I could not leave my seat! Mesmerizing!

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muletrain68 Avatar


Thank you to BookishFirst and to author Cixin Liu and translator Joel Martinsen for this great First Read, which covered the first four chapters (108 pages) of the book.

The book's basic premise is that the world has fallen victim to a stellar explosion, causing those above age 13 to die over the course of approximately 10 months of a form of radiation poison. The first four chapters examine a host of characters as they suffer through the initial explosion and following ten months, as the world struggles to cope with how to prepare children to take over the modern world, and its wide variety of professions and responsibilities, in the absence of adults. The author, from scene to scene, flits among the numerous characters that were introduced. Due to the number of characters and the time span covered by the book, the character development is not as detailed as one might prefer. Over the course of the four chapters, the book begins to focus more on a more limited cast of characters, as adults die from the progression of the illness.

One might think, that with such a premise, that the book would be dark and hopeless, but Cixin Liu crafts a masterpiece of innovation, love, dedication, and hope. I enjoyed the variety of social interactions, between different families, professions, and social strata, and I enjoyed the examination of contemporary Chinese culture, including political representations. This style reminds me of the general style of many of Harry Turtledove's books, in which he examines a variety of characters in different cultures and social settings in one place in time.

I have not read anything from this author previously, and now I find myself tasked with the need to read his prior work, an enjoyable task I expect.