The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I liked The Three-Body Problem even though I wasn't totally connected with it. I love a first contact story, and there were some cultural touchstones I had missed that probably kept me from loving it, but I still wanted to dive into the sequel and see where it was going.
The Dark Forest may now be one of my favorite science fiction books of all time.
Taking place shortly after the first book, we immediately get an idea as to what's happening with the impending invasion (with one of the coldest final statements to humanity in the first few pages I've read), and then a long tale about how the world reacts. The way it's set up and progresses is a very unique response to a very unique situation set up in the first book (I'm trying not to give too much away, but imagine humanity fighting against omniscience), and the way it results is equally riveting and maddening.
I also have to say that I thought the translation in the first book was fine, but what we see with the translation this time feels a lot more natural and fits the themes and the story better. I found this to be a much more enjoyable read prose-wise than Three Body, for what it's worth. The Cultural Revolution parallels are also a little less central to the plot, meaning that the gateways to the story aren't as difficult. This ultimately ends up being a much more accessible read with a traditional trope turned on its head a bit.
I truly loved reading this. I can't wait for the English translation of the final book this fall because I have no idea what's coming next, and that's awesome. If it's even close to as good as this was, this might end up being an all-time series.
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