domingo, 2 de octubre de 2016

Death's end - Liu Cixin (english version)

Disclaimer: English is my third language,  so I want to apologize in advance for there may be mistakes in the text below. If you find any, please let me know so that I can correct it. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks. You can read this review also in spanish here.


All good things come to an end. For the last threee years I've been enjoying the fantastic science fiction saga Remembrance of Earth's past, by Liu Cixin, waiting anxiously the appearance of the next volume and finally I finished the third, Death's End. The truth is that it has left me with a certain feeling of emptiness, a clear sign that the reading has impacted me.

It is very difficult to comment on the plot of the novel without going into spoilers of the two first books, therefore I will confine myself to express my opinion.
It is a fantastic book; the best of the three and one of the best science fiction novels I've read in a long time.
The story has many strong points, but if I have to highlight some of them is the capacity of speculation  that Cixin has, the ability to make credible the most imaginative situations explaining the causes and the consequences, analyzing them and providing details. Then, although not less important, I will highlight the features that are trademark of this author, that has become one of my favorites: imagination in abundance, large structures, scientific explanations  usuals of hard science fiction , surprising twists in the plot, and the ability to explain many stories within the main story, providing the reading with various layers, making it  richer.
Somewhat reluctantly I will make a reproach to the novel, which is the treatment of the characters. It is a story based on speculation and sense of wonder, and almost inevitably leaves aside the characterization and evolution of the characters. I have two possible explanations. The first is that I think the main character of the novel is Humanity (in capital letters, yes), and that persons, individually, have little relevance in the plot and Cixin doesn't bother to portray them in detail. The other is that many of the characters are Chinese, and maybe I note the cultural difference and I have not finished to empathize with them, and so they left me with the feeling that they are not well drawn (anecdotally, it still costs me a lot to get used to the names of the characters).


It is a saga that needs a rereading to capture every detail; I will wait till the three novels are translated into spanish and give me a bellyful reading them one after another. 
I'm happy because to help me pass the abstinence syndrome of the author and  the dissatisfaction of having finished the series, in November will appear a couple of his stories in a science fiction anthology of chinese writers translated by Ken Liu (who also has been the translator of the first and third books of this saga), Invisible Planets, and in August Tor will publish the novel Ball Lightning. Cixin is here to stay, thankfully.

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