Book Review: The Three-Body Problem, by Cixin Liu

Hi. I try never to reblog something without following up with something I actually wrote, so I decided to review a Chinese sci-fi novel I recently read. It was pretty big in China, apparently, and was just recently translated. I heard about it through a friend and decided to check it out.

This is one of the best sci-fi novels I read this year. It’s set in the near future, where the most major relevant development is a “v-suit” that allows one to play video games in virtual reality. Other than that, most stuff is the same. Actually, the book starts following a woman during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, as her father dies and she joins a mysterious scientific research project. Then it cuts to the future, where a young scientist is approached by the government to help them with a series of suicides in the scientific community. I won’t say more (spoilers). That’s really all you need at this point.

I really liked this book. The plot was really engaging and somewhat original. For the most part, the characters are multidimensional and relatable (although the dialogue can sometimes be stilted, which I kind of expected), and the translation, by Ken Liu, was actually way more fluid than I expected. I highly recommend it to anyone.

That doesn’t mean it was perfect, though. There were 1 or 2 characters who just didn’t translate well. And the first part, during the Cultural Revolution, wasn’t very engaging. Still, good book, highly recommended.

That’s all I have for now, thanks. Arrivederci!

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