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-Devin It is at the same time one of the most uplifting and depressing books anyone can ever read There are parts that are truly chilling as humanity evolves in different ways over the course of the book ultimately becoming something else entirely This work needs to be considered in the same vein as 1984 or Brave New World presenting a possible future society vastly different from what we have today but I can never decide whether its a utopian or a dystopian book The final irony is that by the end of the book the aliens appear more human than humanity -How will the world end If we accept the conclusions of Childhoods End instead of a nuclear holocaust we will expect to see a Golden Age during which all world crises will be resolved and all social problems will evaporate followed by a final cataclysm triggered by a source from which we least expect it The beginning of the end is heralded by the Overlords mysterious aliens in gigantic silver ships from an unknown planet Led by the Supervisor Karellen these godlike creatures-- superintelligent and seemingly allpowerful--are heard but not seen by humans at least not for their first decades on Earth During that period they speak directly to the earths population only once--to announce that they are now in charge For the most part the Overlords dictates are expressed by their chosen human messenger Stormgren the Secretary-General of the United Nations But their actions speak louder than their few words They diffuse a nuclear attack stop all cruelty to animals and decisively end racial discrimination in South Africa Although the Overlords reforms do benefit humanity not all people take kindly to having peace and happiness imposed on them by beings they cannot see and whose motives they cannot deduce Even Stormgren who applauds the Overlords every move still wishes he knew who his employers were After a band of anti-Overlord
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