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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 23 star ratings
3 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.4 out of 5
23
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  • 3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

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    3 stars

    It has a bit of a learning curve to begin with if you’re not familiar with the Chinese cultural revolution etc, but I was able to keep pace after that initial step. What I didn’t like was the pacing. I feel like it needed a bit more urgency through the middle and later parts. But the final hour or so was really intriguing and gonna get me to continue to the next one
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    Thorough exercise for the readers imagination!

    This book benefits enormously from the audiobook format. The skill of the narrator adds an important layer to understanding the cultural context of the story. Having the names of people and places pronounced properly gives it a lift that might otherwise be missed. I found the story contemporary and complex with an unusual cast of characters that gave me a glimpse into a country and culture we know too little about. The pacing seems to stall occasionally but the ending is very vivid. I’m looking forward to listening to the other books in the trilogy.
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    Story starts strong then just plummets

    I know I’m a minority who holds this opinion, but I genuinely did not enjoy this book series. I’m rating the series as a whole as the trilogy makes up the whole story. I’ll be giving my review in a very general way so as not to give any spoilers. The books in general tend to have long slow portions in them. Some of it is for background and to build things up. While generally I do tend to like this type of thing, in this book series it only worked in a few parts, but in the majority of it, it was a like a ramble and quite frankly useless to the book. At one part a character invents an imaginary character in his mind, who he becomes obsessed with and treats as a real person. While I did see this relevance later on in the book, I still feel that it didn’t need to be dragged on throughout an entire chapter page after page. Again perhaps this is something that appeals to others, but it struck me as an example of the long rambles which are common in this series. The First book had a better plot then the other two. A few characters do stick out quite interestingly enough such as the inspector, and the book does start to capture your attention in wondering what exactly the mystery going on is. It flips the book back and forth from a different world to modern day earth. This I felt was engaging and intriguing. But it did not make up the majority of the book. When the book ends you do finally feel excited enough that you want to continue with the second one. If I was to rate the first book on its own I’d be tempted to give it 3 or 4 stars. But again because I’m rating it as a trilogy, the overall story arc was a solid 1 star or less. The second book and third books had much less than engaging characters (the characters in the second and third books are different than the characters in the first book as it takes place over the span of centuries.) There is an attempt by the author to show what regular day humans were like, as well as those in the military who were preparing for an entirely new type of war, but because the characters weren’t very engaging, I found myself holding back from skipping past pages. The actual methods in which the story line unfolds is a bit ridiculous. It had the basics of a good concept, (again laid out from the first book) but the way the characters and the Earth population dealt with the problems that unfolded would leave me shaking my head saying “really?” Unfortunately, this is difficult to explain without actually giving a synopsis of the whole book. To put it in general terms, the mystery from the first book was uncovered and in the second book the way the world responds to that mystery is quite frankly idiotic, and the characters being very unrelatable (after all one character spends most of his time with an imaginary person in his head for many of the chapters.) This continues on in the third book. While a few interesting incidents did occur, the overall story arc just continued to plummet. The ending itself might be for some almost magical and mystical, but to me, it was just was an example of what a waste of a potentially great story line that could have continued after the first book, but what happened instead was the book continuing on for the sake of continuing on. It leads you to appreciate writers who take their time in not rushing endings even if it makes you wait for years for the book to be released.
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