So here I am, thinking about how to start a blog post about a book as good as this one. As one of my Goodreads friends says, the better the book, the harder to write a good review of it. This is precisely the case.
So first things first. Quiz time!
a) Do you enjoy scifi at all?
- if No, well. Well. Go read some other blog post by me 😀
- if Yes, proceed to question b
b) Have you read The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin?
- if No, proceed to the bookstore or library and rectify this mistake
- if Yes, proceed to question c
- if No, well, go back to the first answer of question b
- if Yes, you are a wonderful person and you just won the test. And the internet.
You’re THAT fabulous.
So now that we got that one out of the way, we can talk about precisely WHY I’m telling you that there is no other solution than actually going to the book store or library.
First of all, Liu Cixin writes like no other author I know. Somehow he manages to write a book that feels like reading a chronicle from the past, or a journalistic article, utterly realistic and believable, BUT about curvature propulsion or lightspeed travel. And even though his writing is… it’s hard to describe, but I’d say it’s more analytical than most writers I know, he still manages to completely wrap you up in the drama that he’s come up with for his characters.
And let me tell you, THE DRAMA. His writing is:
TWIST UPON TWIST UPON TWIST
And when you think he’s done with all the twists, there are some more!
He had me crying by the end of this one. Because I can’t believe he did that to the characters. So utterly evil, it could deserve to be called G.R.R. Martin-esque.
But I shall not dwell on the feels.
What I love about this book is that the main characters are almost always very sober-minded individuals. I guess it’s probably because the whole book is based on the model of scientific thinking? When reading Liu Cixin’s work, I often wondered why it always feels like such a different world? And I’ve come to the conclusion that it probably IS the characters. I wouldn’t call them emotionless, they’ve definitely got feelings… But somehow in a very different way than most other books or stories.
Generally, I think Liu Cixin captures the character of the human race very well – the way they keep vacillating between love and hate, seeing one thing as either the god or the devil (“Like a moody child, human society’s attitude toward Blue Space, which had already vanished in the depths of space, transformed again. From an angel of salvation, this ship again turned into a ship of darkness, a ship of devils.”) The thing I also enjoyed a lot about this book was that it dealt more with questions of philosophy, of ethics, of good and evil, of the good of the whole over the individual, and simply just questioning the meaning of life. Liu Cixin really does understand that love is the driving force of the universe, as sciencey as he gets.
So for the plot. Even though we’ve advanced through all the Earth-Trisolaris developments in the previous books right up to the stalemate, the third book still takes us back to the time the Wallfacer project has just started up and has us watch events and projects going on alongside of it, overshadowed by the big commotion caused by the Wallfacers. Aside from going back in time, we are taken to see what happened to our beloved Zhang Beihai, as well as the rest of the crew that escaped in Blue space (to me, Zhang Beihai remains one of the most amazing characters in this series, like some superman! Although I will not waste my breath, because he does not star in this particular book). After that, the events take us farther than most of our imaginations can even fathom. I won’t ruin the experience for you, so that’s all I’ll be saying about the plot.
And I can not and will not even BEGIN to tell you about the ending. It will f*ck your mind up. It’s totally and utterly crazy. When you think you already know what happens, guess what? You don’t know anything! And that doesn’t just go for the ending. The author makes such a great puzzle out of it, every little thing you read about WILL fit into the bigger picture in the end. Some of the things were thought through so well that they were introduced in the first book, the secret was kept but released only in the third one! I guess the saying “If it’s not happy, it’s not the end yet” works well for this book, except take out the happy part. There will be no happy. But there will be FEELS.
Obviously, I can’t tell you too much about this book without giving things away. So you will just have to take my fangirling word about it:
Go read it, boys and girls. Get it here on Book Depository, free shipping internationally.
Over and out.