Death's End

By: Liu Cixin

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 coexist 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?

Auuster's Takeaway

This is the third book, following Liu Cixin story starting from the Three Body Problem and the Dark Forest. Like the previous story, the Death’s End begins with the technological advancement and growth delivered by the Sophons as part of the Dark Forest treaty. This allowed humans to quickly build the space elevator and other technologies that led to Space Cities and spaceships capable of more powerful communications. LuoJi served as the Swordholder, responsible for activating the deterrence system in the event that the Trisolarians attempted another attack on earth. This responsibility was transferred to CheungXin, a rocket scientist from the previous book. The Trisolarians launched a second attack on earth as she was a pacifist and refused to activate the deterrence system. This was cut short by LuoJi who activated the system and caused the desecration of the Trisolaris system. In preparation for a similar fate of the solar system, humans constructed space cities and drove them behind Jupiter in hopes that it will shield them from the same fate as the Trisolarians. Eventually the solar system faces Armageddon from a much more destructive force. The responsibility of preserving humanity is left to three ships: Bronze Age, Gravity, Blue Space.

Similar to the other two books, Liu Cixin writes a fantastic scifi novel that exposes mankind’s instinct for survival. For example, three ships needed supplies to continue their voyage farther into space. Their solution was not to amalgamate all personnel into a single ship, as it would take more supplies to maintain 3 crews than 1. So, in secrecy one ship eliminated their fellow ships and pirated their supplies.

In all I feel that this book is very close to the first two books. There is character development and small romances in the book. Additionally, the technology in this SciFi is still well ground and believable. For example, the author took into account the mileage of ships as it travelled through space. A first for me was the consideration of deceleration, as in space there is no form of friction (air or static) that slows down ships.