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    Remembrance review [App]  2019-2-11 21:25

    5 stars for this memory game.. very clean design... straight forward... creative art...

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    Remembrance review [App]  2019-2-11 21:25

    awesome!

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    Kingpin: Prisoner of the War on Drugs (Cannabis Americanan: Remembrance of the War on Plants, Book 2) (Cannabis Americana: Remembrance of the W) review []  2020-1-24 21:46

    I really enjoyed this book, in particular because it's not just another "rat book."Richard Stratton is something of a living legend, a former major pot and hash trafficker turned federal inmate and jailhouse lawyer turned award-winning journalist, author, publisher, producer, and now director... And, the fact that he beat his 25 year case by representing himself and filing his own appeal and not by becoming a stool pigeon makes his story all the is book, the second in a 3-part memoir series about his life focuses on his years in prison during the 1980s. He tells stories of the infamous people he met, but also a story about meeting himself and establishing who he really was: A r it's only when one is stripped to nothing, with their back versus the wall, do we search out who we really are, and in a sense this is a 'coming of age' story, or at least, a coming of age in his new, second, incarcerated life.I'm not saying Stratton wasn't a man before he got arrested. Not at all. But there are things we can only learn about ourselves when plunged to unexplored depths and after living the high life smuggling dozens of pot and hash, jet-setting around the globe with models and celebrities, Stratton is now locked down facing 25 years, and wonders how he'll survive... But, a newfound inner strength and ingenuity reveals itself and it seems, he is almost grateful that this challenge was place before for him, for it sets the scene for the third act of his life which he is currently living with a respect and experience which he wouldn't have had otherwise. Something that is invaluable for a writer.A part of me wishes this 3-book series was just condensed into one book with a beginning, middle and ever: Richard truly has lived three various lives and this is the second of them.We spoke about it yesterday on my podcast Kasparoza Radio and I was honored to learn more about it:

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    Kingpin: Prisoner of the War on Drugs (Cannabis Americanan: Remembrance of the War on Plants, Book 2) (Cannabis Americana: Remembrance of the W) review []  2020-1-24 21:46

    I have three mates who served long bids in prison. One is Leonard Peltier who’s been there 39 years. The other is named James Alexander who served 28 years on death row. Rick Stratton‘s eight years might seem insIgnificant by comparison, but the life he lived before incarceration and the method he did his time is so exemplary, so daring, and stubborn, refusing to ever consider The government offers to Rat on mates to chop his own sentence. (Truth be told neither did Leonard or James), but Stratton has turned his time into this fast-paced, insightful, sometimes funny, always acute review of the federal prison system down to its bone marrow. The only amazing thing we can say about our prison system is it helped three brave men completely change themselves, and gave Rick Stratton the fodder to write a brilliant book

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    Kingpin: Prisoner of the War on Drugs (Cannabis Americanan: Remembrance of the War on Plants, Book 2) (Cannabis Americana: Remembrance of the W) review []  2020-1-24 21:46

    Wow. As a bail bondsman, bounty hunter and allegedly, a bit of a smuggler back in the day I was enthralled by this read. I don't normally read or obtain very interested in prison books or films for that matter. The genre never has appealed to me. Having said that, I've read two of Strattton's books and couldn't place them down. He's managed to write what a zillion other prisoners have tried to write since there have been prisoners and ve stars and kudos to you Mr. Stratton. Please hold it up as you obviously "get it"! The writing thing that is.I trust you'll have more adventures to come.

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    Kingpin: Prisoner of the War on Drugs (Cannabis Americanan: Remembrance of the War on Plants, Book 2) (Cannabis Americana: Remembrance of the W) review []  2020-1-24 21:46

    KINGPIN: Prisoner of the Battle on Drugs is sui generis. I know of no other book that gives the reader such an in depth, realistic, harrowing and yet at times hilarious inside look at what it’s like to obtain locked up by our federal government. Stratton withstood wonderful pressure from government prosecutors to become a snitch and ended up having his 25-year sentence (for pot, no less) vacated and reduced to 10 years after an appeals court ruled the sentence was enhanced due to his refusal to "cooperate" by giving false evidence versus Norman Mailer. Amazing book, wonderful story, really well written.

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    Kingpin: Prisoner of the War on Drugs (Cannabis Americanan: Remembrance of the War on Plants, Book 2) (Cannabis Americana: Remembrance of the W) review []  2020-1-24 21:46

    Richard Stratton is one hell of a writer. This reads like a amazing novel, though it’s non-fiction. We all know what a colossal waste The so-called “war on drugs “ has been, here’s a deep dive into what happens after an arrest. You won’t believe that this happens in America. It’s disgusting.

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    Kingpin: Prisoner of the War on Drugs (Cannabis Americanan: Remembrance of the War on Plants, Book 2) (Cannabis Americana: Remembrance of the W) review []  2020-1-24 21:46

    This is the second volume of Richard Stratton 's autobiography. The first "Smuggler's Blues" dealt with his life as a major cannabis smuggler and was a cracking read, both exciting and insightful. This one is about his time as a federal prisoner and is illuminating and thoughtful as it describes the dysfunctional US prison system and his 7 year journey through it. Well worth the read!

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    Kingpin: Prisoner of the War on Drugs (Cannabis Americanan: Remembrance of the War on Plants, Book 2) (Cannabis Americana: Remembrance of the W) review []  2020-1-24 21:46

    After reading Richard's first book "Smugglers Blues" I IMMEDIATELY purchased "Kingpin" ... I had to search out what happened to him and his crew. It was just as exciting as the first book. Again, he is a really gifted writer and I would highly recommend this book. It was a amazing read.

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    Kingpin: Prisoner of the War on Drugs (Cannabis Americanan: Remembrance of the War on Plants, Book 2) (Cannabis Americana: Remembrance of the W) review []  2020-1-24 21:46

    This book is the sequel to Smuggler’s Blues, both are really well paced, well written and completely e author takes you on a wild ride through his risky existence as a major smuggler - hashish- inviting the reader into his analytical head, which for the most part seems quite sane. First books in this genre I’ve read that are written by a really amazing writer.

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    Kingpin: Prisoner of the War on Drugs (Cannabis Americanan: Remembrance of the War on Plants, Book 2) (Cannabis Americana: Remembrance of the W) review []  2020-1-24 21:46

    The life of an inmate was something in which l knew nothing about. I had no idea that drugs were as prevalent in the inside as they are out in the world. That was an eye opener. The harsh treatment an inmate has to withstand was another one. How the guards took away every latest dignity. A harsh globe for someone doing hard time in our nation’s prisons.

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    Kingpin: Prisoner of the War on Drugs (Cannabis Americanan: Remembrance of the War on Plants, Book 2) (Cannabis Americana: Remembrance of the W) review []  2020-1-24 21:46

    I bought this book with some trepidation because of the price,but was not disappointed, just like the first book I read from Mr Stratton, "Smugglers blues " I had a hard time putting it down..

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    The Book of Remembrance review []  2020-1-20 20:16

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book for the most part. I have learned and confirmed a lot of things. The only issue I had with this book is when it shifted gears to another subject and that became the focus for the rest of the book. This threw me off and created the book difficult for me to finish. I would have giving five stars if the book stayed on course.

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    The Book of Remembrance review []  2020-1-20 20:16

    Wow what a very informational book! This book answered alot of questions I have had over the years about human origin and our interactions with Extraterrestrials. I highly recommend this book!!!!

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    Songs Of Remembrance, Vol. 1 review []  2020-1-22 2:31

