The Three-Body Problem was originally written in Chinese and has been translated to English. I read the English translation, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The story had its quirks, but it held my interest well. One of the fun aspects was definitely getting a little taste of Chinese culture and history, since I know appalling little about China. The translator has added a few footnotes to help explain cultural references that wouldn’t make sense to many readers from other countries, and the author also had a few footnotes to explain some science concepts. The book wasn’t overloaded with footnotes; there were 35 in all and they helped add some clarity to the story.
This is one of those books where, early on, you are given a lot of questions and then the answers are slowly revealed throughout the book. This makes it difficult to describe the plot in any detail without spoiling all of the fun of seeing everything revealed for oneself. I’m going to confine myself to describing one of the first plot elements that started the string of questions: something is going on with scientists throughout our world. Many of them are committing suicide.
This is more of a plot-driven book than a character-driven book. The characters were interesting and believable, but this was not a book where I became really invested in the characters. The story was the real draw. I did think there were some aspects of the plot that didn’t really fit together correctly. One of the larger issues I had will have to be described within spoiler tags…
This is the first book in a trilogy, and it doesn’t really resolve anything. It does not end in a cliff hanger though, and it answered all the main questions brought up throughout the story. It left me very curious about what will happen next, so I plan to jump right into the second book.