Dark, Loved-it, Other-cultures, Scifi

Liu Cixin’s Death’s End I'm thinking it's the best scifi I've read this year

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

c) Have you read The Dark Forest, or better yet, that one AND Death’s End?

  • 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.

Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past #3)

★★★★★ 5 stars

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:

ALL the twists

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 and enbies.

Over and out.

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4 years ago

Nothin’ more to add to it. As it happened that I’ve also read it, too, my verdict is simple yet elegant (I hope so!): I can personally vouch for every goddamn word she wrote here. And every gif (maybe except the first one lol). Btw, goodreads rating of this book is 4,56 at the moment. It’s actually higher than A) any “ASOIAF” series’ books rating; B) any of Stephen King books rating; C) To kill a mocking bird rating; D) 50 shades of grey rating (lol); E) well, you get it , right? The only two books with a higher… Read more »

4 years ago

Also, you wrote “I’m thinking it’s the best scifi I’ve read this year”
I’d say, it’s the best scifi I’ve read in years.

Hana Bilqisthi
4 years ago

I never read Liu Cixin.. reading your review made me want to read one.. Thank you

Fleur @ Frankly Books
Fleur @ Frankly Books
4 years ago

I’m normally not that big of a fan of sci fi, but now I’m definitely going to check this author out. The way you’ve described makes him absolutely sound incredible. The little ‘quiz’ at the beginning was a really good idea as well.
Oh my gosh! The little pretzel gif was honestly so clever.

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

I can’t believe I haven’t started this series. I think I was intimidated by the length of the books or the serious subject matter. But I will take your advice and find myself copies!

Danya @ Fine Print
4 years ago

Sadly I don’t *quite* win the internet, since I’m only just now slowly making my way through The Three Body Problem. But I did just read Invisible Planets: Chinese Science Fiction in Translation by Ken Liu, and there are a couple Liu Cixin stories in there. They blew my mind!

Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee
4 years ago

welcome to the ETO! It is now a custom to shout the classic slogan “The world belongs to Trisolaris!” when two fans of Liu Cixin meet. lol As you know ,Liu is his family name. Most of the fans would call him Big Liu out of affection and admiration. Big Liu has been writing sci fi for almost 20 years,and his very first published work is a short story called Whale Song. Many of Big Liu’s short story are full of love and brightness,compared with The Three Body Problem series. Just as he said, there are lots of possiblities on… Read more »

Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee
4 years ago

yes, much brighter, much cuter, and the same mind-blowing.
Buuuuut, he hasn’t finished any new novel since the Death’s End.
super worried.

4 years ago

The Wandering Earth,YOU CAN READ IT

4 years ago

Description I’ve never seen the night, nor seen a star; I’ve seen neither spring, nor fall, nor winter. I was born at the end of the Reining Age, just as the Earth’s rotation was coming to a final halt. The Sun is about to unleash a helium flash, threatening to swallow all terrestrial planets in the solar system. On Earth, the Unity Government has erected Earth Engines. With them it plans to propel our planet out of the solar system, setting it on a journey into outer space in search of a new sun. The Earth begins its centuries-long, wandering… Read more »

4 years ago


6 months ago

The first book is quite excellent and a work of hard science fiction, with most of the physics depicted correctly. The second book is also excellent and well-thought of. Unfortunately the last book is just ok. It has many nice descriptions and is very imaginative, but involves a number of dei ex machina.