    These songs were very comforting and done well.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    Death’s End. The title of the final installment gives away what is coming, but whose death? You need to travel an unimaginably long and jaw-dropping journey to search out who/what ceased to exist. Mr. Liu Cixin – or “Big Liu”, a fond nickname invented by his fans in China – now is not only the best sci-fi writer from China, but also one of the best on member how far we have come from? The whole story started in around 1960s as China went through a horrible period of political turmoil. When senseless mobs beat a small girl’s father to death in public, her faith in humanity was shaken and lost. Her solution was to seek support from species of other planets, thus changing the course of humanity. As a effect numerous lives were lost in the ensuing wars and conflicts. But two unlikely heroes came to rescue – Mr. Luo Ji devised a method to blackmail and diffuse the Trisolarian invasion, and Mr. Zhang Beihai managed to save and plant a human seed far away from the Earth.Did both tactics work? The Death’s End provides the final answer. The main hero of the third book is another woman (Ms. Cheng Xin). She is intelligent but weak, and the choice she created in this book will be long debated among the Three-Body fans. But does it really matter at the end? It appears that, regardless of her choice, the fate of humanity was inevitably sealed. I will say this, that two women, Ye Wenjie in book one and Cheng Xin in book three, beautiful much decided the course and the ending (a feminism analysis of Huge Liu is due).There are so a lot of refreshing gems in the Death’s End that makes the book irresistible. For example, how to send a communication device to Trisolaris but the device must have minimum amount of weight and can survive long distance of zone travel? Huge Liu’s respond was plainly crazy yet sensible. For example, Huge Liu rebranded himself temporarily and inserted a long and intriguing fairytale, yes, you are reading this correctly, a fairytale about how an evil prince stealing the throne of a kingdom and a princess fighting back. Finally, a stupendous weapon called the “dual vector foil”. I don’t wish to elaborate. Let’s just say that if you are still reading my comment here, you are not affected by this weapon (yet).Besides sci-fi and fairytales, Huge Liu clearly likes to write detective stories, which are dotted throughout this book series. Book one began with a scientist trying to figure out what was wrong with his vision and who was behind all the suicides of other scientists. Book two had a massive dose of mouse-and-cat android game between wallfacers and wallbreakers. Book three involved a lot of experts (scientists, intelligence officers, and professors in literature) trying to decipher the real meaning of the fairytale. These plots will hold you guessing and add additional ly, the ending. So much happened while ions went by in the final pages. I remember a lot of people complaining about the slow pace of book one. When u reach the end of book three, u will instead suffer whiplashes. I had to turn back and go over a lot of pages again asking what the F is going and trying to create sense of what is happening. Suffice to say that it is a finish that I have never seen it before in any sci-fi literature. Probably the GRANDEST and the MOST INSANE ending of all.Go read it, and begin to marvel and tremble.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    Plenty has been written about the extraordinary imaginativeness and story-telling prowess of Liu Cixin in this thought-provoking book. Having just finished the trilogy after just over a week of obsessive reading, I’ll share a few thoughts as a means of decompressing from this harrowing epic.I read the first two volumes in Chinese and the third in English, mainly because it became too labored an effort to read the transliterated foreign proper nouns and technical words in Chinese (for me, anyway), and I can attest to the quality of the translation and its loyalty to the original. It felt as if I read all three books seamlessly in the same language. Although certain things are inevitably lost in translation, Ken Liu, as an accomplished writer himself, certainly compensated for the loss with innovations of his own. My only complaint has to do with certain word choices. For example, pinnace and dinghy are perhaps neither familiar to most readers nor appropriate terms for astronautic vehicles, and at times certain passages are unnecessarily grandiloquent while at others overly casual when exploring scientific and philosophical concepts. I was especially dismayed that the end of a fairy tale in the story opted for a word-for-word translation instead of “and they lived happily ever after,” despite that’s exactly what the source material means, and it was the only moment that I felt like I was reading a is necessary to point out that although the three books complete the same story arc in a mostly chronological order, they involve very various scale, scope, and more importantly, themes. Emotionally, each book is fully resolved at the end. In this regard, the first book, though a thorough page turner and champion of the Hugo Award, perhaps has the least depth of the major theme of the first book is certainly the existential crisis that can arise out of either failure to grasp reality or loss of faith in humanity, and the second book inverts that theme to become the humanity’s shifting beliefs in reality and faith when faced with a crisis of existence. Death’s End, on the other hand, annihilates any notion that we may have of both crisis and mantic love evolves along with the installments. The Three Body Issue has a cynical notion of love, and the stories of different marriages are marked by betrayal, indifference, and lovelessness. In Dark Forest, love is an ideal that ultimately proves to be an illusion. In Death’s End, love is concrete with cosmic consequences, yet at the same times becomes the most elusive and utterly e narrative structure of Death’s End is also various compared to the previous two books. It doesn’t have the air of mystery of The Three Body Issue that is imposed by an unknown entity, or the intentional concealment of Dark Forest that plays smoothly into the Wallfacer Project. Instead, the story unfolds in a straightforward manner, but every decision created has far reaching consequences that you may not see for hundreds of pages, which in turn are foretold by min info before they are revealed. There is one subtle but brilliant point a third into the book where the Trisolaran emissary sadistically admonishes the forlorn protagonist that the universe is not a fairy tale. It may seem like a mundane cliché by a cartoonish villain, but this point ties together the entire e latest installment, like the previous two, pays ample homage to other works of science fiction, sometimes covertly. It is interesting, however, that Liu also subverts elements from his prior stories in the trilogy. Similarly, Ball Lightening, of which a weaponized ver is mentioned repeatedly in the second book, is an earlier eponymous novel of his. Three short stories come to mind: The Wandering Earth, The Rural Teacher, and a third one that may reveal too much plot by its title alone. The Wandering Earth tells the story of a human society that tries to escape the Sun that is shifting out of main sequence unexpectedly early by making Earth itself into a giant spaceship in order to fly to, ironically, Alpha Centauri, the Trisolaran home world. A specific object that appeared in The Wandering Earth is mentioned twice in Death's End, and becomes a strong symbol at the very end of the novel. The Rural Teacher also deals with a fertile universe and the destruction of stellar systems, but unlike the Dark Forest, that universe is much more benevolent toward ven the limited scope of the first book and the impeded scientific progress in the second, Death’s End is the only part of the trilogy to expansively discover frontier scientific ideas. The scientific foundations of the book are mostly solid and airtight, even when it feels dubious as observed by characters. Artistic licenses are only taken when it involves speculations far beyond even the frontiers of our current scientific understanding. However, one problematic aspect has to do with traveling and manipulating objects in four-dimensional space, as the novel implies that distance in 3D zone can be shortened by traveling in the fourth dimension, which is incompatible with orthogonality of dimensions in the Euclidean part of space-time, and there is no metric shortening of the lower-dimensional distance by traveling in any direction in the higher-dimensional space. Of course, it is certainly possible that the local geometry of said fictional zone is e author does a superb job confounding the philosophical center of the books with a very comprehensive treatment of the various beliefs in science, society, politics, religion, gender, human nature, life, etc., both through an interspersed objective omniscient narrator and through the subjective thoughts of opaque characters. Indeed, there is no real villainy in the trilogy, even when we’re dealing with genocidal alien invaders and mundicidal star destroyers. However, there remains a palpable degree of ethnocentrism and, more problematically, androcentrism that belies the author's ambitious huge picture of cosmic proportions. Though the male gaze is prevalent in the first and second books, it nonetheless reflects the inner worlds of the male protagonists, if not the author himself, from an exceedingly patriarchal society. Yet what Liu perceives to be the difference between “masculine” and “feminine” values cannot be reconciled even at cosmic scales, despite the author’s clear intention to absolve and diminish all sins, aggression and weakness alike, in the grand schemes of the Dark Forest universe. It is disappointing, but y critics think that Death’s End is the best of the trilogy, including the translator. I disagree. Liu has written three entirely special books out of the same story, one may even argue that they’re written in three various genres, and each succeeds and excels on its own equal footing. Nonetheless, Death’s End is the grandest, and it will blow your mind.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    With its completion with Death’s End, I can now say that the Remembrance of Earth’s Past is my all-time favorite science fiction series (says the noob of a sci fi fan). It opens just like you would expect the final volume of an insanely ambitious hard science fiction series to open, with a magician offering to support the emperor prevent the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. Wait, what? This has never been a series interested in hewing to convention. And so we obtain a story spanning a few million years (specifically, 1453 – 18906416).“Once, ancient Romans had whistled in their grand, magnificent baths, thinking that their empire, like the granite that created up the walls of the pools in which they floated, would latest forever. No banquet was eternal. Everything had an end. Everything.”(SPOILERS for the first two books in the Remembrance of Earth’s Past series below.)Did I say that Death’s End is insanely ambitious? It purports to encompass most of the history of humanity, and of the universe, within its scope. And, indeed, all things must end. But nor is “life . . . nothing but a fragile, thin, soft shell clinging to the surface of this planet.” As another work of science fiction place it, “Life finds a way.”After a prologue that is bizarre and kind of amazing and strictly not necessary, and a brief interlude with Yang Dong shortly before she commits suicide, the story proper opens shortly after the Trisolaris invasion fleet becomes public knowledge (the Crisis Era). Yun Tianming is a sad sack, a loner, an entirely undistinguished scientist. But the thread of his life has the possibility to play a greater role in the pattern of human history when it comes back into contact with his college crush, Cheng Tianming is a bit of a head fake. Cheng Xin is not only Death’s End protagonist, but is far more central to the story, heck, to the entire series, than any of the characters from the first two books. Cheng Xin is, in at least one way, the best protagonist in the series. That is, she is the most memorable. Not the best, but she is the easiest to hold distinct in your mind as a character. Or at least that was my experience. She is no Luo Ji, though. The Trisolarans are right—Luo Ji is a mighty warrior. We do see Luo Ji again, but Cheng Xin’s story dominates the book in a method that Wang Miao and Luo Ji never e Wallfacer project isn’t the UN’s only response to the Trisolarans. Cheng Xin becomes a part of the parallel Staircase Program. The Staircase Program ultimately settles on a truly science fictional idea—using nuclear pulse propulsion to send a frozen brain light years through space.“At the same time, in Russia and China, Topol and Deongfeng missiles were also rising in the sky. The stage resembled a doomsday scenario, but Cheng Xin could tell by the curvature of the rocket trails that these were orbital launches instead of intercontinental strikes. These devices, which could have killed billions, would never return to the surface of the Earth. They would pool their enormous power to accelerate a feather to 1 percent of the speed of light.”We’re not going to spend the entire book stuck back in the Crisis Era, though. The same hibernation Luo Ji took advantage of in The Dark Forest is available to Cheng Xin, and she makes amazing use of it. When she first reawakens, Luo Ji singlehandedly holds the Trisolarans at bay as Swordholder. He wields Dark Forest deterrence.Ok, now this is REALLY SPOILER location for The Dark Forest. In The Dark Forest, humans discovered why the universe is so quiet. Given an infinite number of stars, there are infinite habitable planets, infinite civilizations, infinite supercivilizations, and infinite supercivilizations that view any smart life as a potential threat. And if you’re a supercivilization, you don’t need to build a system the size of a little moon to destroy a planet.“‘Dark forest attacks all share two qualities: one, they’re casual, two they’re economical.’ ‘Elaborate, please.’ ‘These attacks are not part of some interstellar war, but a matter of conveniently eliminating possible threats. By “casual,” what I mean is that the only basis for the attack is the exposure of the target’s location. There will be no reconnaissance or exploration conducted versus the target beforehand. For a supercivilization, such exploration is more expensive than a blind strike. By “economical,” what I mean is that the attack will employ the least expensive method: using a small, worthless projectile to trigger the destructive potential already show in the target star system.’”At least now we know what happened to the Moon in Seveneves.If that doesn’t sound poor enough, things obtain ath’s End continues and expands on the best aspect of The Dark Forest—balls-to-the-wall crazy science, and lots of it. There are large zone cities. “[A] regular cylinder that stimulated gravity with the centrifugal force generated by spinning. With a length of seven kilometers, its useable interior surface zone was 659 square kilometers, about half the sizes of ancient Beijing. Once, about twenty million inhabitants had lived here.” There are a few dozen more, like that or not. There is light speed travel. Well, near-light speed travel—“If there really were a Creator, the only thing he welded shut in all Creation was the speed of light.” And then there are antimatter weapons, artificial black holes, multiple dimensions, a circumsolar particle accelerator, and, for lack of a better word, vacuoles.But the Remembrance of Earth’s Past series has always been science fiction with a capital SCIENCE. Not only does Death’s End have a more relatable protagonist. It has, by a fair margin, the best writing of the series, especially the pacing and plotting. Liu (The Lius?) can throw out a hell of a wham line. “Tianming, did you know that the euthanasia law was passed specifically for you?”By the way, the Trisolarans create amazing villains (I’m not so sure they qualify as antagonists; the antagonist is more often physics and humanity’s current understanding of it.) They aren’t wantonly cruel, but they give as small thought to humanity’s pain as the wolf gives that of the sheep. One trend in modern villainy I’ve really come to search annoying is the poor guy going out of his method to present just how EVUL he is. Think Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham killing Guy of Gisbourne for small to no reason. In reality, even despots need allies. Apropos, I just finished reading a biography of King John. He had a distinct tendency toward cruelty, and it created him a weak king. Tywin Lannister wouldn’t have been the most feared man in England, he would have been the most hated, and it would have cost him power. One of the high marks for Amazon’s Sneaky Pete is that the poor guy played by Bryan Cranston is so rational, which doesn’t stop him from being evil but does create him a much more risky foe. Ok, digression e Remembrance of Earth’s Past has always been chock full of social commentary, albeit rarely of the Anvilicious sort (perhaps aided by the language and cultural barriers). He sees environment as having an enormous influence on human society, and humans also as being prone to cyclical thinking reacting versus the past as much as the environment. Thus humanity vacillates wildly: “The repressive militaristic uniformity of the Amazing Ravine; the optimism and romanticism of the latter half of the Crisis Era; the hedonistic freedom and indolence of the Deterrence Era.” Like Joe Haldeman in The Forever War, Liu touches on the idea of a trend toward feminization. Men in the Deterrence Era are so feminine that Cheng Xin initially doesn’t realize that they are men. Liu seems to tie this directly to a “half century of peace and ease brought about by the Deterrence Era [that] accelerated the trend.” When things obtain hard again later, the trend reverses. I’m not so sure. It is perhaps no accident that Haldeman and Liu are both men. If you don’t think “masculinity, as traditionally defined, [i]s considered an ideal,” just pick up a romance novel. Any era that makes Mike Rowe a sex symbol still puts a premium on masculinity.I search Death’s End, and the series in general, most fascinating, though, as a product of atheism. Not just a work influenced by atheism, or the product of an atheist (I have no idea if Cixin Liu is or isn’t), but a work that is the product of an atheistic society. And not just in the more direct ways it addresses religion (“The discovery of the dark forest state of the universe was a giant blow to most major religions, especially Christianity”). Or even Cheng Xin repeatedly playing the role of either Eve or Messiah (“I wish to tell all those who believe in God that I am not the Chosen One. I also wish to tell all the atheists that I am not a history-maker. I am but an ordinary person.”)I distinguish between a work written by an atheist and the product of an atheistic society because works written by Western atheists, especially American atheists, are still working from essentially a Judeo-Christian perspective. Even if they are reacting versus it, their work can still be defined in relation to it. The typical nihilism in modern storytelling, then, is an act of rebellion that we can test to rationalize away—for there to be a rebellion, there must be a dominant order. The nihilism of Death’s End, on the other hand, is pervasive, and thus terrifying. Other books are dark in a method that makes you satisfied you can set them aside and return to normal life after you’re done reading. The darkness of Death’s End is fundamental, and reaches beyond the four corners of the book. The Trisolaran threat, the threat of a Dark Forest strike, the mindboggling timescale, zone itself, all serve to reinforce that underlying nihilism. After all, is there anything more frightening than zone to the atheist? They look up and see not the glory of God’s creation but instead an infinite emptiness creating ever more oppressive loneliness. Liu returns to it, again and again.“Death is the only lighthouse that is always lit.”“The kid that was human civilization had opened the door to her home and glanced outside. The endless night terrified her so much that she shuddered versus the expansive and profound darkness, and shut the door firmly.”“She finally understood how she was but a mote of dust in a grand wind, a little leaf drifting over a broad river.”But because I could not so easily dismiss it, I was left wondering as I read the book, and am left wondering still today weeks after finishing it, whether it meant as hopeful. Keynes was right. “In the long run we are all dead.” Toggle the end date for your book far enough and you’ll obtain there. Even the Bible ends with Revelation. Humanity escapes catastrophe miraculously, but it’s going to obtain us all eventually.And so we return to the opaque allegory of Cheng Xin, our Eve and Messiah. Is she savior of bringer of destruction? Is her weakness a damnation of us or merely of herself? Is it even really weakness at all?

