Thursday, March 3, 2016

Review: The Three-Body Problem

The Three-Body Problem The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So Wikipedia tells me this book was originally published in 2006, translated to English in 2014 because it was so popular in China, then went on to win the Hugo Award in 2015. So, yeah, safe to say it's established itself as a pretty good novel.

And I'd have to say this novel earned it. Although it may seem that nothing can be considered truly original in this day and age, The Three-Body Problem comes fairly close. I'm not even sure how to describe this novel in this review because I feel like there's nothing I can compare its storyline to. Perhaps I just haven't read enough?

So here we go, brief summary: The Three-Body Problem, at its core, is yet another novel about the first human contact with an intelligent, alien species, and that alien species harbors ill-intent for our race because, as usual, we live in a very desirable place in the galaxy. However, all similarities with other novels stops there.

Because lo and behold, it was US that established contact first! Us that invited them! And some of us that welcome them! And this is hard scifi, with details and history from the past, taking place in real time, using the effects and realities of actual space and science progression, and it's all so beautifully described and vastly entertaining, and just well done overall, and yeah, I don't want to go on or go into any detail because I don't want to spoil anything.

I will say this, though. The author, Liu Cixin, is a big fan of metaphors and similes. Luckily, so am I. Also, Liu Cixin has no problems with long sections of exposition. Luckily, neither do I. So perhaps I'm biased? I'll also say this, that the second quarter of this novel drags pretty badly, and I was hovering somewhere between 3 and 4 stars at that time, but the last half made up for it.

I think that well and truly covers nothing, so sorry about that. I'm not sure I'm excited enough to actually continue the series, though, because I think from here on out there will be more fiction than science, and I really just enjoyed the science more than the fiction in this book, especially the history bits that are sure to never occur again.

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