creators. The Erta’s only purpose is to fix the planet and make a better world. 500 years after their creation, the Erta’s task is nearly complete and it is time to hand back control of the Earth to the humans. But now they have created paradise, some Erta aren’t sure that’s the best idea…

The novel focuses on Ima, one of the most scientifically-minded Erta, who is now tasked with raising the first new human since their extinction. What unfolds is an emotional tale of what it means to love, be a mother and be human.

The book takes an unflinching look at humanity, exposing it for all its flaws and all its wonder. Written as a love letter from Ima to her son, it evolves in diary form, starting at the sleepless nights of raising an infant, through the first day of school and all the emotional turmoil of puberty.

Walker does a remarkable job of pontificating on a potential future, providing questions and answers on the practicalities of rebuilding a civilisation, while exploring how it feels to have your world turned upside down. With themes of fanaticism, hidden histories and scientific pursuit, The Human Son delivers a story that fosters a curious mind and an open heart, questioning and inspiring both without judgement.

The Human Son by Adrian J Walker is available now digitally and will be available in paperback in September published by Solaris.

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