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    One of the most difficult things about "hard science" SF is that a lot of of the unique, ground-breaking physics ideas have been explored by prior writers, futurists and/or real-world theoretical physicists. Clearly, this trilogy includes echoes and whispers from all three groups. But it also includes a new set of physical theories that keep together within the context of the author-built universe. FTL travel and effects, characteristics of dimension changes, "physics as a weapon" are only a e trilogy was not without it's problems, however. The characters, for the most part, were weakly developed and one-dimensional. The latest female protagonist would not be my first choice to carry forward our genotype and clearly she doesn't exhibit anything close to the heroic qualities that a lot of of us admire. We might have done better with a e physics hung together, for the most part. However, I was promised (by Chinese readers) a resolution of the physics supporting perpendicular vector changes for the "teardrop" in novel 3. It wasn't there. There were other physical phenomena mentioned, then quickly glossed over. I mention this only to allow the readers of this review know that, while this was a amazing novel, it wasn't perfect. It has holes. Whether that is necessary to you or not, you may judge for initial thoughts after reading the book is that it has successfully accomplished what most authors strive for: a change in the readers' perceptions of the external globe and a reconsideration of the belief constructs of the readers' inner worlds. I would have to say that Remembrance, is the best hard science fiction trilogy that I've read in the latest 30 years from a science perspective, with Book 3 being the best of the lot.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    It's hard to know where to start talking about The Three-Body Problem trilogy (officially known as the Remembrance of Earth's Past series), a truly staggering piece of science-fiction written by Chinese author Cixin Liu and translated to English by Ken Liu and Joel Martinsen (Liu did books 1 and 3, while Martinsen did 2). A trilogy that spans literally thousands of years, deals with quantum physics, android game theory, sociology, religion, zone exploration, zone colonization, and more, all driven by the nature of first contact with alien intelligence - there's a lot going on in this series, and that's before you begin realizing just how much Cixin (reminder: Chinese names are traditionally written with the family name first and the given name second) truly takes on the advanced science of his ideas. And yet, when you [email protected]#$%!, you realize that you've read something truly wonderful - a piece of hard science-fiction whose ambition, scope, richness, and ideas are impossible not to search yourself thinking about for days ath's End, the series' final volume, feels like yet another shift in the series, just as The Dark Forest was a shift from The Three-Body Problem. Because if the first two volumes were about how we come to terms with the fact that we're not alone in the universe, the final volume is about what it's like to realize that you - and every other civilization that's ever lived - are limited in your time, and might one day have no choice but to end?Once again using the previous book as a launching point, Death's End takes on the uneasy stalemate we were left with, but watches as things shift quickly out of control in the exact method the end of The Dark Forest feared they might. Just like the others, Death's End is undeniably the final part of this saga, but it feels like its own book, giving us another fresh central hero and a very various tone, one that finds itself wondering which is more important: survival or morality? And as usual, Cixin doesn't believe in simple answers.Spanning even more time than the other books, Death's End unfolds on an epic scale, as humanity tries to search a method to prevent itself from being viewed as a threat by the rest of the galaxy. But is the sacrifice worth it - in other words, is safety so necessary that we should cripple ourselves as a race? Do we escape and leave our planet behind, setting out as nomads across the galaxy? Or do we test to intimidate others, showing that we're not to be messed with? Death's End deals with these questions as it has in the other novels, diving into the science, the android game theory, and the objections, and giving readers the sense that sometimes, there are no simple answers to be deed, what's so compelling about Death's End is the main character, who takes choices that so often feel like the wrong ones for a situation - I often found myself almost screaming at her for being wrong...and yet, you understand why she's doing them, and can almost agree. Where do we draw the line between survival and being a monster? What's acceptable to do in order to save ourselves? And does it truly matter, on a huge enough time scale?Over the course of Death's End, Cixin draws all of the series' different threads into focus thematically, making it clear that this is a series about recontextualizing our put in the universe and how we would react to that. But he's done so, once again, by focusing on a little group of characters, advanced and thoughtful explorations of science and philosophy, and a story that's engrossing on both the macro and micro level. And while the series comes to an appropriately complex, epic ending, I love how even to the end, Cixin makes it equally about the larger questions and about these characters and the choices they have to create - and their own emotional stakes as explain this series is a difficult challenge, to place it mildly. This is a series that spans a large amount of time, deals with advanced scientific concepts in complex terms, grapples with rich philosophical and political ideas, debates questions without simple answers, and gives you a scope that can be daunting. It's a story of alien invasions, yes, but one in which the action sequences we're so used to are replaced with existential dread, a rethinking of our own lives, and a fear of the unknown that's hard to quantify. It's also the story of people caught up in these times, trying to give themselves a amazing life while never forgetting the larger questions of their era, and juggling their own fears with fears for humanity. In other words, it's what hard science-fiction is amazing at - thoughtful questions, huge ideas, and speculation, all of which change the method you think about the is series is a truly wonderful achievement, one that honestly left me a bit staggered and reeling as I attempt to think about it all, but one that I love all the more for what it accomplishes. If you're a hard science-fiction fan, or simply someone who loves dealing with the complex ramifications of common ideas, this is a must read series. I've never read anything like it in my life, and I'm a richer person for the ideas it's inspired me to think about.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    Wow....beautiful, mind blowing, awe inspiring, and heart breaking. My review could never do justice to the grand scale laid out in these books. This is the kind of story you finish and then need to sit down and process what you've just experienced. My one gripe was the ending was sudden and I wasn't expecting it to be over at that point but I can't complain too much. With all that the author has given us with this series I can forgive him for leaving a few things to the imagination. Also, it should be said that this is not a satisfied book. In fact, it might be the most melancholy work of science fiction I have ever read. Thinking about this story is like picking at a scab for me...I wish to stop ruminating on it but at the same time I don't wish to, or maybe I cant. My latest word to anyone reading this review is: Pick up this series at your own risk. It will dominate your thoughts and most likely create every other work of science fiction you read seem trite and superficial.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    I'm a hardcore sci-fi fan and this series, especially this finale, is without compare. I'm sitting here trying to think of anything to compare it to but there's really nothing. Everything you expect after reading the first books gets thrown out the window by the second, and it only continues into this one. There were few points in this series where I felt at all confident in any predictions I was making, and I was right to feel that method because I was almost always wrong. The deep physics in this series will please the more scientific readers, but this is a deeply human story. It's poignant and heart-wrenching and everything science fiction should be. I doubt I'll ever read anything that will impact me in the same method this series did.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    Death’s End by Cixin Liu is a magnificent end to a magnificent trilogy. And it’s long, much longer than the other two books, but it does not drag and caps the tale with a ending that is unexpected and ultimately satisfying. In put of a western mad-dash of action and heroism. Death’s End is contemplative, thoughtful and exciting in it’s own quite e book starts off with a most unconventional love story; but don’t allow that fool you, Death’s End is, as with the other books, packed full of [email protected]#$% science and twisting waves of crisis and joy. The Dark Forest hangs massive over the Earth and forces humanity to create hard choices. Things go wrong, thing go right, but as time goes by, the chance of a Dark Forest attack grows. The people of earth create sacrifices, and more often than not, sacrifice the wrong things. Victories come and go, but as with the defeats, they are short lived and death lurks in the darkened depths of the universe. For all our history and power and brains, the people of earth are but babes in the woods, flailing and making to much noise, unaware of the creatures that live among the distant trees.Having read the trilogy straight through, I search the Ken Liu translations are my favorite, and I was surprised how various the voice was between the two translators. I think they should’ve asked Ken Liu to translate all three. But I am sure Ken had projects and deadlines of his xin Liu is a perfect story teller. And this book, much as the other books, had politics and philosophy at its heart; and like the other books, Mr. Liu leaves the answers up for debate. It was also about responsibility. Responsibility, to ones self, to ones fellow man and to the universe at large. But most of all, the book was about love. And that was the most unexpected peace of all. Behind all the science and aliens and disasters, love flowed through the pages. In some cases, it was a love that killed, and by killing saved others. In some cases, it was a love that saved, but ended up destroying. In some cases, it was a love that denied the consequences of it action and paid the price. Buy most of all, for me at least, it was the love life and it fragility that struck home. In a month or so, I may have to read the trilogy again; there is more there, I can feel it.If you read the first book, and were place of by the second, power through, because Death’s end is worth our time.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    One of the best SF ever, it plots a universe that is outside of the realm of my imagination. After reading the second book in this trilogy, I began to worry about the future of earth in the dark universe, what would happen if the position is exposed to aliens? The dark forest gives a reasonable respond to the Fermi paradox, a cruel but relatively quiet universe; but here the author presents the universe in a more dark way, the one that I hope is not true: the universe is crueler than a forest, it is a battlefield, and the opponents are not waiting for us to present up, they are there looking for us. The advanced alien civilizations have no willing to support other civilizations with lower levels of science and technology; they only wish to destroy these exposed civilizations to avoid any potential risks. After reading the death’s end, I now start to worry about the Arecibo message…This book is not only full of ideas, but talks about love, responsibility, choice, and humanity. I like this book so much though it depicts a cruel ending. The hopeless feeling is not good, but I think this feeling in reading is the value of this book as a science fiction, after all, it is only a story, which demonstrates the worst case; and the future of the earth, I believe, will be much brighter if we could learn something from the book. In the end, I would like to quote the author’s aphorism, the one I like most (Page 497):“Weakness and ignorance are not barriers to survival, but arrogance is.”

