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Ratings and Book Reviews (4 29 star ratings
4 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.3 out of 5
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    Beautifully written; each story.

    A beautiful combination of fantasy and sci-fi. It discusses what it means to be human and potential ethics of future technology and current technology. Each leaves you thinking in a way that only Ken Liu can.
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    Melchancholic, visionary and surprising

    Ken Liu writes exquisitely, I wish I could writes stories with a tenth of his vividness and eloquence. The imaginative descriptions of aliens races in stories such as "The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species" are just wondrous and you can't help but feel that somewhere in the universe, such species might actually exist, because they are so romantically real. Other stories, such as "The Literomancer", have nothing to do with sci-fi and the supernatural, but are nonetheless very compelling and, at least for a westerner, eye-opening in the way that they cast light on particular historical happenings which are all but unknown to us. "The Paper Menagerie" is obviously terrific; one of the shortest stories in the collection, it is a gleaming nugget of melancholy and love and I will definitely want to read it again in the future. My personal favorites were was "Mono no aware" and "All the flavors", perhaps because I liked so much the characters, the adventure and the narrative tension that kept me going page after page. I can't say that I loved all the stories in this well-assorted collection, a few of them were either too predictable or redundant in their prose. What I can say is that I was positively surprised by many of them, entertained by most, and that I also learned a lot, I gained actual knowledge from many of them, something I wasn't necessarily expecting after picking up the book.
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    A fantastic collection

    The stories in this collection run the gamut from lighthearted to gut-wrenching. Each one is told with a different voice, but consistent quality, as Ken Liu demonstrates both his love of experimentation and his possession of the skill required to render great things out of such a diverse collection of parts.
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    An intriguing mix of past, present and future

    Each story is quite different and pushes the reader's senses in many ways. Very well written and thought provoking. A great discussion piece for a book club.

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