I finished this series relatively quickly, probably in the span of a month total for three books. Looking back, the best book was probably the first two. There was just an air of mystery surrounding the nature of the invading aliens. Who are they? Why are they coming? What kinds of technology do they have? These questions really drives the first novel into a satisfying conclusion.
In the second and third books, where time skips anywhere from one to a few dozen years, a bleak picture of the universe is painted by Liu (the author). To no surprise, the universe of the novel is populated with lifeforms who mistrust each other and seek to destroy one another. Everything is explained quite thoroughly, but sometimes a bit too much. I wish he left some deduction for the readers to make ourselves rather than spoon feeding all the details.
There are a few more criticisms I have of the second and third books:
- The character development falls mostly flat. I really didn’t care about any of them but rather the state of humanity as a whole. In contrast, the first book contained a fascinating historical overview set in communist China which helped build the characters.
- Liu is really quite imaginative in the types of weapons that an alien with far superior technology can employ. Unfortunately, some of them seem quite farfetched. I just think if they posses the power to alter reality, there would be better ways of waging war.
- Multiple times, Liu thinks that society as a whole would “agree” on an idea. As we see in our current political situation, this really doesn’t make any sense.