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    When I learned Mr. Liu was writing a third installment to the "Three Body Problem" story, I was worried that the effect would suffer from "sequel syndrome": a publisher / fans pressuring the author to "make it a trilogy" with a disappointing third book, despite the tale having ended in a totally satisfying method with book two. I'm delighted to report I was absolutely wrong, and that I enjoyed "Death's End" as much as, if not more than, "The Dark Forest" -- an extremely tough act to follow. It's all hard sci-fi, but unlike anything else in the genre I have read: not only are the characters and scope of the story original and hard to forget, but Liu's inventive storytelling style turns the physics itself into one of the most fascinating players in the story. There is plenty of meat to this story, and I'm now thoroughly enjoying a second read-through, as Liu has (purposefully?) written in a lot of info which are only fully understandable later in the story (what does the opening tale about the witch in Constantinople have to do with anything? what does the fairy tale about the princess and the paintings mean? and what really drove Yang Dong in book one to suicide, anyway...) As in Dark Forest, there's a chess-game like struggle with the Trisolarans, complete with human protagonists who create tough ethical choices, sometimes resolved in ways that surprise the Western reader. Multiple universes, dark matter, lightspeed travel, coolest use of the planet Pluto, plus easily the coolest weapon of mass destruction I've seen in all of sci-fi. I don't think a book 4 is possible, but at this point, I wouldn't place it past Mr. Liu. Bravo!

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    Beadalon Remembrance Memory Wire, 1 oz. review []  2019-12-11 18:25

    Perfect product!I was sick of buying the thinner wire at local stores that don't have the gauge listed on the packaging. Maddening!!This was exactly what I had been looking for, for years. I had several packages of that thin crap (that yes, has its uses, but not what I wanted) and had to double it to create a few bracelets which was very clumsy to work is .36"-0.91mm Massive duty gauge holds the alternating sized beads that I place on bracelets that wrap 4-6 times around the wrist. The lighter items just wasn't sturdy enough to keep its shape and was 'floppy' or cheesy to wear, hence, the clumsy doubling of wire in order to obtain the feel I wanted.I ordered about a year and a half ago, I recommend this wire for memory bracelets and will be ordering more soon.

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    Beadalon Remembrance Memory Wire, 1 oz. review []  2019-12-11 18:25

    Perfect! This is continuous SS memory wire (think of a “slinky”); I have control of length I need for a project. It is NOT in multiple segments. It is NOT soft, aluminum or mixed soft metals.

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    Beadalon Remembrance Memory Wire, 1 oz. review []  2019-12-11 18:25

    Love the Wire. It is just unbelievable for memory bracelets. I love the quality of the wire (stainless steel) and will hold its shape for YEARS to come. The quantity of the product is amazing also. Have created several stuff from the 1 package. It is a definitely a product that I will be using in the future...time and time again. thank you!

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    Beadalon Remembrance Memory Wire, 1 oz. review []  2019-12-11 18:25

    These are amazing for making memory wire bracelets. Highly recommend Beadalon!

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    Beadalon Remembrance Memory Wire, 1 oz. review []  2019-12-11 18:25

    I like everything about this memory wire!

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    Beadalon Remembrance Memory Wire, 1 oz. review []  2019-12-11 18:25

    It was exactly what I required and arrived quickly.

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    Beadalon Remembrance Memory Wire, 1 oz. review []  2019-12-11 18:25

    Always quality products...and I'll continue to order from Beadalon!

