At the end of Children of Ruin I was bemoaning the fact that Adrian Tchaikovsky moved things too far, too fast, and I was happy to see things go down a notch in the beginning of Children of Memory. Alas, it was all a scam, like those Star Trek episodes when nothing makes sense for the entire show only to get explained by a Deus ex Machina and a bunch of McGuffins at the end, but most of it happens in today's Earth or on some farm or Western setting.
Where could the author have gone from a multi species confederation of faster than light travelers, capable of eternally sleeping during voyages anyway and, barring that, construct any body and transferring any kind of knowledge back and forth? Just like Stargate (most notably) which started with stranded humans at the mercy of all powerful aliens and ended up defeating gods and travelling between galaxies, the only way was back or some kind of lateral jump, like making episodic books that need not connect except through a common literary universe. I really hoped that would be the case.
And I feel even worse because, while I hated most of the book, with its Memento-ish rehashings of the same events and with the author himself explaining obvious things over and over again, at the end of Children of Memory was a glimpse of the philosophical underpinnings of the story, and I liked those. Unfortunately those are just at the very end, making the rest of the book mostly pointless.
Bottom line: I couldn't wait for the book to end fast enough, just to get to understand what was going on, because even if I had an inkling of that, I needed confirmation. And the ending was both philosophically satisfying and invalidating the entire beginning and middle of the the story. So to me it feels like a bad elevator episode of the series, like Tchaikovsky had one more book to write to make this a trilogy and, like me, couldn't wait to get it over with already.