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With The Three-Body Problem, English-speaking readers got their first chance to experience the multiple-award-winning and bestselling Three-Body Trilogy by China's most beloved science fiction author, Cixin Liu. Three-Body was released to great acclaim including coverage in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. It was also named a finalist for the Nebula Award, making it the first translated novel to be nominated for a major SF award since Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities in 1976.

Now this epic trilogy concludes with Death's End. 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 co-exist 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?

Ein halbes Jahrhundert nach der Entscheidungsschlacht hält der Waffenstillstand mit den Trisolariern immer noch stand. Die Hochtechnologie der Außerirdischen hat der Erde zu neuem Wohlstand verholfen, auch die Trisolarier haben dazugelernt, und eine friedliche Koexistenz scheint möglich. Der Frieden hat die Menschheit allerdings unvorsichtig werden lassen. Als mit Cheng Xin eine Raumfahrtingenieurin des 21. Jahrhunderts aus dem Kälteschlaf erwacht, bringt sie das Wissen um ein längst vergangenes Geheimprogramm in die neue Zeit. Wird die junge Frau den Frieden mit Trisolaris ins Wanken bringen – oder wird die Menschheit die letzte Chance ergreifen, sich weiterzuentwickeln?

604 pages, Hardcover

First published November 1, 2010

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About the author

Liu Cixin

197 books11k followers
Science Fiction fan and writer.

Liu Cixin also appears as Cixin Liu

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,328 reviews
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,964 followers
September 28, 2016
This is one of those rare mind-blowing novels of such fantastic scope and direction that words just can't do it justice. It's the third book that started with the Hugo-Winning The Three-Body Problem, continued with The Dark Forest. They're all fantastic, but I have to honestly say that I loved this one more than the rest.

We've got the scope of some of Stephen Baxter's Xeelee Sequence* going on here. I'm talking universe-spanning scope, going straight through time like a hot knife through butter and right on out into the expanding reaches of the imagination. The first book dives into the tiniest particles and higher dimensional spaces, the second deals with the apparent macro universe and the ongoing conflict between the Tri-Solarans and Humanity, and the third concludes with some truly and amazingly harrowing experiences, from the end of the stalemate, the near-genocide of humanity, and the grand realization that it's all gone even more wrong.

And things only get worse from there.

I'm properly flabbergasted by this book. There are enough fantastic ideas crammed in here for ten books, maybe even twenty. And even if it wasn't so idea-rich, from the extrapolated sciences, extremely well-thought-out consequences, and even further extrapolations from there, we even get some of the more interesting characters ever written in SF.

My appreciation of The Dark Forest only increases when set beside this one, and although I didn't consider that novel quite worthy of the Hugo as the first novel was, it was an amazing set-up for this last novel's execution.

The Dark Forest is an expression of the idea that the universe is an extremely hostile place. Any two alien species that meets is likely going to preemptively wipe out the other or face the reality of being wiped out. Such conflicts at such huge scales and high-technology and physics can be utterly amazing and one-sided, from start explosions to local space conversions between dimensions, such as turning a local three-dimensional plane of existence into a two-dimensional one.

Utterly shocking. Utterly amazing.

We even get to visit, early on, the tombstones of entire alien civilizations that escaped the Dark Forest by hopping into the fourth dimensional frame from the third dimension, only to discover that the great time-stream is shrinking, a bunch of big fish already having consumed all the small fish, and now the pond of existence is shrinking to almost nothing.

Each new discovery or option or hope is explored and dashed. The conflict, the Sword of Damocles, never leaves the tale. The Dark Forest is always evident, and it's depressing and awe-inspiring and a great story and I was honestly in awe of all the new directions it took.

I've read a LOT of SF. I've never seen anyone pull this off quite as well as this.

He builds on every new idea and makes a universe as frightening as it is amazing, and nothing ever stays the same.

And best of all, he leaves humanity as it is. Hopelessly outmatched. Always hopelessly outmatched. No matter what we do, how we advance and improve or build upon inherited technologies from our one-time friends, dark gods, and demons, the Tri-Solarans, there's always a new snag.


Honestly, there's no way to review this except to tell everyone out there that there's just too many great things to say about it, that it is a monumental undertaking, that it is an endlessly fascinating and impressive corpus of work, and that everyone should avail themselves of this trilogy.

It's just that good. I'm in awe.

Some things are just heads and shoulders above the rest. Well, perhaps, this one is a whole storey above all the rest, too. :)

*Correction ;)
Profile Image for Zofia Strumillo-Sukiennik.
3 reviews27 followers
September 29, 2016
I never write reviews, but I will make an exception for this book:

1) I read the the Three Body Problem and The Dark Forest in June 2016 back to back and was devastated to learn that the final instalment would not be available in English until September.

2) I contemplated learning Mandarin in order to shorten the wait.

3) I contemplated Google translating the Chinese edition.

4) Death's End exceeded my expectations.

5) In the future people will take neuro drugs that will selectively erase memories of this trilogy in order to be able to read them again for the first time.

Thank you Cixin Liu!!
Profile Image for Yun.
513 reviews19.8k followers
January 20, 2023
Profoundly brilliant, Death's End is the stunning conclusion to a science fiction trilogy that has held me in its thralls. It will undoubtedly rank as my favorite of all time, unlikely to ever be surpassed.

What a journey it has been. When I think back to what I expected when I first started the series, it certainly wasn't this. Or rather, what was in my head was so small in scope, so limited in thinking, it was only a tiny fraction of what this eventually turned out to be. There was no way my imagination could've ever prepared me for this.

The sheer audacity of the ideas in here and how far Liu Cixin took them throughout this series, I stand in absolute awe. Not only is he telling a story, but he also tackles some of the most fundamental questions of the universe and existence, questions that have puzzled scientists for all time, and he manages to weave a cohesive framework to examine and explain them.

Liu Cixin's style when it comes to unfolding the plot works particularly well here. He takes something fairly complex and makes it easy to grasp by the end. He would leave hints early, then come back again and again to poke at them with examples. Along the way, I would think to myself, where is this possibly going? Then when he finally gets to the explanation, it's a complete eureka moment. Every puzzle piece slots in perfectly, and the groundwork he's laid up till then makes the whole thing easy to understand.

There's a part of my brain that constantly craves novelty. When I'm reading, I just want new, new, new. And this book delivers by the boatload. Just when I've got a handle on what's going on, another development will happen that completely throws me for a loop. Then I'll have to rejigger my thoughts all over again. And this just kept happening, over and over. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

I have to mention the fairy tales in here. Seriously, is there nothing this author can't imagine and write? Anytime there's an opportunity to have a story within a story, I'm a huge fan. And the fairy tales in here are so creative and compelling in their own right. They completely work as standalones, but then to see how they fit within the framework of the larger story is absolutely astounding. If Liu Cixin ever gets in the business of writing fairy tales, I'll be the first in line.

At its heart, what makes this series so riveting is that it feels like it's real. It very much reads like a historical account of human history. And to achieve that effect, the science in here is true to what we understand today. There's no handwaving, no hoping that the reader will just forget about it and move on, if only the author could pull enough wool over their eyes. Instead, every clue laid out eventually fits into the big picture and is thoroughly explained, and that makes for an extremely satisfying read.

When you think about it, very few books contain truly innovative ideas. The few that do are so unique as to be transcendent. They offer entirely new, never before seen or heard or thought of concepts put together in ways as to delight and astound and transfix. This trilogy is that. Reading it has been the experience of a lifetime.

See also, my thoughts on:
#1. The Three-Body Problem
#2. The Dark Forest

The Cretaceous Past

Profile Image for Rachel (Kalanadi).
722 reviews1,406 followers
May 12, 2017
I enjoyed this so much more than The Dark Forest. The science and epic ideas on display captured my imagination.

And yet.

The gender dynamics grated on me throughout. Feminity is all about love and motherliness, wut? An autistic male scientist wasn't "a real man" because "he'd never been with a woman"... yeah, kinda hella offensive in two ways, there.

The final 100 pages were depressing as hell. Realistic? Dunno. Showing that humanity isn't the center of the universe and maybe not really that important? Yup. Still depressing? You betcha.

And Cheng Xin. The main character is a woman! And the story just beats her up over and over again. She's smart, but has no agency. She gets nothing DONE. The plot moves along because she FAILS. And at the end of time and the end of the book, she's empty inside and knows it.

That's depressing. Every single other important person in this book who really makes a difference, who has strong convictions, who makes the big discoveries and big decisions, is male. But at least Luo Ji wasn't an ass at the end. He was awful in The Dark Forest, and actually tolerable here... well, probably because he's a grandfatherly sage who calls everyone "child".

I'm glad I read the whole trilogy. It isn't Western sci fi. It is radically different from most SF these days because this is SF on the ultimate macro scale. Big ideas, big effects, over big time periods. No reflection on small settings or the trickle down effect to the normal everyday life of average people. The people are ants. Humanity as a whole is small, a struggling blip, on the cosmic scale. So, I read it for the ideas, not for the characters. And yet notice all my complaints are about characters? *sigh*
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
793 reviews3,607 followers
April 17, 2022
The culmination of a milestone of sci fi that fuses original ideas, cultural uniqueness, and mindblowing long time space development concepts to an amazing overkill.