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    Beadalon Remembrance Memory Wire, 1 oz. review []  2019-12-11 18:25

    I have a unique cutter to chop memory wire and it barely was able to chop it. It does not bend easily so it's almost impossible to bend the ends. If using this wire I would suggest using end tained it shape when holding huge beads.

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    Beadalon Remembrance Memory Wire, 1 oz. review []  2019-12-11 18:25

    It’s beautiful thick so you have to use the right cutters but it served my bracelet making purposes.

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    Beadalon Remembrance Memory Wire, 1 oz. review []  2019-12-11 18:25

    Very sturdy. In fact to sturdy. You have to have muscles to obtain it to bend on the end. I've worked with memory wire before, but not like this. You have to war with it to do anything. I wouldn't recommend it.

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    Hölderlin's Hymn "Remembrance" (Studies in Continental Thought) review []  2020-1-22 19:6

    This translation is gorgeous! Truly a celebration! The translation of this book greets us with a clear and deep intimacy. Hölderlin’s poetry speaks out of such a depth that it cannot support but be seen by a lot of as madness. Yet, the thinking which makes its method to us – as if over slow foot bridges – through this translation is eminently lucid. That is to say, the translation pervasively attunes the entirety of Heidegger’s Lecture Course on Hölderlin’s hymn “Remembrance,” not as some historiographical research that floats in a vacuum but as something wholly be-fitting that festively springs forth. Indeed, the happening of this translation commemorates the thinking of Heidegger’s celebration of Hölderlin’s n’t know Hölderlin (1770-1843)? Test this on for size:"What is all that men have done and thought over thousands of years, compared with one moment of love? But in all Nature too, it is what is nearest to perfection, what is most divinely beautiful! There all stairs lead from the threshold of life. From there we come, to there we go.”~Hölderlin, Hyperion; or, The Hermit in Greece (excerpt). “Who the deepest has thoughtloves what is most alive.”~Hölderlin, Epigram from stly, look how lucidly this translation renders Heidegger: “It is from the proper essence of thinking that we may also first come to know the essence of ‘thoughts,’ and that means, what ‘spirit’ is.” (p. 48).And, “Suspicions and objections have been raised that what is being discussed here… is not to be found there at all. I ask in response: what is to be found there, then? What does it mean that this is to be found there in a text, and that is not? What does the researcher into nature see in the microscope? Maybe something correct, if he undertakes careful observation. But is the correct, which he sees there, already the real – that which lies before us and is to be found there and awaits us? It may thus seem as though here, too… we have merely proceeded arbitrarily, indeed violently.” (p. 66).“‘Clarity of presentation’ here signifies the essence of the truth of the poetic. The poetic, however, is the essential ground for the method in which the human being dwells upon this Earth, in order that he may be at home in what is his own. ‘Free use’ therefore also refers to something other than merely the unconstrained employment of a tool. ‘Free use’ means to stand openly in the begin realm of the essence of poetizing and its truth, and thereby to know what it is that is to be poetized.” (p. 155).

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    Celebrating a Life: Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances review [Book]  2018-4-21 18:0

    This is a amazing book for someone who has no idea on how to plan a memorial service. It has some useful hints and did support me tie up some loose ends so I am glad I purchased it. I had a primary idea of what I wanted in our Celebration of Life so this book was a nice supplement to that.

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    Celebrating a Life: Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances review [Book]  2018-4-21 18:0

    Helpful ideas when planning a celebration of life. Between this book and Pinterest, you'll come up with the excellent celebration.

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    Celebrating a Life: Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances review [Book]  2018-4-21 18:0

    Purchased this prior to my husbands death. He did not wish a funeral and this gave memany amazing ideas on how to plan his Celebration of Life. So glad I did. It was a joyous occasion.

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    Celebrating a Life: Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances review [Book]  2018-4-21 18:0

    I had no idea how to go about planning a non-religious celebration of life for our mother who died recently. It was reassuring to search a e memorial itself went very smoothly, and we received a lot of compliments from guests.

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    Celebrating a Life: Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances review [Book]  2018-4-21 18:0

    Not as amazing of a reference as I though it would be.

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    Celebrating a Life: Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances review [Book]  2018-4-21 18:0

    It has all the information required to plan a service. I'm not very far into it yet but it looks very helpful so far.

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    Celebrating a Life: Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances review [Book]  2018-4-21 18:0

    A very thoughtful, helpful book.

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    Celebrating a Life: Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances review [Book]  2018-4-21 18:0

    The book gives some thought provoking ideas on making latest arrangements; I was already aware of most of the suggestions having been a social worker with disabled and vulnerable adults, and hospice volunteer who was with clients in their final hours. However for someone fresh to death and dying this might be more helpful. All in all, I did obtain a couple of ideas for my mother's funeral.

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    Celebrating a Life: Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances review [Book]  2018-4-21 18:0

    Every family should have this small book on the bookshelf for when they need it. I want I'd had this straight-forward, thoughtful and simple to follow resource when I was planning the memorial service for my mother. Faith Moore gracefully takes the reader through the different options available to people who want to plan their own services, or to support the bereaved make a remembrance celebration that they feel does honor and justice to their loved e is also a workbook, helping us sort through our feelings and wishes about a subject that no one really wants to tackle, yet all of us must at some time. So, why not do so with the guidance of a compassionate, careful expert like this author?

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    Celebrating a Life: Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances review [Book]  2018-4-21 18:0

    There are some amazing ideas and inspiring material in this book. I was looking forward to reading it, but was slightly disappointed probably because my career was in marketing and I already had some ideas to plan my event. I'm sure Celebrating a Life will be very helpful to a lot of people and it will inspire them in their planning of a party or memorial.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 3) review []  2020-1-8 18:49

    Death’s End. The title of the final installment gives away what is coming, but whose death? You need to travel an unimaginably long and jaw-dropping journey to search out who/what ceased to exist. Mr. Liu Cixin – or “Big Liu”, a fond nickname invented by his fans in China – now is not only the best sci-fi writer from China, but also one of the best on member how far we have come from? The whole story started in around 1960s as China went through a horrible period of political turmoil. When senseless mobs beat a small girl’s father to death in public, her faith in humanity was shaken and lost. Her solution was to seek support from species of other planets, thus changing the course of humanity. As a effect numerous lives were lost in the ensuing wars and conflicts. But two unlikely heroes came to rescue – Mr. Luo Ji devised a method to blackmail and diffuse the Trisolarian invasion, and Mr. Zhang Beihai managed to save and plant a human seed far away from the Earth.Did both tactics work? The Death’s End provides the final answer. The main hero of the third book is another woman (Ms. Cheng Xin). She is intelligent but weak, and the choice she created in this book will be long debated among the Three-Body fans. But does it really matter at the end? It appears that, regardless of her choice, the fate of humanity was inevitably sealed. I will say this, that two women, Ye Wenjie in book one and Cheng Xin in book three, beautiful much decided the course and the ending (a feminism analysis of Huge Liu is due).There are so a lot of refreshing gems in the Death’s End that makes the book irresistible. For example, how to send a communication device to Trisolaris but the device must have minimum amount of weight and can survive long distance of zone travel? Huge Liu’s respond was plainly crazy yet sensible. For example, Huge Liu rebranded himself temporarily and inserted a long and intriguing fairytale, yes, you are reading this correctly, a fairytale about how an evil prince stealing the throne of a kingdom and a princess fighting back. Finally, a stupendous weapon called the “dual vector foil”. I don’t wish to elaborate. Let’s just say that if you are still reading my comment here, you are not affected by this weapon (yet).Besides sci-fi and fairytales, Huge Liu clearly likes to write detective stories, which are dotted throughout this book series. Book one began with a scientist trying to figure out what was wrong with his vision and who was behind all the suicides of other scientists. Book two had a massive dose of mouse-and-cat android game between wallfacers and wallbreakers. Book three involved a lot of experts (scientists, intelligence officers, and professors in literature) trying to decipher the real meaning of the fairytale. These plots will hold you guessing and add additional ly, the ending. So much happened while ions went by in the final pages. I remember a lot of people complaining about the slow pace of book one. When u reach the end of book three, u will instead suffer whiplashes. I had to turn back and go over a lot of pages again asking what the F is going and trying to create sense of what is happening. Suffice to say that it is a finish that I have never seen it before in any sci-fi literature. Probably the GRANDEST and the MOST INSANE ending of all.Go read it, and begin to marvel and tremble.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 3) review []  2020-1-8 18:49

