Thursday, March 09, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Death's End by Cixin Liu

Wow. The sheer scope and scale of what Liu Cixin has accomplished here with the concluding book Death's End of the award-winning Three-Body Problem trilogy (officially known as Remembrance of Earth's Past) is truly awesome, in the original sense of the word.

It was hard to imagine how Liu could top himself with the wildly original ideas he displayed in the first two books (The Three-Body Problem and The Dark Forest) but I believe that he totally did. I remember sneaking peeks at other reviews of Death's End  which made the claim that the third book was even more original, intriguing and exciting than the first two and to be honest I was quite skeptical that could be true. If you are reading this before you have read the third book (and after you have read the first or second) trust me, you are in for a treat!

It's difficult to discuss the details of the conclusion of the series because I don't want to give away the ending. However, I will say that the conflict between the aliens (whom we now call Trisolarians because of the three stars that surround their home world, partially explaining the title of the first book) and the people of Earth is resolved, in a way that is ultimately quite satisfying (to me, at least).

It's interesting that each of the three books has a very different main character (protagonist) who is depicted in a very nuanced way, with real flaws. Of course, part of this is that the author puts his characters through extreme situations where they are often responsible for making decisions that can affect the survival of humanity itself and in many of these situations the "right" decision or course of action is not clear, but the story is never boring and it is VERY often quite surprising.

In the third book that main character is Cheng Xin, a female scientist trying to assist with the defense of Earth from attack by Trisolaris. I think it's great that such a great work of science fiction like Death's End  has a female protagonist.

And there's no question in my mind that this is a great work of science fiction. It's not an easy read (most worthwhile things are not easy!) but it is absolutely an enjoyable and engaging one.


Title: Death's End.
Cixin Liu.
Paperback: 608 pages.
Date Published: September 20, 2016.
Date Read: February 10, 2017.

GOODREADS RATING: ***** (5.0/5.0).

OVERALL GRADE: A (4.08/4.0).


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