From 2 dimensions up to 4, although this might just subjectively seem better
Because how dimensions work and evolved in universe is just mind blowing, the short 4 dimension trip is just the beginning and preparation for the epic showdown towards the 2 dimensional interlude and the multidimensional end. Before, there is already a big „We´re so small“ moment when the grand finale is prepared by , one of the most unimportant jobs in this culture. And that´s just the preparation for one of the highest

Interconnectivity grade of all 3 parts of the series at über 10 dimensional level with extra great integration of characters, their legacy, kids, and impact on human evolution, possible extinction, and hopeful resurrection. Cixin may say that he doesn´t care that much about the characters who are just necessary for the plot, but because of his prodigy godmode writing level, even this seems amazingly suspenseful and thrilling. What makes this even better to handle and more compelling is

Deep freezing and some kind of immortality
Thereby, characters came, went to cryogenic sleep, had descendants, froze again, and completed a whole social sci-fi picture of societies and ideologies throughout the series. Everything from 20th century China to a future 21st century before and after first contact and many good and bad, post scarcity and cannibalistic dystopian future human society models are presented in a mixture of unique soft and hard sci fi ideas and tropes.

Acceleration towards the end like I´ve hardly ever seen it before
But at the price of a pretty slow start and heavy first part, something making it not as accessible as it could be. On the other hand, with an earlier introduction and further explanation, the blown away impact might not have been that high. Tricky to say, but let me assure you that the first book is just like a warm up exercise towards the real elite training in the 2nd part and the boss battle against physics, Clarketech, and reality itself in the great, epic, last piece of the puzzle.

Each part makes humankind feel and seem even less important and fading away in the endlessness of cosmic cycles
That´s the running gag of the whole series, in the first part the Trisolaris people seem like gods, and this level changes and increases throughout the whole series until the third part wipes the floor with everything we deem technological superiority or understanding of the universe, big bangs, freezes, and especially the delicious crunches, although they´re cosmic catastrophes for the cholesterol level. And the freaking great amazing thing is that it´s totally possible, because we don´t just don´t know if there are billion year advanced aliens in our own universe, but also not what´s behind where we can see at the moment, if there are endless coming, dying, and resurrecting universes, dimensions, realities, timelines, now, then, and forever.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...
Profile Image for Petrik.
674 reviews42.8k followers
October 8, 2017
Death's End should've won the 'Best Novel of the year' award at Hugo Award 2017 instead of The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin.

I was scared to start this book because in my opinion, The Dark Forest truly felt like the perfect conclusion to the series. In fact, I still do. However, Cixin Liu outdone himself by showing all his imaginative and brilliant ideas that made the trilogy goes into territories that goes beyond godlike; it made this book a worthy conclusion to the trilogy. Judging from the first book alone, it felt surreal to see how far and grand the scope of the story has become in this book. It's speculatively brilliant and highly imaginative, but most of all, despite how far-fetched all the idea seemed, they actually felt possible too.

“Time is the cruelest force of all.”

This is because with every grand concepts and ideas, Cixin Liu backed them up with intricate scientific theories; I can't help but be amazed every time the story goes into places that I never thought can be explored here. Although less philosophical than The Dark Forest, it's still great to see how well portrayed are humanity's behaviors in the face of extraterrestrial danger and unknown things here.

“Weakness and ignorance are not barriers to survival, but arrogance is.”

When it comes to ideas and concepts, this book and trilogy deserves a perfect score from me. But when it comes to enjoyment, I must admit that similar to The Three-Body Problem, Death's End is not without its flaws. Considering that this trilogy is my first 'hard Sci-Fi' experience, I have no idea if this particular situation applied to every book in the genre or not, but there are several times where the science jargon became extremely dense and info dumpy. These parts were quite a chore for me to go through, sometimes even boring as these made the book felt like a physics and cosmology lesson; I'm talking about one or two long chapter in succession that doesn't have any dialogue or paragraph break at all. I can't help but feel these parts were aimed specifically for scientists and those who are truly well versed with the topics. Also, the characterization of Cheng Xin is so much weaker in comparison to Luo Ji from The Dark Forest. It's not as bad as TTBP, but I guess it can't be helped, Cixin Liu's storytelling has always focused more on the plot and scientific factors rather than strong characterization. The Dark Forest somehow excelled more in characterizations and it's also why I love that book the most out of the trilogy.

Ken Liu once again did a fantastic job with the translations. In terms of translations, I honestly can't decide which one is better between Ken Liu and Joel Martinsen, I feel like both of them did an excellent job translating this trilogy that's full of scientific jargon and theory. I seriously wish I can explain more about all the other aspects that made this book deserve an award, but I must refrain from doing so. It's better for you to experience it yourself, all I can say is that Cixin Liu deserves all the recognition he received. Although the Dark Forest remains my favorite out of the trilogy, Death's End is a great conclusion the series and Remembrance of Earth's Past is a series that every Sci-fi fans must read.

Also, this was the last book in my reading challenge of the year, so, here's a glorious cover porn for celebration!

Series review:

The Three-Body Problem: 3.5/5 Stars
The Dark Forest: 5/5 Stars
Death's End: 4/5 Stars

Remembrance of Earth's Past: 12.5/15 Stars

You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at BookNest
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,534 followers
February 15, 2020
I can hardly heap enough praise onto Cixin Liu's great trilogy and it's incredibly breathless ending, fittingly titled Death's End. The story is so tightly bound to the two previous books and so surprising and astounding and mind-bending that revealing any of the plot here would be a massive spoiler. Rarely have I read a book of such vast scope that was able to maintain a few primary characters and touch upon nearly every field of human knowledge and inquiry: from history to literature to philosophy, from nano-science and quantum physics to astrophysics and string theory, from earth sociology to cosmic sociology...and yet, although it gets very,very technical, the author takes pains to explain the concepts in layman's terms and wherever possible provide visual examples. Note that sometimes, the explanation will come a little after a new phenomenon and so one must be patient, but the patience pays off in a major way.

I think that this trilogy is perhaps even stronger and more internally consistent than even Asimov's classic Foundation Trilogy and I really could not put any of the books down as I was passionately drawn into the story and surprised time and time again by the originality of the ideas and science fiction aspects but also moved by the characters - especially in the second two volumes.

It is sad for me to say goodbye to Sophon and (no spoilers!) at the end because I wanted this marvelous tale to continue. Alas, like all things, Death's End had to end as did a certain character's second-guessing of decisions. One could find a lot of reasons to call the series quite cynical, but I found it to be quite positive at the very end - it left me the feeling that our best quality as humans is the capacity for love of others and I could not have dreamed of a better message. 10 stars :-)

Still months later, the ideas from this book are present in my mind. It is truly amazing.

For parents: definitely a high school or after book with, however, no sex and relatively little violence.
I was far less happy with Ball Lightning by the same author, but so far enjoying The Redemption of Time by Liu’s friend and 3 Body fan, Baoshu!

Fino's Cixin Liu and other Chinese SciFi and Fantasy Reviews
The Three Body Problem
The Dark Forest
Death's End
The Wandering Earth
Supernova Era"
Ball Lightning
The Redemption of Time (Fan Fiction approved by Cixin Liu)
Invisible Planets (Short Story Anthology)
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories
The Grace of Kings
The Wall of Storms
Profile Image for Blind_guardian.
229 reviews8 followers
November 22, 2016
A dismal, often confusing end to a very grim series. There be some spoilers ahead, so be warned.

I was not thrilled with this one, largely because I found the main character incredibly annoying and a bit of a Mary Sue. No matter how badly she fucks up and screws over the human race in the process, nobody ever seems to blame her or wonder why the fate of humanity keeps getting put into the hands of someone with decision-making skills that are this poor. The only one who seems to blame the main character for her long list of failings is the main character herself, and this is treated as simple survivor's guilt or depression when it quite literally is her weakness that nearly results in the genocide of the human race. Twice.

Annoyingly enough, the main character seems all but impervious to death, skipping gloomily over the surface of centuries in hybernation, only waking up to screw up some major event after a bunch of admittedly breathtaking scenery porn. Then nobody blames her, she gets made into a madonna figure for no good reason, and so the noble Mary Sue seals herself in cold sleep so that humanity will not worship her. I am not kidding, this actually happens, more than once. Ugh.

While some of the glimpses of humanity's future beyond the Solar System are thrilling, the book stubbornly all but ignores the tales of Blue Dream and Gravity except for a few chapters near the front third (probably because the contrast would make the MC's blandness stand out even more). The main character isn't the only frustrating one, as humanity in this story is extremely prone to extremely stupid, irrational and pointless decisions that end up sealing the fate of most of its members. The times that we did succeed get skipped over, because this book just isn't depressing enough. Not saying this isn't realistic enough, but is it necessary that we make the wrong decision EVERY time?

Near the end, the author seems to introduce new spots of hope just so he can yank them out from under you before you even fully understand the technobabble behind what you just read. We think we're going to get a big dramatic reunion, then everything goes balls-up just because it can, and suddenly they've missed each other by 18 million years. Fun! By the time the final twist comes through, I've ceased to care about anything involving this stupid universe and its monotonous paean of sorrow and darkness, and just wanted to see the bloody thing end (one way or another).

