Friday, April 15, 2016
The Dark Forest: The Epic Continues
Cixin Liu does it again in the second book of his Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy. The one word to sum up The Dark Forest is "epic."
The first book establishes that an advanced race has started a 400-year journey to our planet with the intention of wiping us out. The second book covers the first 200 years, detailing how the Earth prepares for the oncoming onslaught.
Just like with the first book, it took me about 70 pages to finally get a grasp on what was going on. The first pages are spent presenting the main characters with vignettes that don't seem to connect with each other. But then it all starts to come together with Luo Ji emerging as the main character, someone who unwittingly finds himself at the center of Earth's strategy.
Not only do we get a story of Earth coming together to fight a common enemy, but we also get the stories of individuals who struggle with their missions, who wonder if the Earth is really worth saving, and trying to live a normal life.
The book is full of epic imagery, and it does a wonderful job of staying within the realm of "real" science. The images were so vivid and believable that I often had to remind myself, as I went around doing my daily duties, that there was not indeed a group of aliens headed our way.
The book comes to a satisfying end and sets the stage for the next 200 years. Unfortunately, we English readers will have to wait till September 2016 for the translation of the last novel. Or, as my Cambodian friend tells me, "You could always learn Chinese."
I strongly recommend this series. Pick it up and prepare to be amazed.