English Reader


Couldn't put it down. Literally. I neglected other duties for 36 hours. Excellent continuation of the story. Again, fascinating view of drivers of species survival seen through a different cultural lens, somewhat alien to my Western background. I did not expect it to follow the usual paths of English and USA scifi and it did not disappoint. Loved it.
Unfortunately the translation jarred at times. Luckily infrequently. But not enough for me to deduct a star.
About 80% through this book (after the Battle of Darkness), I needed a nap desperately. In the nap, I dreamed extremely troubling dreams, filled with the feeling of despair and the knowledge that humanity would die. Just felt like explaining the mood this book left me in for the most part: an overwhelming tension that every single human will perish, first in spirit, then in body. Thanks for that, Mr. Liu!
Bought on Day 1 and finished on Day 3. It was a fantastic Sci-fi reading experience from beginning right to end. You just couldn't stop feeling surprised and stunned all the time, by those choices and decisions, regardless they matter or not, made by the characters. The unthinkable scope of the plot and sceneries just repeatedly stroke your imagination and nerves like. Twists and turns in both large and small scale are blended in the whole logical storyline, so it turns out to be more like a mind-bending blockbuster movie.
For your own sakes, read it yourselves.
Absolutely a fantastic story. Immensely imaginative. Especially love the author's deep thoughts on combining sociology and science, and his vivid presentation of the doom's day scenes. Put it on a very short list of my best sci-fi readings so far. Highly recommended. Already pre-ordered the final installation of the trilogy.
Absolutely loved both books, the dark forest perhaps even more than 3 body - one of the best modern sf reads out there, I'd give it 6 stars if I could :)
Liu postulates that humanity will struggleto put forth a united front against the aliens, even faced with annihilation infour centuries. This makes perfect sense from a psychological point of view:how many of us put off tomorrow what could be done today, like my daughterwatching YouTube when she should be studying, or humanity using up fossil fuelsand resources without concern for the next generation? Then imagine that 16generations will go by before the Trisolarans will come to Earth andexterminate us like bugs. Why bother worrying at all? And certainly much ofhumanity does respond this way.
As with The Three-Body Problem, I thought The Dark Forest was filled with neat ideas and clunky characterization, and the first two-thirds of the book were somewhat slow-going but the pyrotechnics of the final third made up for it. I listened to the audiobook narrated by P.J.Ochlan, and he did a good job including pronunciation of the Chinese names, though I still have trouble keeping them straight in my head without seeingthem on the page. This book was translated by Joel Martinsen, and I believe hedid a good job, as did Ken Liu for the first book. I don't think the charactersare wooden because of the translation — that lies with the author, and I thinkhis strength is more in ideas and extrapolation, so I am willing to overlookthat. In fact, what Western readers expect from characters may be differentfrom Chinese readers, so it's tough to say. In any case, I still am keen to seewhat he can do in the trilogy's finale, Death's End.
I truly believe that the two novels gonicely with each other, and now, I'm even more excited to read the third, butnow my expectations have been adjusted away from epic space craziness into thetrue beginnings of real communication and discovery. Again, shall we go overthe dichotomies of faith and despair? I thought not. :)
It's a very thoughtful novel. I recommendit to everyone who loved the Three Body Problem with the caveat that you ought to expect a grand social and strategic battle of wits that showcases an understated and lazy hero who's only claim to fame is a deeper understanding ofthe stakes and the will to keep his mouth very tightly shut. (That part wasvery satisfying.)