I want to state I did enjoy the first two books, but this conclusion surprised me with how dull, dismal and depressing it is, not to mention how utterly unlikeable the main character was. Given these gaping flaws, three stars is rather generous, but there are enough cool ideas and good descriptions in there that I would feel bad ranking it 2 or below, despite wanting to beat the main character to death with a live salmon. Sadly, I can't really recommend this one, unless you loved Books 1 and 2 and can't stand not knowing how things shake out between Earth and Trisolaris.

EDIT: Upon later reflection, this book really doesn't deserve 3 stars. Even 2 is being kinda generous, but since it wasn't all bad, I'll give it that.
Profile Image for Steven Medina.
189 reviews843 followers
January 5, 2021
Mi libro de ciencia ficción favorito.

¿Quién no ha sentido deseos de salir de su zona de confort y leer un libro diferente de lo que estamos acostumbrados? Pues bien, eso me ocurrió en diciembre de 2019 cuando en mi cabeza entró ese capricho de leer a un autor asiático por primera vez en mi vida. Hasta ese día había leído mangas y visto las películas de Hayao Miyazaki, pero no es lo mismo que leer una obra literaria. Al buscar opciones encontré esta trilogía y me animé a iniciarla porque el primer libro tenía muy buenos comentarios y porque era sobre ciencia ficción: Género que me encanta. Tomé el primer libro, lo finalicé y aunque me gustó sentí que había leído el texto más extraño de mi vida. El problema de los tres cuerpos fue una obra con una prosa rarísima, con términos científicos muy complicados de entender y con unos personajes mal desarrollados y difíciles de diferenciar por sus nombres. La experiencia fue tan extraña, que aunque tenía un poco de curiosidad por la continuación, no tenía previsto ni siquiera leer el segundo. Si el primer libro fue así, ¿qué podía esperarme de los otros dos? Afortunadamente nada está escrito en esta vida ni es definitivo. Meses después, aquí en Goodreads, una amiga me hizo una propuesta que me llamó la atención: Si yo leía los dos libros restantes de esta trilogía ella leería Los miserables. Acepté la propuesta y comencé el segundo libro aunque sinceramente no le tenía fe a la continuación y solo lo inicié para que ella cumpliera su parte del trato. El primer tercio de El bosque oscuro fue aún más extraño que su antecesor e incluso me pareció muy descabellado que un personaje saliera a pasear con su novia imaginaria: No creía la historia tan anormal que estaba leyendo. No obstante, después de esa parte todo cambió. Desde allí, hasta el final, los elementos introducidos relacionados a la ciencia ficción me parecieron increíbles, me dejaron boquiabierto y sentí que estaba leyendo un libro completamente distinto. La prosa mejoró y la historia se tornó tan interesante que se me olvidó mi promesa y ya no podía parar de leer. Esto causó que al momento de leer este tomo mis expectativas estuvieran muy altas, pero, ¿saben que fue lo mejor? Que este libro no solo cumplió esas expectativas sino que las superó mil veces, haciéndome llorar de felicidad al llegar al final y percatarme de la maravilla de libro que acababa de conocer. Este libro ha sido increíble.

El fin de la muerte naturalmente continúa la historia de El bosque oscuro, pero con un nivel de ciencia ficción cien veces mejor. No es una ciencia ficción sin fundamento —como en muchos libros— sino que es tan creíble que en el futuro podrían ser inventados cada uno de los elementos presentados por Liu Cixin. Lo genial es que este volumen no está atiborrado de cátedras relacionadas al tema, sino solo aparecen las palabras necesarias sin llegar a aburrirnos o alterar el ritmo de la historia. Para explicarlo un poco mejor —sin hacer spoilers— quiero que imaginen en sus mentes el avance tecnológico, científico o espacial más inverosímil que se les ocurra. Bien, ahora, imaginen que ese avance lo encuentran en este libro. Sería increíble, ¿verdad? Sin embargo, ahora imaginen que siguen leyendo y en el momento más inesperado encuentran un invento mucho mejor que el que soñaban, y cuando no se han recuperado de la sorpresa, encuentran otro y otro y otro, y todos son mejores cada vez más. Esta situación tan impresionante inevitablemente nos hace entrar en un estado de frenesí que nos lleva a no querer parar de leer nunca: Leer este libro es una magnífica locura. Son tan increíbles los elementos usados por Liu Cixin, que llega un punto donde sentimos que el autor ha llegado al límite de su imaginación y que no nos podrá ofrecer algo más increíble que lo recién presentado, pero en esos momentos es cuando el autor nos deja asombrados al mostrarnos más y más detalles. Realmente las ideas de Liu Cixin no tienen límite.

Sus ideas son tan buenas que incluso sirven para absolver el mediocre desarrollo de sus personajes. Son personajes planos, muchos sin descripciones e incluso en algunos casos solo se menciona el nombre a pesar de ser personajes secundarios. Lo normal, sería que el desarrollo entre un personaje secundario y terciario fuera notable, pero este no es el caso. Aun así, como muchos de ellos desaparecen en cualquier momento, los olvidamos y no logramos sentir un afecto especial por ellos, es entendible la decisión del autor de no construir personajes que realmente no eran necesarios. Estamos acostumbrados a calificar de «buen libro» aquel que tiene personajes diseñados perfectamente, pero en esta ocasión los personajes solo son una herramienta del autor para contarnos la historia que debemos conocer: Si mueren o viven no interesa, solo importa lo que vivieron. Los únicos dos personajes bien desarrollados son Luo Ji —fue mi favorito—, el peor rival posible para un enemigo; y Cheng Xin, que me causó lastima por sus malas decisiones que la envuelven en todo momento. El resto de personajes aunque van cumpliendo sus roles en cierto momento, realmente no importan mucho.

La prosa mejora indiscutiblemente no solo con las explicaciones científicas, sino también por el orden con que es presentada la historia. No puedo dar mucha información sobre ello porque sería spoiler, pero si les puedo garantizar que es un libro bien organizado, trabajado y muy sencillo de entender para el lector. Tan sencillo, que incluso nos ayudará a comprender lo difícil que puede ser para una especie sentirse amenazada de quedar extinta y la locura que se desborda en este tipo de situaciones. A su prosa no le veo defectos y me parece correcta, al igual que el final, que en mi opinión es uno de los mejores finales que he leído en mi vida: Es simplemente perfecto.

Ha sido un gran placer leer esta trilogía. ¿La releeré en el futuro? Por supuesto que sí. Mi libro favorito de ciencia ficción era El juego de Ender, pero no puedo engañar a nadie y menos a mí mismo: Ese puesto ha sido arrebatado por este libro y por mucho. Si les gusta la ciencia ficción realmente les recomiendo esta trilogía y estoy seguro de que les encantará. En caso de que sientan deseos de abandonar solo háganlo después de finalizar El bosque oscuro, no antes, aunque en ese punto, es muy probable que esa palabra la hayan olvidado de sus mentes. La calificación de cinco estrellas es más que obvia. Trilogía muy recomendada.
Author 5 books5 followers
September 27, 2016
This book, like the other two books in the series, is very imaginative. There were parts of the book that were interesting and made you think. However, unlike the other two books it doesn't really lead anywhere other than increasingly implausible disasters and poor decision making. Humanity keeps entrusting its fate to one particular woman, and each time she decides she'd rather let everyone die rather than make a tough decision. This is why we don't let the hippies manage the nuclear deterrent. Everyone in their proper sphere and all that. Anyway, she feels bad about it afterwards, and I guess we are supposed to empathize with that.

Either way, after the solar system, the human race, and the entire universe is destroyed in one way or another the book tries to end on an ambiguous note. No thanks. At some point the endless stream of disasters just becomes meaningless, and the suffering just seems nihilistic. Only the exercise of increasingly powerful and implausible deus exes seem to have any meaning in a universe where God is definitely dead. None of the sacrifices or adventures of the previous two books seem to have any point.

If you are curious read the third book, but otherwise the ending of the second book wrapped up the plot up till then in a pleasing way, so I'd recommend just stopping there.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,560 reviews855 followers
April 2, 2023
Remembrance of Earth's Past #3: The first book in this series The Three Body Problem completely blew my mind in regards how science-fiction world building and should be like and was an easy Five Star read. The second book The Dark Forest extrapolates the 'Dark Forest' interpretation of interstellar reality which is so beautifully nuanced yet also truly horrific, and above all a wonderfully conceptualising Five Star read. So with a sort of détente in place at the end of the Dark Forest where will Liu take us in this final instalment?

The threat of mutually assured destruction allows mankind access to alien tech and a golden age, but as ever our anti-hero of sorts is raised out of hibernation as the Terran reality is once again under threat of forces beyond their conception. Is Death's End humanity's end? Once again Liu's concepts, ideas, theoretical science and philosophical paths are just way beyond anything I've ever read in this genre. But, yes there's a but this time, is people characterisations are just tools to push the story and lack any real resonance and I can now understand the views of those that think this series is overrated; conversely that is another reason why I love this series so much it's complexly concept and idea driven.

In what appears to be a clear goal in telling the complete future history of the human race, I feel this book is too long and should have been made in two two parts, "Earth's last stand?" and "Galactic Humanity"; the first half is utterly spell-binding and horrific in equal parts with ! The second half taking the story to the outer planets and beyond feels like it needed more development and time; it doesn't really stand up to the immense quality of the first two and half parts of this journey. I would love to Five Star this, but I can't, it's 9.5 out of 12, a mightily strong Four Star read. Everything I said in my previous two volume reviews stands, this is the greatest sci-fi series written in regards to concepts and world building.