    Plenty has been written about the extraordinary imaginativeness and story-telling prowess of Liu Cixin in this thought-provoking book. Having just finished the trilogy after just over a week of obsessive reading, I’ll share a few thoughts as a means of decompressing from this harrowing epic.I read the first two volumes in Chinese and the third in English, mainly because it became too labored an effort to read the transliterated foreign proper nouns and technical words in Chinese (for me, anyway), and I can attest to the quality of the translation and its loyalty to the original. It felt as if I read all three books seamlessly in the same language. Although certain things are inevitably lost in translation, Ken Liu, as an accomplished writer himself, certainly compensated for the loss with innovations of his own. My only complaint has to do with certain word choices. For example, pinnace and dinghy are perhaps neither familiar to most readers nor appropriate terms for astronautic vehicles, and at times certain passages are unnecessarily grandiloquent while at others overly casual when exploring scientific and philosophical concepts. I was especially dismayed that the end of a fairy tale in the story opted for a word-for-word translation instead of “and they lived happily ever after,” despite that’s exactly what the source material means, and it was the only moment that I felt like I was reading a is necessary to point out that although the three books complete the same story arc in a mostly chronological order, they involve very various scale, scope, and more importantly, themes. Emotionally, each book is fully resolved at the end. In this regard, the first book, though a thorough page turner and champion of the Hugo Award, perhaps has the least depth of the major theme of the first book is certainly the existential crisis that can arise out of either failure to grasp reality or loss of faith in humanity, and the second book inverts that theme to become the humanity’s shifting beliefs in reality and faith when faced with a crisis of existence. Death’s End, on the other hand, annihilates any notion that we may have of both crisis and mantic love evolves along with the installments. The Three Body Issue has a cynical notion of love, and the stories of different marriages are marked by betrayal, indifference, and lovelessness. In Dark Forest, love is an ideal that ultimately proves to be an illusion. In Death’s End, love is concrete with cosmic consequences, yet at the same times becomes the most elusive and utterly e narrative structure of Death’s End is also various compared to the previous two books. It doesn’t have the air of mystery of The Three Body Issue that is imposed by an unknown entity, or the intentional concealment of Dark Forest that plays smoothly into the Wallfacer Project. Instead, the story unfolds in a straightforward manner, but every decision created has far reaching consequences that you may not see for hundreds of pages, which in turn are foretold by min info before they are revealed. There is one subtle but brilliant point a third into the book where the Trisolaran emissary sadistically admonishes the forlorn protagonist that the universe is not a fairy tale. It may seem like a mundane cliché by a cartoonish villain, but this point ties together the entire e latest installment, like the previous two, pays ample homage to other works of science fiction, sometimes covertly. It is interesting, however, that Liu also subverts elements from his prior stories in the trilogy. Similarly, Ball Lightening, of which a weaponized ver is mentioned repeatedly in the second book, is an earlier eponymous novel of his. Three short stories come to mind: The Wandering Earth, The Rural Teacher, and a third one that may reveal too much plot by its title alone. The Wandering Earth tells the story of a human society that tries to escape the Sun that is shifting out of main sequence unexpectedly early by making Earth itself into a giant spaceship in order to fly to, ironically, Alpha Centauri, the Trisolaran home world. A specific object that appeared in The Wandering Earth is mentioned twice in Death's End, and becomes a strong symbol at the very end of the novel. The Rural Teacher also deals with a fertile universe and the destruction of stellar systems, but unlike the Dark Forest, that universe is much more benevolent toward ven the limited scope of the first book and the impeded scientific progress in the second, Death’s End is the only part of the trilogy to expansively discover frontier scientific ideas. The scientific foundations of the book are mostly solid and airtight, even when it feels dubious as observed by characters. Artistic licenses are only taken when it involves speculations far beyond even the frontiers of our current scientific understanding. However, one problematic aspect has to do with traveling and manipulating objects in four-dimensional space, as the novel implies that distance in 3D zone can be shortened by traveling in the fourth dimension, which is incompatible with orthogonality of dimensions in the Euclidean part of space-time, and there is no metric shortening of the lower-dimensional distance by traveling in any direction in the higher-dimensional space. Of course, it is certainly possible that the local geometry of said fictional zone is e author does a superb job confounding the philosophical center of the books with a very comprehensive treatment of the various beliefs in science, society, politics, religion, gender, human nature, life, etc., both through an interspersed objective omniscient narrator and through the subjective thoughts of opaque characters. Indeed, there is no real villainy in the trilogy, even when we’re dealing with genocidal alien invaders and mundicidal star destroyers. However, there remains a palpable degree of ethnocentrism and, more problematically, androcentrism that belies the author's ambitious huge picture of cosmic proportions. Though the male gaze is prevalent in the first and second books, it nonetheless reflects the inner worlds of the male protagonists, if not the author himself, from an exceedingly patriarchal society. Yet what Liu perceives to be the difference between “masculine” and “feminine” values cannot be reconciled even at cosmic scales, despite the author’s clear intention to absolve and diminish all sins, aggression and weakness alike, in the grand schemes of the Dark Forest universe. It is disappointing, but y critics think that Death’s End is the best of the trilogy, including the translator. I disagree. Liu has written three entirely special books out of the same story, one may even argue that they’re written in three various genres, and each succeeds and excels on its own equal footing. Nonetheless, Death’s End is the grandest, and it will blow your mind.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 3) review []  2020-1-8 18:49

    With its completion with Death’s End, I can now say that the Remembrance of Earth’s Past is my all-time favorite science fiction series (says the noob of a sci fi fan). It opens just like you would expect the final volume of an insanely ambitious hard science fiction series to open, with a magician offering to support the emperor prevent the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. Wait, what? This has never been a series interested in hewing to convention. And so we obtain a story spanning a few million years (specifically, 1453 – 18906416).“Once, ancient Romans had whistled in their grand, magnificent baths, thinking that their empire, like the granite that created up the walls of the pools in which they floated, would latest forever. No banquet was eternal. Everything had an end. Everything.”(SPOILERS for the first two books in the Remembrance of Earth’s Past series below.)Did I say that Death’s End is insanely ambitious? It purports to encompass most of the history of humanity, and of the universe, within its scope. And, indeed, all things must end. But nor is “life . . . nothing but a fragile, thin, soft shell clinging to the surface of this planet.” As another work of science fiction place it, “Life finds a way.”After a prologue that is bizarre and kind of amazing and strictly not necessary, and a brief interlude with Yang Dong shortly before she commits suicide, the story proper opens shortly after the Trisolaris invasion fleet becomes public knowledge (the Crisis Era). Yun Tianming is a sad sack, a loner, an entirely undistinguished scientist. But the thread of his life has the possibility to play a greater role in the pattern of human history when it comes back into contact with his college crush, Cheng Tianming is a bit of a head fake. Cheng Xin is not only Death’s End protagonist, but is far more central to the story, heck, to the entire series, than any of the characters from the first two books. Cheng Xin is, in at least one way, the best protagonist in the series. That is, she is the most memorable. Not the best, but she is the easiest to hold distinct in your mind as a character. Or at least that was my experience. She is no Luo Ji, though. The Trisolarans are right—Luo Ji is a mighty warrior. We do see Luo Ji again, but Cheng Xin’s story dominates the book in a method that Wang Miao and Luo Ji never e Wallfacer project isn’t the UN’s only response to the Trisolarans. Cheng Xin becomes a part of the parallel Staircase Program. The Staircase Program ultimately settles on a truly science fictional idea—using nuclear pulse propulsion to send a frozen brain light years through space.“At the same time, in Russia and China, Topol and Deongfeng missiles were also rising in the sky. The stage resembled a doomsday scenario, but Cheng Xin could tell by the curvature of the rocket trails that these were orbital launches instead of intercontinental strikes. These devices, which could have killed billions, would never return to the surface of the Earth. They would pool their enormous power to accelerate a feather to 1 percent of the speed of light.”We’re not going to spend the entire book stuck back in the Crisis Era, though. The same hibernation Luo Ji took advantage of in The Dark Forest is available to Cheng Xin, and she makes amazing use of it. When she first reawakens, Luo Ji singlehandedly holds the Trisolarans at bay as Swordholder. He wields Dark Forest deterrence.Ok, now this is REALLY SPOILER location for The Dark Forest. In The Dark Forest, humans discovered why the universe is so quiet. Given an infinite number of stars, there are infinite habitable planets, infinite civilizations, infinite supercivilizations, and infinite supercivilizations that view any smart life as a potential threat. And if you’re a supercivilization, you don’t need to build a system the size of a little moon to destroy a planet.“‘Dark forest attacks all share two qualities: one, they’re casual, two they’re economical.’ ‘Elaborate, please.’ ‘These attacks are not part of some interstellar war, but a matter of conveniently eliminating possible threats. By “casual,” what I mean is that the only basis for the attack is the exposure of the target’s location. There will be no reconnaissance or exploration conducted versus the target beforehand. For a supercivilization, such exploration is more expensive than a blind strike. By “economical,” what I mean is that the attack will employ the least expensive method: using a small, worthless projectile to trigger the destructive potential already show in the target star system.’”At least now we know what happened to the Moon in Seveneves.If that doesn’t sound poor enough, things obtain ath’s End continues and expands on the best aspect of The Dark Forest—balls-to-the-wall crazy science, and lots of it. There are large zone cities. “[A] regular cylinder that stimulated gravity with the centrifugal force generated by spinning. With a length of seven kilometers, its useable interior surface zone was 659 square kilometers, about half the sizes of ancient Beijing. Once, about twenty million inhabitants had lived here.” There are a few dozen more, like that or not. There is light speed travel. Well, near-light speed travel—“If there really were a Creator, the only thing he welded shut in all Creation was the speed of light.” And then there are antimatter weapons, artificial black holes, multiple dimensions, a circumsolar particle accelerator, and, for lack of a better word, vacuoles.But the Remembrance of Earth’s Past series has always been science fiction with a capital SCIENCE. Not only does Death’s End have a more relatable protagonist. It has, by a fair margin, the best writing of the series, especially the pacing and plotting. Liu (The Lius?) can throw out a hell of a wham line. “Tianming, did you know that the euthanasia law was passed specifically for you?”By the way, the Trisolarans create amazing villains (I’m not so sure they qualify as antagonists; the antagonist is more often physics and humanity’s current understanding of it.) They aren’t wantonly cruel, but they give as small thought to humanity’s pain as the wolf gives that of the sheep. One trend in modern villainy I’ve really come to search annoying is the poor guy going out of his method to present just how EVUL he is. Think Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham killing Guy of Gisbourne for small to no reason. In reality, even despots need allies. Apropos, I just finished reading a biography of King John. He had a distinct tendency toward cruelty, and it created him a weak king. Tywin Lannister wouldn’t have been the most feared man in England, he would have been the most hated, and it would have cost him power. One of the high marks for Amazon’s Sneaky Pete is that the poor guy played by Bryan Cranston is so rational, which doesn’t stop him from being evil but does create him a much more risky foe. Ok, digression e Remembrance of Earth’s Past has always been chock full of social commentary, albeit rarely of the Anvilicious sort (perhaps aided by the language and cultural barriers). He sees environment as having an enormous influence on human society, and humans also as being prone to cyclical thinking reacting versus the past as much as the environment. Thus humanity vacillates wildly: “The repressive militaristic uniformity of the Amazing Ravine; the optimism and romanticism of the latter half of the Crisis Era; the hedonistic freedom and indolence of the Deterrence Era.” Like Joe Haldeman in The Forever War, Liu touches on the idea of a trend toward feminization. Men in the Deterrence Era are so feminine that Cheng Xin initially doesn’t realize that they are men. Liu seems to tie this directly to a “half century of peace and ease brought about by the Deterrence Era [that] accelerated the trend.” When things obtain hard again later, the trend reverses. I’m not so sure. It is perhaps no accident that Haldeman and Liu are both men. If you don’t think “masculinity, as traditionally defined, [i]s considered an ideal,” just pick up a romance novel. Any era that makes Mike Rowe a sex symbol still puts a premium on masculinity.I search Death’s End, and the series in general, most fascinating, though, as a product of atheism. Not just a work influenced by atheism, or the product of an atheist (I have no idea if Cixin Liu is or isn’t), but a work that is the product of an atheistic society. And not just in the more direct ways it addresses religion (“The discovery of the dark forest state of the universe was a giant blow to most major religions, especially Christianity”). Or even Cheng Xin repeatedly playing the role of either Eve or Messiah (“I wish to tell all those who believe in God that I am not the Chosen One. I also wish to tell all the atheists that I am not a history-maker. I am but an ordinary person.”)I distinguish between a work written by an atheist and the product of an atheistic society because works written by Western atheists, especially American atheists, are still working from essentially a Judeo-Christian perspective. Even if they are reacting versus it, their work can still be defined in relation to it. The typical nihilism in modern storytelling, then, is an act of rebellion that we can test to rationalize away—for there to be a rebellion, there must be a dominant order. The nihilism of Death’s End, on the other hand, is pervasive, and thus terrifying. Other books are dark in a method that makes you satisfied you can set them aside and return to normal life after you’re done reading. The darkness of Death’s End is fundamental, and reaches beyond the four corners of the book. The Trisolaran threat, the threat of a Dark Forest strike, the mindboggling timescale, zone itself, all serve to reinforce that underlying nihilism. After all, is there anything more frightening than zone to the atheist? They look up and see not the glory of God’s creation but instead an infinite emptiness creating ever more oppressive loneliness. Liu returns to it, again and again.“Death is the only lighthouse that is always lit.”“The kid that was human civilization had opened the door to her home and glanced outside. The endless night terrified her so much that she shuddered versus the expansive and profound darkness, and shut the door firmly.”“She finally understood how she was but a mote of dust in a grand wind, a little leaf drifting over a broad river.”But because I could not so easily dismiss it, I was left wondering as I read the book, and am left wondering still today weeks after finishing it, whether it meant as hopeful. Keynes was right. “In the long run we are all dead.” Toggle the end date for your book far enough and you’ll obtain there. Even the Bible ends with Revelation. Humanity escapes catastrophe miraculously, but it’s going to obtain us all eventually.And so we return to the opaque allegory of Cheng Xin, our Eve and Messiah. Is she savior of bringer of destruction? Is her weakness a damnation of us or merely of herself? Is it even really weakness at all?

