I needed to take a small break away from young adult fiction so I picked up this lovely science fiction.
This is a chinese science fiction with the backdrop of the cultural revolution of 1966 – 1976. The storey follows multiple story lines that covers many decades. This is the first book in a trilogy that follows earth’s first contact with an alien species as well as the advancement of technology and science. The mix of science, history, technology, war-like tactics and imagination has the reader on the edge of their sit through the entire book. My only issue is that I don’t feel like the characters were fleshed out very well but that could just be the difference between English and Chinese literature. I will be picking up the rest of this series in the future.
As you can probably tell from the above, I really love this book. While reading it I almost felt sad that my father is no longer alive and we couldn’t enjoy this book together like we did “The Martian”. This book is a very good science fiction book, and I’m embarrassed to say that Liu Cixin is my first Chinese author to read. Over all this is a very good book. Now my physics has never been very good (since I went into Bio-chemistry) but this story made the explanation of the basic concepts very clear. Though some of the science-fiction part seems a little farfetched, I could understand how it could be leaped to through quantum theory.
This book will have you stopping to look things up, not only in physics but also about the Chinese cultural revolution from 1966 – 1976. This book brought to life a lot of the atrocities that we hear about in the history books, even though it only ended 40 years ago. The background and science are very well founded and interesting to read. Even while you follow Wang Miao and Ye Wenjie through the story through their respective points of view.
All that being said I am sad to say that I didn’t really feel like the characters, whether human or alien, were well fleshed out. Now since this is my first time reading a chinese writer, I do not know if it’s because that is the style of literature there or just this specific story lacked the human element. The cultural niceties and standards were shown throughout the novel, but I would have liked a little more character growth through it. Though I am well aware that there was a lot of information to cover within the 302 pages.
I will be picking up the rest of the books of this series once I have the time to read them.
4 / 5