2023 read
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
871 reviews1,759 followers
September 10, 2017
WOW! What a way to end the series.

This is my very first sci-fi and it has set such a high standards for me in this genre that whatever I will read in sci-fic from now on will be in its shadows.

Like the previous two books, this book also has a different protagonist, Cheng Xin. I was so happy for this female since I was a little disappointed in Dark Forest as it has all the male leads. Cheng Xin is a rocket scientist, awakened from artificial hibernation. She made a plan which would interfere with the advance of Trisolari's towards earth, ultimately destroying it.

There are two other important plot lines but I am not giving away any spoilers, one must read the book to know about them because reading them is so much fun and at the same time it gives a very deep meaning to the web that Liu has weaved.

If Three Body Problem tells us about a single civilization's existence in the universe; Dark Forest about how everyone is being hunted, Death's End tells us about the abundance of new Universes, different dimensions, how everyone is scared of being discovered, how physics is being used to destroy others’ existence, and finally how scary it is live under the constant fear of being discovered. It gave me shivers.

Mr. Liu has created a world that is beyond imagination in this world. It is complex and but somehow he managed it to simplify in a way that is easy to understand. He has crammed so much information in these 600 pages that it is hard to take it all at once, but you can just put it down and not know how these people survive.

This review won’t be complete until I mention the fairy tales that Liu has told us in this book. They are in stark contrast to the heavy sci-fi language of the book. Simple yet captivating, these tales hid a deep meaning to the survival of human race. Take a bow Mr. Liu for so beautifully hiding those messages.

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Efka.
453 reviews253 followers
October 20, 2016
UPDATE: All spoilers are now hidden.

During those few years I’m using Goodreads, I’ve noticed something curious: the better a book is, the less I know what to write in a review. “Death’s end” illustrates it perfectly – I’m sitting in front of my laptop, wondering what should I write, and all the ideas, all my creativity leads to such vast and in-depth reviews like “Just wow”, “It’s amazing book, nuff said” or “It’s a masterpiece worth ten stars, not just five”.

But I mean it. What started in “The Three-Body Problem” as a good, but slightly “below my expectations” book and continued into “The Dark Forest’s” low pace and “still nothing is going on though it’s almost 50% of the book already”, exploded into outstanding and gripping sci-fi, whose grandeur and scale are almost unparalleled.

What I liked the most about this book, was Liu Cixin’s ability to constantly challenge me – and constantly win that challenge. More than once I’ve raised my eyebrows and said to myself “well, ok, now THAT is same crappy space mumbo-jumbo, I wonder, how you, my dear Liu Cixin, will write yourself out of this”. Aaaaand he always did. More, he always came up with a perfectly simple and perfectly scientifically viable solution. Lightspeed? Check. Teleportation? Check. Communicating throughout whole galaxy? Check. Also, this book even had some philosophical insights and considerations and, amazingly, they did not seem out of place here.

I simply can’t tell you more what’s this book is about, because even some slight plot revelations would most likely lead to huge spoilers, but a few simple facts might do it. So, what’s the fabula of this book? First, we are presented with a couple new characters – the book is written from their points of view. They are Yun Tianming – a sort of a secondary character, and Cheng Xin, the main protagonist of the story. Trisolarans are still coming, though Earth now seems to be in control as Luo Ji’s “Dark Forest” theory, which he came up with in a second book, was confirmed, thus leaving Earth in a position of power regarding the Trisolaris (remember how I said that Liu Cixin always comes up with a perfect scientific solution? Here’s a superb sample of it – “Dark Forest” theory profoundly explains The Fermi Paradox). Events transpire, and suddenly Cheng Xin founds herself in a situation where she is being responsible for the fate of the whole Solar system.

Now here’s the moment for a single drop of criticism I was able to think of during the whole book. It might be considered a light spoiler, but I cannot write it otherwise. So, the situation Cheng Xin happened to be in finally occurred, That wasn’t a big spoiler, was it? But it’s not my critique yet. What I did not like and thought a bit absurd and over-the-top, was that Liu Cixin created a second chance for her – or, more like it, events transpire and suddenly Cheng Xin finds herself in a situation where she is responsible for the fate of the whole Solar system. AGAIN. Now that’s what I thought of as bullshit. I’m not a big expert on survival of the whole mankind, but a tiny thought can’t get outta my head: if one fails once, it’s not very likely that this person would get another chance to do it, no? It’s obvious that Liu Cixin thinks otherwise, but I just can’t agree with him on this issue. That’s it. That’s my whole critique for a 600-page juggernaut of sci-fi.

I’m also very happy, that compared to previous two books, Liu’s writing style seems to have improved – there’s no more long, vexing technical specifications and lectures on quantum physics etc., and the pace of story is also heightened a bit, thus removing my main sources of frustration.

I’m not quite sure if I can say something more about this book. Odds on that if you’re about to read it, you already know what to expect and in any case no one in a right state of mind starts reading a trilogy from the last book. Personally, I’ve been awed by this book. It’s definitely the best book I’ve read this year, and you should keep in mind that that this year I’ve also read my beloved “The Expanse” series, Silo, “The Millennium” trilogy and “The City of Mirrors” to name just a few. It left a very, very big impression on me and now I can confirm that “Death’s End” huge rating, one of the highest on the whole GR I’ve ever seen (4,57 average out of almost 2000 votes at the moment) is fully deserved and understandable. It is an amazing book, and if you ever been unsure or had doubts about this trilogy, well, don’t be. Amazing. Just amazing. 10 stars. And now I’m feeling something like an existential melancholy…
Profile Image for Kevin Kuhn.
Author 2 books564 followers
January 28, 2023
My opinion - “Death’s End” and the entire “Three-Body Problem” trilogy is a flawed masterpiece. The entire trilogy is over 1,500 pages of mind-blowing science fiction ideas and speculation. The trilogy has enormous scale in every sense of the word. Take the timescale - from hundreds to thousands and then millions of years. Or physics, from concepts down to the atomic level, then scaling up to the dimensionality of the universe. In addition, the sheer number of ideas is staggering, other science fiction authors could have made a career out the ideas from just one of these three books.

From a plot standpoint, I don’t want to include spoilers, so here is a few hints. In book one, we learn that we’re not alone, we’re lucky to have only one star verses three, and there are eleven dimensions which can come in handy. In book two, we learn that the universe is basically whack-a-mole. If you stick your head up, you get whacked! And we can use that to our advantage! In book three, we get a bit complacent and that has really bad (I mean really, really bad) implications for a large portion of humanity. In between the continuous onslaught of big ideas, we get betrayal, cosmic sociology, hibernations, more betrayal, epic space battles, dimensional exploration, conspiracies, doomed love, generation ships, space cities, galactic warfare, and more betrayal!

We also get a glimpse into the Eastern or perhaps more specifically, the Chinese mindset. I have three major takeaways from this. One, whenever a major event occurs, we largely get an analysis on the cultural and civilization impact at the macro scale first. In most western science fiction, the story typically focuses on the impact on individuals first, then perhaps the broader impact. Second, everything is viewed with broader timeframes. Characters and the story have a broad time view, often thinking in terms of decades, if not centuries or longer. Everything is tracked via Era’s – Crisis Era, Deterrence Era, Bunker Era, and so on. It’s not just that plot covers eons, it’s also that the characters tend to think and problem-solve in timespans beyond a human life. Finally, the plot and theme focus more on broad political perspectives verses individual motivations. Characters are seldom motivated by their emotions, events are largely driven by political and civilization-level rationales. There are a few important exceptions to this, but they are rare.

This leads me to the flaws. Broad thinking like long timescales, civilization-level motivation, and such are the sign of high intelligence. Clearly, Liu Cixin is brilliant. However, for me, this meant shallow characters that never felt real or distinctive, and I rarely connected emotionally to this trilogy. Yes, there were some poignant moments, but they were few and far in-between. While I think this trilogy is intellectually genius, I also find it to be emotionally stunted. We never spend enough time with a character or in a moment to dig under the emotional covers. That is the big inclusion in this otherwise giant, brilliant diamond.

Ultimately, the utter volume of political, philosophical, scientific ideas, concepts, and revelations overcome the issues with this trilogy. It’s imaginative in an epically epic manner and while it did not move me emotionally, it stirred me intellectually in way few science fiction works have (especially book three). Five stars that start as sub-atomic particles, grow into full-blown stars, and then pass into multidimensional reality bursting through eleven planes of existence!
Profile Image for John Mauro.
Author 5 books394 followers
May 20, 2023
My complete review of Death's End is published at Grimdark Magazine.

Your mind will be blown, flattened, and then collapsed to a zero-dimensional point in Death’s End, the epic finale of Cixin Liu’s hard sci-fi trilogy, The Remembrance of Earth’s Past.

Ken Liu is back as translator, bringing the same level of proficiency and eloquence to his translation of Death’s End as with the first volume of the trilogy, The Three-Body Problem. This is a welcome return to form after the rather awkwardly translated middle book, The Dark Forest.

