Cixin Liu, Death’s End

Ready or not, here I come, you can’t hide

Essential book information

  • Author: Cixin Liu
  • Translated by Kevin Liu
  • Name of the book: Death’s End
  • A TOR book, published by Tom Doherty Associates Book, New York
  • 2016

Basic plot summary (amazon)

Half a century after the Doomsday Battle, the uneasy balance of Dark Forest Deterrence keeps the Trisolaran invaders at bay. Earth enjoys unprecedented prosperity due to the infusion of Trisolaran knowledge. With human science advancing daily and the Trisolarans adopting Earth culture, it seems that the two civilizations will soon be able to coexist peacefully as equals, without the terrible threat of mutually assured annihilation. But the peace has also made humanity complacent.

Cheng Xin, an aerospace engineer from the early 21st century, awakens from hibernation in this new age. She brings with her knowledge of a long-forgotten program dating from the beginning of the Trisolar Crisis, and her very presence may upset the delicate balance between two worlds. Will humanity reach for the stars or die in its cradle?

My praise and critique

I think I have read it twice. The book features a lot of flashbacks and interchanging storylines; I had to go back and read again, to understand what is going on. The third book of the trilogy is even more philosophical than the previous two. 

The Death’s End is a beautifully arranged conclusion of the trilogy which leaves nothing open or unsaid. It has many unexpected turns and changes. Some ideas I will only process after some time. Is humanity worth living and saving at all if each time a major crisis erupts the majority of people drift towards violence and aggression? Why are we so proud of our thinkers, religions and arts if, in the end, we all are mean, evil, envious and aggressive animals. So many events in the world happen precisely because of this attitude. Should mass extermination be indeed a tool to purify humanity? Is purification at all possible?

Powerful book and it indeed raises some complicated moral questions.

My recommendation

Absolutely.

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