The Redemption of Time

Baoshu, trans. from the Chinese by Ken Liu. Tor, $26.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-30602-9
This exposition-heavy prequel to Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Problem trilogy will be a challenge for newcomers, and even fans of Liu’s work are likely to be disappointed by the ponderous writing and murky story. The interminable opening section consists of a prolonged conversation 600 years in the future as Yun Tianming relates his experiences as “the greatest spy in the history of the human race,” who, “embodied in an isolated brain,” sought information to help humankind avert destruction by the mysterious aliens known as the Trisolarans. Yun constantly schemes to outwit his more powerful captors, but the slow pacing and paucity of action makes his efforts boring. Things don’t improve when Yun finds himself involved in a conflict between cosmic beings known as the Seeker and the Lurker. Even the revelation of the Trisolarans’ true nature feels anticlimactic, and the final twist is gimmicky rather than clever. Readers will need to be deeply immersed in Liu Cixin’s original trilogy to get anything out of this overambitious homage. Agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Company. (July)
Reviewed on : 04/25/2019
Release date: 07/16/2019
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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