As in The Three-Body Problem, Death’s End features a strong female protagonist. The Three-Body Problem tells the story of Ye Wenjie, an ingenious physicist who is persecuted during the Cultural Revolution and becomes the first scientist to initiate contact with the Trisolaran alien civilization. Death’s End introduces us to Cheng Xin, a brilliant aerospace engineer who works as part of the Staircase Project to send a human into space to serve as a diplomat for meeting with the Trisolaran fleet. Having an inspirational female lead such as Cheng Xin is another welcome change from The Dark Forest, which focused on the rather uninspiring Luo Ji as its lead character.

In The Dark Forest, Luo ultimately overcomes his unambitious nature to develop a Cold War-style system of mutually assured destruction, forming a fragile peace between the humans and Trisolarans. With his finger on the button of mass annihilation, Luo Ji becomes known as the Swordholder, a “chosen one”-type position that later passes on to Cheng Xin. However, the Trisolarans are not convinced that Cheng Xin would actually follow through on the threat of mutual destruction.

Death’s End is, by far, the most epic volume of The Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy, spanning hundreds of years across multiple eras of existence. As the plot progresses, the scope of Death’s End keeps expanding, from the world to the solar system, finally culminating in a grand inter-galactic drama where the fate of the entire universe is in jeopardy. The buildup of the story is highly satisfying and emotional, especially in the last third of the book.

Death’s End is full of imaginative and awe-inspiring ideas, most of which work effectively to drive the narrative forward. However, there are also a number of plot contrivances, such as the sudden appearance of a sophon-free room, enabling the humans to converse without fear of being intercepted by these intelligent Trisolaran-created subatomic particles. The ability to communicate without detection by the Trisolarans is a key part of the plot, but there is no attempt to explain how this sophon-free room came into existence.

Death’s End works best when it focuses on Cheng Xin and the great cast of supporting characters. I really enjoyed the relationship between Cheng and her former university classmate, Yun Tianming, as well as the friendship that blossoms between Cheng and her equally brilliant companion, the astronomer Ai AA. The cigar-smoking former CIA director, Thomas Wade, is a great foil for Cheng, embodying the corruption and individualism of Western capitalism. Another favorite character is Sophon, an android diplomat who is controlled by the sophon particles and serves as a communication link between the humans and Trisolarans.

While the character-focused text is highly engaging, the writing in Death’s End becomes less compelling in the many passages that are written in the dry style of history book excerpts. In these passages, Cixin Liu falls into the trap of telling, rather than showing, the reader about key plot events.

There are also three fairy tales which must be deciphered to understand three key secrets of the universe to aid in human survival. The idea of encoding scientific concepts into fairy tales is quite intriguing. However, I was rather annoyed by the self-congratulatory way that Cixin Liu presented these tales. At one point, Cixin Liu uses one of his characters as a mouthpiece to compliment his own writing: “I want to express my respect for the author. As fairy tales, these are very good.”

As a whole, The Remembrance of Earth’s Past is full of brilliant, mind-warping ideas from quantum mechanics, general relativity, string theory, and evolutionary biology. However, across the trilogy, Cixin Liu has established a somewhat uneven record of conveying these ideas to the reader. Cixin Liu’s writing works best when he combines the personal with the galactic, where the scientific advances lead to a better understanding of universal truths of what it means to be human, or more generally, what it means to be an intelligent being. Death’s End is, in many ways, a testament to our aspirations and accomplishments as human beings, and our ability to overcome the limitations of our finite intelligence.

Profile Image for Frank Hidalgo-Gato Durán.
Author 10 books213 followers
August 5, 2021
Un enorme vacío y tristeza se ha apoderado de mi. Es rara la sensación. Me he enamorado de esta trilogía, en específico del viaje a través de la trascendencia que me ha regalado. A veces es algo complicada de leer y sientes que haces un máster en ingeniería, física, matemáticas y sociología, pero es exactamente lo que buscaba y lo que me gusta. Aparte, entre nos, me ratifica como el autor consciente que soy,sobre el nivel que hay que tener a la hora de escribir ciencia ficción, aparte de haberme hecho regocijar al constatar que en mi propia trilogía tb existe un trabajo detrás, arduo y con un gran nivel.
Para mi esta trilogía es una genialidad y una historia de 5 estrellas. Y no diré más, ya que por aquí existen muy buenas reseñas escritas por parte de otros “Goodreaders”. Excelente; BRAVO a la maestría y la genialidad del autor; bravo Liu! 🙌🏻
Profile Image for TS Chan.
699 reviews868 followers
January 10, 2020
Death's End is an incredibly epic conclusion to the insanely imaginative and unpredictable hard science fiction trilogy, Remembrance of Earth's Past.

I've read the first two books of this trilogy more than a year ago. The reason why I did not read Death's End till now was not because I didn't enjoy these books. On the contrary, just on those two alone I was already touting Remembrance of Earth's Past to be one of my favourites. It was due to how well the sequel The Dark Forest seemed to have wrapped up the story then that I didn't immediately continue with the final book. Each book in the trilogy was so thought-provoking and full of creativity that I found myself needing time to absorb and digest what I've read. Death's End is the ultimate entry in this incredible trilogy which utterly floored me with its mind-blowing ideas that employed real world theoretical and astrophysics in an all-out epic and fascinating narrative.

Honestly, I had no inkling how the story will progress after the superb ending The Dark Forest. Turns out that the first part of Death's End took the reader back to the Crisis Era that spanned the two centuries after the ending of The Three-Body Problem when the human race realised that the Trisolarans, living four light years away, are coming for Earth.  The sequel told the story of Luo Ji commencing from the Crisis Era.  This time the story was told from the perspective of a new main character, Cheng Xin, who was involved in another project during the same era.  Readers who felt that the female representation was severely lacking in the previous two instalments should be glad to know that Cheng Xin is female and will be the primary character that we follow throughout the entire book.

However, I wasn't as captivated by Cheng Xin as a character as much as I did with Luo Ji. For one thing, I felt that almost every single decision she made was the opposite of mine. This was not to say that her characterisation was not realistic. I guess that my instincts towards humanity in general tended to be more pessimistic. And this brings me to the main themes of this story - survival and the human condition. As with all great science fiction, Remembrance of Earth's Past is a study of the human condition - how humans deal with first contact and then possible annihilation at the hands of an eminently more advanced race. The narrative was both sweeping and personal as we get to see global shifts in human culture and mentality across the eras, as well as interactions between individual characters.

When I say that the narrative in Death's End was epic, I almost felt that it was an understatement. The story in The Dark Forest spanned hundreds of years, and it paled in comparison to this astounding concluding volume. I won't even mention how many years the narrative covers because this is something a new reader needs to discover and experience. Don't even read the "Table of Eras" found at the start of the book. All I can say that at the end of this entire trilogy, the one thing that resonated with me the most is the reason why I've always been so enamoured and, at the same time, terrified with the Universe.
Time is the cruelest force of all.

Cixin Liu clearly has a keen mind and interest in the hard sciences, specifically in physics. Characterisation-wise, Death's End fell short of The Dark Forest. Regardless, the sheer creativity of the author in employing his knowledge of physics and incorporating them into ideas that left both my jaw and brain on the floor impressed me so much that this was truly a science fiction masterpiece in my mind. Ideas stemming from Einstein's special and general theories of relativity to quantum mechanics to super-string theory. It came as no surprise that I loved how these concepts were so well-presented and executed in the story. The combined force that was Liu's staggering imagination and mastery of these subjects came together in a story that was utterly unpredictable. One simply cannot think of the things that could happen in the story without both these elements. I cannot say this enough - I was mind-blown - numerous times in fact.

One last thing that I must mention is the amazing translation by Ken Liu. It is a testament to his translation skills that a Chinese science fiction book that is so filled with scientific terms and concepts can be read so seamlessly in English. I would say the same of the translator of The Dark Forest, Joel Martinsen. These books did not read nor feel like translated books to me.

In short, Death's End was masterful conclusion that pulls out all the stops to an already incredible and inventive trilogy. I'd say that this is a highly recommended science fiction read, and practically a must-read for fans of hard science fiction.

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and my other reviews at Novel Notions.
Profile Image for Stuart.
718 reviews267 followers
October 11, 2016
Death’s End: Truly epic finale to the THREE-BODY trilogy
Listening to Cixin Liu’s THREE-BODY trilogy reminds me of those graphics on cosmology that illustrate our relative scale in the universe. It starts with the microscopic world of individual atoms and molecules (or even subatomic particles like quarks and neutrinos), expands outward to individual cells, organisms, and larger creatures, then jumps out further to continents and the planet Earth, zooming back to encompass our solar system, the Milky Way galaxy, and then pulling out further to an endless sea of galaxies that make up our universe. But Liu doesn’t stop there. He’s just gotten started, really. After all, there are more universes out there, and we’ve only mentioned three dimensions so far.

The first book, The Three-Body Problem, focused mainly on the Earth and communications with the first alien race encountered by humanity, the Trisolarans. This book featured ‘sophons,’ protons unfolded into two dimensions and then etched with circuitry via mesons, creating super-powerful computers that occupy almost no space in three dimensions, allowing them to spy on human activities and interfere with scientific development.

