by Cixin Liu (translated by Ken Liu)
Death’s End brings the “Remembrance of Earth’s Past” trilogy to a climactic and unexpected conclusion. The vision of this series is staggering. Cixin takes his readers on a journey to the ends of the universe via some rather dramatic shifts in scenery and time.
Taking up where The Dark Forest left off, Earth is in a standoff with the Trisolaran’s Keeping the upper hand is not going to be easy and complacency threatens. Enter Chang Xin, an imaginative aerospace engineer recently awoken from hibernation. She is one of many who bring knowledge and insight from the twenty-first century in the hope of securing mankind’s future.
What follows is an insightful view of human frailties and strengths. Through several periods of hibernation, young Cheng finds herself at the centre of the human race’s unfolding story. Reluctantly she becomes a catalyst for change and a powerful figure in the race for answers to the ultimate challenge of survival in a universe where we are surrounded by enemies.
Death’s End is not an easy read. The science is challenging and the twist and turns of the plot are a little unnerving at times, but the narrative and characters drive the story forward at a relentless pace.
As a conclusion to the series, it is all I had expected and more. It is clever, insightful, enjoyable and thought-provoking. Is it the ending I was expecting? No, not at all. And right up to the very end I had no idea where the story was going.
There is a lot of story packed into its 700+ pages, so be sure UI is ready for the long haul.
As for the series as a whole, it is quite spectacular in its scope and delivery. It is a long time since I have read anything with the same breadth and intensity. Remembrance of Earth’s Past is a visionary epic that deserves a place on the list of sci-fi classics. Cixin Liu is a visionary who I am sure we are going to see more from in the future.