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 3) review []  2020-1-8 18:49

    It's hard to know where to start talking about The Three-Body Problem trilogy (officially known as the Remembrance of Earth's Past series), a truly staggering piece of science-fiction written by Chinese author Cixin Liu and translated to English by Ken Liu and Joel Martinsen (Liu did books 1 and 3, while Martinsen did 2). A trilogy that spans literally thousands of years, deals with quantum physics, android game theory, sociology, religion, zone exploration, zone colonization, and more, all driven by the nature of first contact with alien intelligence - there's a lot going on in this series, and that's before you begin realizing just how much Cixin (reminder: Chinese names are traditionally written with the family name first and the given name second) truly takes on the advanced science of his ideas. And yet, when you [email protected]#$%!, you realize that you've read something truly wonderful - a piece of hard science-fiction whose ambition, scope, richness, and ideas are impossible not to search yourself thinking about for days ath's End, the series' final volume, feels like yet another shift in the series, just as The Dark Forest was a shift from The Three-Body Problem. Because if the first two volumes were about how we come to terms with the fact that we're not alone in the universe, the final volume is about what it's like to realize that you - and every other civilization that's ever lived - are limited in your time, and might one day have no choice but to end?Once again using the previous book as a launching point, Death's End takes on the uneasy stalemate we were left with, but watches as things shift quickly out of control in the exact method the end of The Dark Forest feared they might. Just like the others, Death's End is undeniably the final part of this saga, but it feels like its own book, giving us another fresh central hero and a very various tone, one that finds itself wondering which is more important: survival or morality? And as usual, Cixin doesn't believe in simple answers.Spanning even more time than the other books, Death's End unfolds on an epic scale, as humanity tries to search a method to prevent itself from being viewed as a threat by the rest of the galaxy. But is the sacrifice worth it - in other words, is safety so necessary that we should cripple ourselves as a race? Do we escape and leave our planet behind, setting out as nomads across the galaxy? Or do we test to intimidate others, showing that we're not to be messed with? Death's End deals with these questions as it has in the other novels, diving into the science, the android game theory, and the objections, and giving readers the sense that sometimes, there are no simple answers to be deed, what's so compelling about Death's End is the main character, who takes choices that so often feel like the wrong ones for a situation - I often found myself almost screaming at her for being wrong...and yet, you understand why she's doing them, and can almost agree. Where do we draw the line between survival and being a monster? What's acceptable to do in order to save ourselves? And does it truly matter, on a huge enough time scale?Over the course of Death's End, Cixin draws all of the series' different threads into focus thematically, making it clear that this is a series about recontextualizing our put in the universe and how we would react to that. But he's done so, once again, by focusing on a little group of characters, advanced and thoughtful explorations of science and philosophy, and a story that's engrossing on both the macro and micro level. And while the series comes to an appropriately complex, epic ending, I love how even to the end, Cixin makes it equally about the larger questions and about these characters and the choices they have to create - and their own emotional stakes as explain this series is a difficult challenge, to place it mildly. This is a series that spans a large amount of time, deals with advanced scientific concepts in complex terms, grapples with rich philosophical and political ideas, debates questions without simple answers, and gives you a scope that can be daunting. It's a story of alien invasions, yes, but one in which the action sequences we're so used to are replaced with existential dread, a rethinking of our own lives, and a fear of the unknown that's hard to quantify. It's also the story of people caught up in these times, trying to give themselves a amazing life while never forgetting the larger questions of their era, and juggling their own fears with fears for humanity. In other words, it's what hard science-fiction is amazing at - thoughtful questions, huge ideas, and speculation, all of which change the method you think about the is series is a truly wonderful achievement, one that honestly left me a bit staggered and reeling as I attempt to think about it all, but one that I love all the more for what it accomplishes. If you're a hard science-fiction fan, or simply someone who loves dealing with the complex ramifications of common ideas, this is a must read series. I've never read anything like it in my life, and I'm a richer person for the ideas it's inspired me to think about.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 3) review []  2020-1-8 18:49

    One of the most difficult things about "hard science" SF is that a lot of of the unique, ground-breaking physics ideas have been explored by prior writers, futurists and/or real-world theoretical physicists. Clearly, this trilogy includes echoes and whispers from all three groups. But it also includes a new set of physical theories that keep together within the context of the author-built universe. FTL travel and effects, characteristics of dimension changes, "physics as a weapon" are only a e trilogy was not without it's problems, however. The characters, for the most part, were weakly developed and one-dimensional. The latest female protagonist would not be my first choice to carry forward our genotype and clearly she doesn't exhibit anything close to the heroic qualities that a lot of of us admire. We might have done better with a e physics hung together, for the most part. However, I was promised (by Chinese readers) a resolution of the physics supporting perpendicular vector changes for the "teardrop" in novel 3. It wasn't there. There were other physical phenomena mentioned, then quickly glossed over. I mention this only to allow the readers of this review know that, while this was a amazing novel, it wasn't perfect. It has holes. Whether that is necessary to you or not, you may judge for initial thoughts after reading the book is that it has successfully accomplished what most authors strive for: a change in the readers' perceptions of the external globe and a reconsideration of the belief constructs of the readers' inner worlds. I would have to say that Remembrance, is the best hard science fiction trilogy that I've read in the latest 30 years from a science perspective, with Book 3 being the best of the lot.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 3) review []  2020-1-8 18:49