The second book, The Dark Forest, introduced a new phase in Earth-Trisolaran relations, the Crisis Era, in which humanity had 400 years to prepare for an invasion by the Trisolarans after being coldly told “You’re bugs.” Humanity reacted in various ways, with some treating the Trisolarans as vengeful gods or saviors of mankind, or descending into hedonism and despair, but the most important project is the Wallfacer Project, in which the Planetary Defense Council selects four important individuals with the power to formulate different strategies to handle the impending invasion.

The catch is that the Trisolarans can monitor every move of humanity, so the only way to defeat them is to use subterfuge, trickery, and misdirection. It’s a very unusual take on the alien invasion theme, and the concept of a Wallfacer is one more familiar to Chinese readers, who recognize it from classic Chinese literature. The final part of the book has a climactic encounter between the human and Trisolaran fleets, and the brilliant stratagem that Luo Ji uses to prevent humanity’s annihilation by the enemy.

The third book, Death’s End, begins by detailing the birth of the Staircase project, another response to the Tri-Solaran Crisis. It introduces the main character of the book, Cheng Xin, a highly intelligent young female aerospace engineer. Despite her lack of experience, her innovative ideas about creating propulsion systems that approach light speed gain the attention of her superiors. When the project head demands lighter payloads to launch an individual human envoy toward the approaching Trisolaran fleet, she comes up with an innovation that will require the ultimate sacrifice, and finds the perfect person for the mission.

Thanks to Luo Ji’s genius, humanity and the Trisolarans have entered a stalemate known as the Deterrence Era. Luo Ji is the Swordbearer, ready to push a button that will almost certainly lead to the destruction of both Earth and Trisolaris at the hands of unseen but powerful aliens by revealing the locations of Earth and Trisolaris to the galaxy. This is an extension of the Dark Forest concept, which likens the universe to a dark forest filled with different species. Nobody knows if the others are hostile, but if they naively assume they are friendly they will likely be destroyed first, so the only logical response from a game-theory perspective is to strike first and destroy your opponent, whether they appear friendly or hostile. It is an interesting metaphor for the Cold War on a galactic scale, and a pessimistic solution to Fermi’s Paradox.

Eventually, when Luo Ji gets too old to remain the Swordbearer, it is decided that Cheng Xin will take over his duties. To reveal the following events would constitute major spoilers, but suffice to say that the Deterrence Era rapidly transitions to the Broadcast Era and then the Bunker Era due to a series of dramatic double-crosses, brinksmanship, and momentous decisions. This portion of Death’s End is very exciting and fast-paced, fulfilling the build-up of the first third of the book.

The Bunker Era makes up the bulk of the remaining half of Death’s End. Humanity remains under constant threat of destruction at the hands of unseen, more advanced species, the proverbial “Dark Forest Strike.” So they take refuge behind the larger planets of the solar system, in case a strike targeting the sun destroys it and the surrounding planets. But there are other factions that would prefer a different approach, such as the “Black Domain” strategy of using black holes to slow down the speed of light in the solar system, thereby blocking external strikes but isolating humanity from the rest of the galaxy. There is also the “Curvature-Propulsion” strategy, which seeks to create light-speed capable ships by manipulating the curvature of space. However, those that wish to avoid the attention of other alien species are concerned that light-speed ships will invite a “Dark Forest Strike.” So once again humanity struggles with itself, facing choices that may determine the survival of the species.

The final portion of Death’s End has so many mind-boggling set-pieces and events that describing them will certainly ruin your enjoyment of the book. Liu’s descriptions of multi-dimensional space and massive galactic events are incredible and even beautiful at times, as is the translation job done by Ken Liu. Kudos also go to the audiobook narrator P.J. Ochlan, who gives the characters the requisite attention amid the events that threaten to engulf them. The Dark Forest concept takes front and center in the closing movements, as we finally see humanity from the perspective of aliens so advanced that we indeed seem little more than bugs. What those aliens have in store for humanity is stunning, humbling, and deeply tragic.

Which brings us to the Galactic Era, as the remnants of humanity learn exactly where they stand in the galactic pecking order (hint: pretty far down, in case you didn’t guess already). The characters theorize what the most advanced alien races are like, and what their plans for the universe are, including multi-dimensional warfare, trying to outlive the heat-death of the universe, creating mini-universes outside of time, and the Big Crunch that awaits all sentient life at the end. It’s mind-expanding and terrifying in its implications.

In my interview with Cixin Liu after the publishing of The Dark Forest, he indicated that his favorite SF authors include Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, and Jules Verne, and their influence can be clearly seen, especially Clarke. He is also deeply influenced by George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and the dark tone of much of the THREE-BODY trilogy is certainly dystopian, in a galactic sense, though there are elements of hope in the ending of Death’s End and the story centers on the heroes that valiantly strive to save humanity. The overwhelming impression is not of a cold, uncaring universe, but rather an actively-hostile one in which humanity are indeed bugs scurrying across the floor, hoping to avoid getting stomped on.
Profile Image for Evelina | AvalinahsBooks.
859 reviews440 followers
November 2, 2016
So here I am, thinking about how to start a review about a book as good as this one. As one of my Goodreads friends says, the better the book, the harder to write a good review of it. This is precisely the case.

So first things first. Quiz time!

a) Do you enjoy scifi at all?

- if No, well. Well. Why are you reading this? :D But don't worry, there's always time to decide you do like it after all.
- if Yes, proceed to question b

b) Have you read The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin?

- if No, proceed to the bookstore or library and rectify this mistake
- if Yes, proceed to question c

c) Have you read The Dark Forest, or better yet, that one AND Death's End?

- if No, well, go back to the first answer of question b
- if Yes, you are a wonderful person and you just won the test.

If you want to find out what winning this test means, and more importantly - read the full review (rainbows and unicorns?), you should go to my blog post here:

For all the people who have read Death's End, the blog post is compulsory. I will be waiting for your thoughts. Stalking you.

Profile Image for Jenna ❤ ❀  ❤.
789 reviews1,180 followers
October 7, 2019
"Death is the only lighthouse that is always lit. No matter where you sail, ultimately, you must turn toward it. Everything fades in the world, but Death endures.”

How the hell do you even review a book like this???? It's mind-bogglingly mind-blowing!​ This is my favourite book of the Remembrance of the Earth's Past trilogy and the only thing I don't like about it is that it's the final one. Wow, what a ride this has been!

Blown Away Mind Blow GIF - BlownAway MindBlow Omg GIFs

I won't recap the book. If you've read The Three-Body Problem and The Dark Forest you know what it's about. If you've not read them, you don't know what you're missing out on! I know science fiction isn't for everyone, and this is some serious science fiction, not for the faint of heart. Lots of physics and explanations of things such as moving about in other dimensions, creating mini universes, and slowing down the speed of light, things which made even my head spin at times. It was utterly thrilling to read!

It's obvious English is not the original language and at times the writing feels awkward. Normally, that would put me off a book. However, these books are so freaking amazing that I could not care less about that! I don't think it's the fault of the translator; I think it's due to the different writing styles and dialogue of Eastern and Western writers/speakers.

This space-aged saga is easily one of the best I've ever read and probably the most imaginative, spanning millions of years and many universes. It is monumental. Liu Cixin is brilliant and this trilogy is truly out of this world. Highly recommend!
Profile Image for Gary.
442 reviews185 followers
November 27, 2016
It has been more than two weeks since I finished reading the third book in Cixin Liu's Three Body Trilogy, and it has left me with a lot to process. It would be impossible to cover everything I want to say about this book into one review. Among those things, I recently had a discussion (in my GR review of The Dark Forest - check it out along with the comments if you're interested) about Liu's conservative Marxism, and I won't rehash that here.
This is also a five star review for a novel that I have some very emphatic philosophical differences with. Liu's views on gender types and gender roles are traditional, to say the least. If you were taken aback (as I was) by the female characters in Three Body Problem and Dark Forest, you will be positively incensed by Death's End. The angelic Cheng Xin - the woman at the center of the novel's events - is alternately put on a pedestal and torn off of it, and constantly patronized and coddled by the male characters. The "feminization" of human values in Death's End always leads to humanity's peril.
To be fair though, Liu's depressingly cynical outlook has little use for masculine values either. If the feminine is regressive and fetal, the masculine is belligerent and destructive, and the oscillation of these extremes is the fatal cocktail for the disaster that befalls the human race in Death's End. For Liu, there is no escape from our basic nature, unless... (see discussion of Marxism in my Dark Forest review/comments).
The scope of Liu's imagination and the weight of his intellectual enterprise makes my distaste for his philosophical positions palatable. I don't need to agree with you to appreciate you, so long as you can back your shit up. Liu backs his with a universe where time and space itself can be toys or weapons (or both); where you can literally reach through the fourth dimension to interact with yourself in the past; where one can collapse an entire solar system (or universe) into two dimensions as easily as sneezing into a tissue. No other science fiction writer today - not even the greatest of them - is coming close to operating on his level. This is the kind of thing that must be read and discussed by conscientious readers everywhere, and only the highest praise will do.
Profile Image for Otis Chandler.
388 reviews113k followers
December 1, 2017
Mindblowingly good. I haven’t read something so epicly ambitious and good in a long time. They say China is surpassing the rest of the world in lots of areas, you can put them up there in science fiction writers. And the best part was that the series built - you couldn’t imagine book 2 being better than book 1, but it was, and then you couldn’t imagine book 3 topping book 2, but it did.

