Part of me wants to give it five stars for sheer scope and ballsiness, and the magnitude of the ideas he’s working with here. (Also, Ken Liu is back as the English translator, and I vastly prefer his work to the guy who did book two.) The other part of me wants to plant my feet in the middle of the room, cross my arms, and just bellow the word “NO” into the air so it ricochets off the walls. It would help in this imaginary scenario if you could picture me with the voice of James Earl Jones.
I just can’t with the overall arc of this series. I like Liu’s style. I like the way he zeroes in on philosophical concepts using science and technology. I like the way he structures his stories, and the way he utilizes the passage of time. But I do not like what he has to say about humanity. I find no pleasure in watching the destruction of worlds play out over hundreds of years. I get it intellectually, but I don’t like it. It’s smart, and it’s pessimistic, and that’s not how I like to spend my reading time.
I wish this guy would write books like this that have even just an iota of hopefulness to them. By the end, I felt like I was reading the literary equivalent of a ten year old kid seeing just how creative he could be in destroying the LEGO sets he’s spent hours and hours crafting, and then sitting back and admiring the destruction he hath wrought.
I don’t regret reading this series, but I kind of wish I had just left it alone after reading book one.