Narrator: P. J. Ochlan
Series: Three Body Trilogy #2
Published by Macmillan Audio on 11 August 2015
Length: 22 hrs and 36 mins
Genres: Hard Science Fiction
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This near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking listeners to experience this multiple-award-winning phenomenon from Cixin Liu, China's most beloved science fiction author. In The Dark Forest, Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion - in just four centuries' time. The aliens' human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access to all human information, means that Earth's defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy. Only the human mind remains a secret. This is the motivation for the Wallfacer Project, a daring plan that grants four men enormous resources to design secret strategies, hidden through deceit and misdirection from Earth and Trisolaris alike. Three of the Wallfacers are influential statesmen and scientists, but the fourth is a total unknown. Luo Ji, an unambitious Chinese astronomer and sociologist, is baffled by his new status. All he knows is that he's the one Wallfacer that Trisolaris wants dead.
©2008 Cixin Liu (P)2015 Macmillan Audio
The Dark Forest is the second novel in the trilogy Three Body or Remembrance of Earth’s Past written by Liu Cixin, a Chinese author. The book was translated by Joel Martinsen. This novel picks up where the first left off, but with mostly new characters. The Earth invaders, Trisolarians, have been revealed and will be arriving on Earth in four centuries and humans have that much time to figure out how to defeat them However, The Trisolarians have already crippled the humans with the introduction of the sophons, which are subatomic particles that disrupt all fundamental physics research and can also report all information that is written or said to the Trisolarians. In an attempt to thwart these constant spies, human leadership decides to institute a daring plan: the Wallfacer project. Four men are chosen to come up with and implement a strategy to defeat the Trisolarians. But these men must mask their behavior to make their strategy non-obvious to the sophons. Luo Ji, an unambitious astrophysicist, is chosen to everyone’s surprise. Soon it is revealed that he was chosen because the Trisolarians want him dead more than anyone else! Now, Luo Ji must live up to his Wallfacer identity.
Like the first novel, Liu Cixin elegantly threads different and seemingly non-related events into a masterful novel reminiscent of classical science fiction. It also commences through a large sweeping drama that touches on the nature of human beings and societies as they interact. Similar to the first novel, it is also heavy with physics jargon and explanations that can make it difficult to follow. Regardless, this is an excellent sequel to the first. The Wallfacer Project is incredibly unique and really though provoking. Instead of really focusing on two characters, this novel focused on Luo Ji and so the vast drama also had its point of insight into a single character and how he develops as the novel progresses. The end of the novel is satisfying and not obvious.
The narration by P.J. Ochlan was well done, but something to keep in mind are the differences in the pronunciations of the Chinese name by the different narrators (the narrator of the first novel was different) can be confusing. The production quality was good. As before the physics explanations can become tedious and it’s easy to stop listening. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes classic science fiction with scientific explanations built in for difficult concepts.