Death’s End impressively goes deep into so many areas - human history, philosophy, physics, quantum physics, mind bending physics, and more. It even goes into dimensional warfare. I loved this quote:

"It’s very possible that every law of physics has been weaponized."

I think one of my favorite elements was the 3 stories. The level of metaphor and dual metaphor was so artfully done I’m still impressed thinking about it. Oh - and I really want to go visit He’ershingenmosiken now. I loved how the narrator pronounced that.

Note: this was a great article to read as a followup to this book, interviews the author and goes more into China culture: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...
Profile Image for Henk.
849 reviews
June 18, 2020
Addictive, grandiose and sweeping in ambition and scope. Like Interstellar on steroids in book form - 4.5 stars rounded up
“No one should live if we all have to die!”

General and some critique
Death's End can not really be read and understood as a stand alone work. I already liked The Dark Forest a lot but this conclusion of the Remembrance of Earth's Past in the end was even more epic and impressive.

Not to say that the writing of Liu Cixin is without fault, there are sentimental statements like: “The universe is grand, but life is grander. We’re certain to meet again.”
And even worse, Dan Brown like self congratulations on a few fairy tales around 2/3 of the book that really made me cringe, where the author makes some of his characters say about his own writing:
As a writer, I want to express my respect for the author. As fairy tales, these are very good.”
“A subtle and sophisticated system,” a PIA specialist said admiringly.

And very conveniently somewhere around half of the novel there are sophon free rooms.
Finally I found the Australia section of the book lacking, it felt a lot like the Sounds of Drums episode of Doctor Who. Some ideas, like the Australia section, are so unimaginable that it would require something the length of Stephen King's The Stand to do right.

But in the end this book truly blew me away through the sheer scope and boldness of the concepts contained in it, truly incomparable to anything I have read before and I used to be quite an avid scifi and fantasy reader in my teenage days.

Characterization and the protagonist
Characterization is not the strong suit of Cixin in my view.
Basically the author takes us on the struggle of humanity versus the dark forest of space, full of aliens, around it. And far from being a romantic struggle with a happy end this struggle is more like how ants would want to battle a human that is going to use bleach on their nest.
The below statement from protagonist Cheng Xin is in that sense rather ironic in my view:
“I’m here with billions of people. No matter what happens, if it happens to several billion at the same time, it won’t be frightening.”

Cheng Xin is put in kind of a similar position as the Wallfacers from the Dark Forest, with lots of hopes of humanity primed on her, but in my view for a large part of the book lacked personality. She sometimes felt like a puppet being moved by the author at will and need.
What is also not helpful is that she makes seemingly gross errors of kindness all the time, while humanity in its struggle with the Trisolarans seems to need a ruthless leader like her boss Wade, as she acknowledges herself:
But he can get it done. This bastard, devil, murderer, careerist, political hooligan, technophilic madman... he can get it done.

Also we have a romantic relationship between her and Tianmeng that transcends time and space and feels very reminiscent to Makoto Shikai's Voices of a Distant Star anime movie.
Which was an anime I liked, but is rather over the top for a novel, as kind of recognized by the author as well:
“And he just made a romantic gesture that I’d call fucking ridiculous if I read it in a book or saw it in a movie.”

Themes and ideas
When humans are lost in space, it takes only five minutes to reach totalitarianism.
Humankind isn’t just some abstraction. To love humanity, you must start by loving individual persons, by fulfilling your responsibility to those you love.

One of the major themes of the book is the benefit of totalitarianism versus humanism and democracy. At some of the pivotal moments of the book you do wonder why a military dictatorship does not arise to fill the void in the power vacuum that arises after some of the major events covered in the novel.

Scientific progress is another major component to the book, beautifully captured when some baby steps into a faster than light propulsion is being developed: “You are saying that you’ve invented gunpowder and managed to make a firecracker, but the ultimate goal is to make a space rocket. A thousand years may separate those two achievements.”
I read Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time as a twelve year old and loved it, but can very well imagine that someone less into physics would find the tale at points hard to get.
The nature and mallebility of lightspeed, the fundamental laws, quantum entanglement and dimensions is tackled, with the author even finding a brilliantly elegant explanation on the nature of dark matter. And the most epic destruction scene ever near the end of the book.
Somewhere it is remarked that Time really was the cruelest force of all. and even that is something you truly and viscerally understand as a reader.

And then we have the literal world building itself when we follow the development of humanity in phases (This wasn’t exactly regression, but a kind of spiraling ascent, a necessary condition for the exploration and settlement of new frontiers.). Here the book shines and feels like a well done rendition of the last 1/3 of Seveneves.
You feel the wonder of the space cities around the gas giants in the Bunker age, the feeling is almost tangible and contagious.

All in all this is in the last part of the book blended together in such a way, so far from now, with a clear human touch, that I was very much in awe.

It is easy to critique the book on some aspects as I did above.
It is very hard to capture the wonder and the feeling of being tiny that the author confer on me while reading.
And it is definitely a very great achievement of storytelling and writing by Liu Cixin.
Profile Image for Lena.
182 reviews73 followers
May 22, 2022
As brilliant as the previous books, but only at the end. The first half of the story seemed dull and predictable, even though it's a lot like the first two books, I didn't like it as much. I had a feeling that author was rushing the events and the social evolution of humanity wasn't so convincing. But the deep philosophy of the last part saved the story. In general it was quite original and interesting fiction about space and our place in it, memory and sense of existence .
Profile Image for Jody .
201 reviews133 followers
March 30, 2018
In the following review I will try my best to explain just how grand of scale and pure genius this trilogy truly is. Liu Cixin is a master at taking the scientific and technological world we live in today and transcending it through the ages. It has a classic feel mixed with new age knowledge and futuristic ideas.

This has been an adventure that took root in the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the 1960's and has traveled through countless eras, centuries, and millennia. Characters have come and gone with a lasting impression or a brief blink of the eye. To take a trilogy and have a different main character in each book is a bit unusual. But Liu Cixin seems to do this easily. In Death’s End, our MC is Cheng Xin. She is an aerospace engineer from the 21st century. Through Cheng Xin, the reader follows the ups and downs of humanity from one era to the next. From a technological boom to moments of almost certain doom, her life’s story is one of incredible adventure and the deepest sorrow.

"I am but an ordinary person. Unfortunately, I have not been able to walk the ordinary person’s path. My path is, in reality, the journey of a civilization.”

Speaking of technology! The technology displayed in Death’s End is amazing . Underground societies, multi-dimensional weapons, and space travel are only a few that stand out. Each one is detailed and the reader is given information on each to describe how they work. Not that I understood it all, but it was really cool to read about. Not only describing the technology, but how future societies function within it is also key to any good sci-fi novel. This is also done very well. Liu Cixin details the society and the society structure. Not too much in detail to feel like an info dump, but just enough to give you an overall feel of how the society works.

”Progress begot more progress; countless miracles gave birth to more miracles; humankind seemed to possess the power of gods; but in the end, the real power was wielded by time.”

There were many incredible scenes throughout this book and trilogy. It is conveyed in a way that makes it feel so real that I know I will never look at our galaxy the same way again. The story has developed and expanded so much from book 1 to book 3, it feels like I have read an entire series instead of just a trilogy. This has been by far the most authentic and imaginative sci-fi story I have read to date. If one of you out there has read this trilogy and does not agree with my last statement, please let me know what you consider to be better than this. I would love to try it!

This has been an amazing adventure, and I can’t thank my friend Petrik enough for urging me to start this right away. I will do the same to you fellow readers. Even if you are not a sci-fi fan I would urge you to give this a try. Just for the pure honesty and imagination it portrays for the human race and our future. Even if it is fiction, it’s still one hell of a story.

”But even more worrisome was the greatest lure provided by the future: the end of death.”

Profile Image for Stevie Kincade.
153 reviews100 followers
December 7, 2016
(Audiobook) Death's End is a whopper of a story in size, scope and length (29 hours!). The book is overflowing with ideas and stacked to the upper limit of the 3rd dimension with thoughtful SF concepts. This is the first book in the series that didn't suffer from having crappy characters to follow because there is enough going on here that the universe itself can become the main character.

If you haven't started this series, or you read "3 body" the big question is should I read this giant arse trilogy?

To which I am giving a definitive and resounding maybe

I thought the 3 body problem was different, flawed but interesting. It is a very well done Audiobook, it clocks in at around 16 hours.

I have a very strong dislike towards The Dark Forrest which only grew after reading "Death's End". "The Dark Forrest" could have been a 5 star short story or novella. The concept behind it is brilliant. Instead it was 23 hours of waffling nonsense and ill considered plot holes leading up to a great speech/ concept reveal.
My recommendation would be to read a plot summary of "The Dark Forrest" and save yourself 23 hours. Know what Luo Ji's story is, what the Dark Forrest is and that is really all you need to know for Death's End. We spend at least 7 hours on Luo Ji's imaginary girlfriend come to life and in "Death's End" We get 2 sentences about her leaving Luo Ji and she is never mentioned again! Way to payoff that storyline!

So this series is a HUGE time commitment. You could read Baxter's entire Xeelee sequence AND another regular sized book in the time it would take to read these 3 (possibly you should). Death's End is pretty damn great though so I will do my best to run down what was good and not so good with it.

