Hard as sci-fi, with a bit of a whodunit element. I can see why this won a Hugo. First of, this is a very difficult read. If you have no interest in or understanding of physics, you will be totally thrown off. Liu really did his writer’s research for this one. At some points, I was confused as to whether some explanations were real science or made-up science.
I find the book to be highly creative and imaginative. The book makes you look at humanity, science, and politics from an overarching perspective as few other books do. I find the overall plot and certain scenes (the three-body game scenes) to be creative.
A lot of people have praised it for putting an Asian perspective on sci-fi. However, as an Asian myself, I don’t feel like this is so. The characters aren’t particularly well-developed. And if you just change the names of the characters to some other culture’s names, you probably won’t detect any ‘Asian perspectives’.
The book is slightly slow to start but gets engrossing very quickly. The climax and conclusion were pretty boring, but everything coming before it was interesting. As it is the first book in a trilogy, I’m guessing that it’s only really setting that stage for the next two books.
If Mark Zuckerberg recommends it, you know it’s worth checking out.