While I am on the subject of Baxter I HAVE to believe the Xeelee sequence is a huge influence on this series. Possibly it is just a case of "intelligent minds think alike" but there are more parallels between the 2 then could be listed here and seem mere coincidence. Liu's trilogy is more colourful and philosophical, Baxter has better hard science porn and a LOT less problems with plot holes etc.

"The Dark Forrest" started so damn slow. Thankfully "Death's End" starts really fast and never lets up (or I would have bailed). "The deterrence era" is the period where Trisloaris and humanity are deadlocked. I loved this section of the book, it was so well thought out. Then the idea on 4 dimensional space and the entities and weapons that go between dimensions - phenomenal.

If you live in New York or LA or Beijing you have probably seen or read your home city being blown up in dozens of books and movies. The whole "Australia sequence" was great and having my home city of Sydney be the city wiped off of the Earth was a blast. The way he described it going down with Australia's multicultural but xenophobic attitudes rang sadly true as well.
Overall the best thing about the book is the MASSIVE scope and ideas. You have to straight up respect the mind that came up with them. RESPECT Liu!

Onto the not-so-good:
In this episode of Cixin Liu's bizarre issues with women we have a heroic male character who creepily stalks the object of his desires, never speaking to her but believing she telepathically understands him (she does!). Then we (finally) have a woman rising to the important security office of "Sword holder" and within 30 minutes of her taking over - the aliens wreck shit up because they know she "views life as a fairytale" (I shit you not!). After all Liu's crimes against female characters he practically flops his old fellow out, craps on the lawn, then pimp slaps feminism in "Death's End". Liu sees the maternal, "soft" side as a fatal flaw for humanity although he seems frightened of overt masculinity too. As mentioned above Lui Ji's family (a giant part of the 2nd book) get written off in 2 sentences making their whole arc absolutely useless.

There was a very strange section where Chung Shin is befriended by an Aboriginal elder. He didn't quite let her play the didgeridoo or tell her dreamtime stories (taboo for women) but in a completely bizarre scene he told her she was confusing Aboriginals with Maoris, and he then preceded to don Maori face paint and dance the haka. This would be like Chung Shin visiting a Peruvian Shaman, mistaking him for a Mexican after which he says "I'm not Mexican" before donning a sombrero and playing "La Cucaracha".

The worst part of the book was midway through where the Trisloarans let a human tell a loooooooooooooooooooooong arse fairytale. Would we let the worst Al Quaeda terrorist tell a 2 hour Afghani traditional faiytale to the Taliban knowing he was probably coding some intelligence within it? Well the Trisolarans did, right after Liu tells the reader that they now understood and practiced subterfuge themselves. Even worse than the logic issue was that the pace was really cracking up until that point. In the audiobook the fairytale is recounted in painstaking detail for nearly 2 hours! KILLING the momentum. The narrator decided to voice the fairytale characters in over the top cockney voices which didn't help. The "decoding of the Fairytale" was well done but the story itself was a SLOG. This was bad but compared to the problems in "The Dark Forrest" it was only a speed bump.

I've mentioned a few plot points but they are all from quite early in the book. The middle and end take a lot of twists and turns. With 2 hours left I thought there was a pretty decent option for an ending but instead we went through the wringer one last time. I don't know if the ending was AMAZING but it was a solid conclusion to one of the most ambitious BIG IDEA SF's of the year.

Narrator PJ Ochlan returns from "The Dark Forrest". He is above average and had a much easier time with considerably less characters to voice in "Death's End". His Aboriginal accent was shite but granted that is a hard one to do. I don't know why he wanted to do the Fairytale voices as "Eric Idle and his cockney friends" but I am quibbling, he is fine.

This is not a light read but highly recommended for fans of Hard-SF and Galaxy spanning space opera.

August 29, 2022
With a firm and skilled touch, Liu Cixin deftly took me in hand and forcefully updated my Operating System. And I loved every moment. He shifted my paradigms, trampled my assumptions, and shoved my hubris right in my face, saying, "Oh, you think you understand the Fermi Paradox? You thought time-windows and distance was the Answer that separated your reality from danger? Well, did you think about THIS?"

I cannot place a high enough value on this series of books. I will be thinking about Remembrance of Earth's Past until the heat death of the universe.

Worth it just for the conversation starters.

Proton Ninjas
Profile Image for Matt Quann.
628 reviews382 followers
October 13, 2017
A cerebral, mind-expanding trilogy comes to a stunning conclusion in Death's End.

How do you manage to wrap up a sci-fi trilogy whose first two installments featured a Universe-spanning first-contact narrative, a philosophical investigation of humanity’s life post-Earth, and some seriously mind-bending concepts? If you’re Cixin Liu, then you just go bigger.

What’s perhaps most impressive about Liu’s work is that he is able to so accurately convey the unfathomable scale of space in his atypical sequences. This works largely because Liu presents conflict on a galactic scale and makes the stakes intimately human. My only complain about The Three-Body Problem was that it suffered from weak characterization and was more focused on advancing its heady plot. This issue was resolved by The Dark Forest, which essentially worked as a character study of Luo Ji featuring all of the science-based goodies of the first installment.

Death’s End, then, changes up the formula once again with a book that is conceptually heavier than its predecessors, but doesn’t lose sight of its human touchstones. As with the previous two volumes, Death’s End largely follows a new protagonist, Cheng Xin as she is thrust into an unexpected position of power in the Earth-Trisolaran conflict. Liu also makes use of ancillary characters and POV characters who are present only for single chapters. This alternating set of POVs makes for a book that often reads like a thriller where planets are murder victims and physics are the only hope at finding the killers.

Speaking of killers, Liu holds nothing back in this final installment of the Remembrance of Earth’s Past and often left me reeling from the insane escalations in conflict. What happens in these 600 pages could easily have filled out two more novels. I thought this worked quite well in that it made me feel like the characters in the novel: constantly on the ropes against an ever-evolving set of opponents.

Despite this relentless pace, Death’s End is easily the most challenging and rewarding installment in the trilogy. The hard sci-fi of the first two books is cranked all the way up to 11, making for a steep learning curve. It sometimes felt as if I was just getting a handle on a new concept and Liu would add another layer of complexity. It’s both the joy and frustration of this book that Liu is so intent on describing the universe he’s created from every angle that it can sometimes feel like a nonfiction speculative physics book.

Of course, these brief periods of academic writing are mind-bending and lead to some of the most breathtaking imagery I’ve ever read. In that way, Liu works the reader for their reward, making it all the more satisfying when the pieces all fall into place. I could almost feel my mind stretching to accommodate the baffling dimension-altering scenes that occur later in the novel. In this book Liu shows his hand as not only a master of hard sci-fi, but as an imaginative genius.

As with the other novels, Death’s End is not going to be for everyone. It is conceptually challenging, it is often exceedingly pessimistic, and unyielding in its style. With that said, I think it would get my vote for favorite sci-fi trilogy for those exact reasons. Death’s End ramps up the tension, pace, and action present in the earlier installments and then brings it all to a satisfying ending. If you’re a sci-fi fan, you owe it to yourself to read this trilogy!

The Three-Body Problem Review
The Dark Forest Review
Profile Image for Sarah.
636 reviews143 followers
July 15, 2018
I have to say- I'm super disappointed to be writing another 3 star review for this series and also relieved that it's over. I originally attributed my feelings about The Dark Forest being sort of mediocre to the translator, and while I stand by the conclusion that Ken Liu did it better, I don't think it's entirely Maritnsen's fault.

I don't know if I wish I'd stopped after The Three-Body Problem. It was certainly a lot of time to devote to a trilogy that I felt meh about, but I think I was too intrigued not to know how it all ended. When I think about The Three-Body Problem, I recall the humorous one liners that broke up the tension, I recall the mystery and the intrigue surrounding the Trisolarans, the suspense, the weirdness of it all.

Where did all that go for books two and three? Who felt either of those books warranted an additional 200/300 pages over the first? For a series that spans 1400+ pages, I could probably sum books 2 and 3 up with one line each.

Death's End gives us a female protagonist, that I'm sad to say is insanely stereotypical. Cheng Xin is pretty. Cheng Xin is soft. Cheng Xin has maternal instincts. She's feminine and flowery and though she's described as smart she fails in every task she's given and the readers are led to believe that "men's jobs" should be left to the men. I know Liu can do better. He gave us Ye Wenjie after all, who was none of those things, but also brings up another point, that the apocalypse was initiated by a woman, and major spoilers:

But my biggest complaint about this book is most definitely the conclusion. The first half of the book, I actually did enjoy quite a bit. The last half was dragged out unnecessarily, nothing is accomplished the plot really seems to go nowhere. I could have lived with all this if the conclusion had paid off, but it didn't.

End of Series spoilers ahead:

I will say that the story is grand. It spans literally millions of years, galaxies, etc. The overall feeling is that this is humanity's story and not one particular character's. It draws some interesting conclusions, and certainly some relevant ideas about human nature. These are books where the individual stories are sacrificed in favor of the bigger picture, so if that's what draws you in as a reader, you will probably get more enjoyment out of these books than I did. If you're reading hoping to recapture some of the elements of The Three-Body Problem I think you can safely stop reading there.
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