    Wow....beautiful, mind blowing, awe inspiring, and heart breaking. My review could never do justice to the grand scale laid out in these books. This is the kind of story you finish and then need to sit down and process what you've just experienced. My one gripe was the ending was sudden and I wasn't expecting it to be over at that point but I can't complain too much. With all that the author has given us with this series I can forgive him for leaving a few things to the imagination. Also, it should be said that this is not a satisfied book. In fact, it might be the most melancholy work of science fiction I have ever read. Thinking about this story is like picking at a scab for me...I wish to stop ruminating on it but at the same time I don't wish to, or maybe I cant. My latest word to anyone reading this review is: Pick up this series at your own risk. It will dominate your thoughts and most likely create every other work of science fiction you read seem trite and superficial.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 3) review []  2020-1-8 18:49

    I'm a hardcore sci-fi fan and this series, especially this finale, is without compare. I'm sitting here trying to think of anything to compare it to but there's really nothing. Everything you expect after reading the first books gets thrown out the window by the second, and it only continues into this one. There were few points in this series where I felt at all confident in any predictions I was making, and I was right to feel that method because I was almost always wrong. The deep physics in this series will please the more scientific readers, but this is a deeply human story. It's poignant and heart-wrenching and everything science fiction should be. I doubt I'll ever read anything that will impact me in the same method this series did.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 3) review []  2020-1-8 18:49

    Death’s End by Cixin Liu is a magnificent end to a magnificent trilogy. And it’s long, much longer than the other two books, but it does not drag and caps the tale with a ending that is unexpected and ultimately satisfying. In put of a western mad-dash of action and heroism. Death’s End is contemplative, thoughtful and exciting in it’s own quite e book starts off with a most unconventional love story; but don’t allow that fool you, Death’s End is, as with the other books, packed full of [email protected]#$% science and twisting waves of crisis and joy. The Dark Forest hangs massive over the Earth and forces humanity to create hard choices. Things go wrong, thing go right, but as time goes by, the chance of a Dark Forest attack grows. The people of earth create sacrifices, and more often than not, sacrifice the wrong things. Victories come and go, but as with the defeats, they are short lived and death lurks in the darkened depths of the universe. For all our history and power and brains, the people of earth are but babes in the woods, flailing and making to much noise, unaware of the creatures that live among the distant trees.Having read the trilogy straight through, I search the Ken Liu translations are my favorite, and I was surprised how various the voice was between the two translators. I think they should’ve asked Ken Liu to translate all three. But I am sure Ken had projects and deadlines of his xin Liu is a perfect story teller. And this book, much as the other books, had politics and philosophy at its heart; and like the other books, Mr. Liu leaves the answers up for debate. It was also about responsibility. Responsibility, to ones self, to ones fellow man and to the universe at large. But most of all, the book was about love. And that was the most unexpected peace of all. Behind all the science and aliens and disasters, love flowed through the pages. In some cases, it was a love that killed, and by killing saved others. In some cases, it was a love that saved, but ended up destroying. In some cases, it was a love that denied the consequences of it action and paid the price. Buy most of all, for me at least, it was the love life and it fragility that struck home. In a month or so, I may have to read the trilogy again; there is more there, I can feel it.If you read the first book, and were place of by the second, power through, because Death’s end is worth our time.

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 3) review []  2020-1-8 18:49

    One of the best SF ever, it plots a universe that is outside of the realm of my imagination. After reading the second book in this trilogy, I began to worry about the future of earth in the dark universe, what would happen if the position is exposed to aliens? The dark forest gives a reasonable respond to the Fermi paradox, a cruel but relatively quiet universe; but here the author presents the universe in a more dark way, the one that I hope is not true: the universe is crueler than a forest, it is a battlefield, and the opponents are not waiting for us to present up, they are there looking for us. The advanced alien civilizations have no willing to support other civilizations with lower levels of science and technology; they only wish to destroy these exposed civilizations to avoid any potential risks. After reading the death’s end, I now start to worry about the Arecibo message…This book is not only full of ideas, but talks about love, responsibility, choice, and humanity. I like this book so much though it depicts a cruel ending. The hopeless feeling is not good, but I think this feeling in reading is the value of this book as a science fiction, after all, it is only a story, which demonstrates the worst case; and the future of the earth, I believe, will be much brighter if we could learn something from the book. In the end, I would like to quote the author’s aphorism, the one I like most (Page 497):“Weakness and ignorance are not barriers to survival, but arrogance is.”

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    Death's End (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 3) review []  2020-1-8 18:49

    When I learned Mr. Liu was writing a third installment to the "Three Body Problem" story, I was worried that the effect would suffer from "sequel syndrome": a publisher / fans pressuring the author to "make it a trilogy" with a disappointing third book, despite the tale having ended in a totally satisfying method with book two. I'm delighted to report I was absolutely wrong, and that I enjoyed "Death's End" as much as, if not more than, "The Dark Forest" -- an extremely tough act to follow. It's all hard sci-fi, but unlike anything else in the genre I have read: not only are the characters and scope of the story original and hard to forget, but Liu's inventive storytelling style turns the physics itself into one of the most fascinating players in the story. There is plenty of meat to this story, and I'm now thoroughly enjoying a second read-through, as Liu has (purposefully?) written in a lot of info which are only fully understandable later in the story (what does the opening tale about the witch in Constantinople have to do with anything? what does the fairy tale about the princess and the paintings mean? and what really drove Yang Dong in book one to suicide, anyway...) As in Dark Forest, there's a chess-game like struggle with the Trisolarans, complete with human protagonists who create tough ethical choices, sometimes resolved in ways that surprise the Western reader. Multiple universes, dark matter, lightspeed travel, coolest use of the planet Pluto, plus easily the coolest weapon of mass destruction I've seen in all of sci-fi. I don't think a book 4 is possible, but at this point, I wouldn't place it past Mr. Liu. Bravo!

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    The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 2) review []  2020-1-19 20:28

    I have been reading science fiction for over forty years. I think I have had a broad exposure to all forms of the genre during that period. After a brief hiatus, several years ago I dove back in; focusing on some of the newer authors, and have been very happy with most of my selections. I test to read most of the Hugo and Nebula Award winners, and having done so, I think I have a beautiful amazing idea of what makes outstanding science fiction.With all of that said, I feel strongly that The Dark Forest may be the best work of science fiction I have ever experienced. I read the English translation of Cixin Liu’s Chinese science fiction novel, The Three Body Problem. I thought that it was very good, but not excellent. I was sufficiently intrigued to proceed on to the second novel of the trilogy, The Dark Forest, and I am eternally grateful that I did. I am just floored by how amazing this novel is, on so a lot of levels.I have read so a lot of science fiction novels that are small more than spaceships and aliens, with not good underlying stories or hero development. The Dark Forest is an outstanding piece of literature, above and beyond its label as a work of science fiction. It has very thoughtful themes, touching on philosophy, anthropology, sociology and psychology. The advanced technology and elements of hard science fiction are outstanding, second to none. The underlying story is absolutely captivating, as are the the conclusion of the Three Body Problem, we are left with an alien race, the Trisolarans, who have embarked on a four hundred year long trip across the galaxy, ostensibly to defeat and inhabit the Earth. Through use of their advanced technology, they have arrested the technological development of the human race and are able to eavesdrop on every aspect of life on Earth. Faced with this scenario, how does the human race respond? As the years pass and various generations are tasked with coming up with tactics to face the threat, the author continues, time and again, to impress with his vision and the elements of human psychology and philosophy that he st impressive to me is the author’s ability to deal with these philosophical and technological themes in such a method that the reader can easily follow and appreciate. To me, he walks the excellent line between being intellectually challenging, yet approachable (unlike some of Frank Herbert’s work, which was more than I could handle).So, if you have read The Three Body Issue and are trying to decide whether to proceed on to this second installment, I cannot encourage you strongly enough to do so. If you have not read the Three Body Problem, I urge you to do so, with the knowledge that the follow up book will be worth the effort. The Dark Forest wraps up very nicely and could easily be the end of the story; however this is a trilogy, so I will gladly continue to the final chapter, hoping not to be disappointed. The Dark Forest is a terribly difficult act to follow.

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    The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 2) review []  2020-1-19 20:28

    I'm still reading book 3, but I had to take a min to come back and say Cixin Liu is a genius. Book 1 of this series, The Three-Body Problem, is an imaginative and quite original book that deserves all the awards it has received. But, even with all that being true, it doesn't keep a candle to The Dark Forest which is in my opinion in contention to be the best sci-fi book ever written.I'll tell you how amazing Death's End is when I'm done with it, but (if you haven't) buy book 1 today, and if you've read the first one and are not sure whether or not to continue, think no further. This trilogy should be needed reading in schools. Liu is the first author I'm aware of to reach the heights of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. In fact I think he's better than Clarke and gives Asimov a run for his u's take on the Fermi Paradox in this series, particularly the second book, is so consequential that it makes his detours into discussions of euthanasia seem almost frivolous in comparison. He has probably invented an entirely fresh field of study in these novels. (He calls it Cosmic Sociology.) Along the method he dispatches themes like gender identity; loyalty; the relationship between being a sentient/intelligent species and being a culture or a people; the relationship between totalitarianism and democracy in times of crisis; the meaning of culture; the potential soul of atheism; nationalism; the hypocrisy of famous demands; the burdens of leadership; the relative importance of the environment; kid rearing; the tugs of battle between love and duty; death vs. living forever; faith in the future; and a bunch of others as if they were mere footnotes in the grand scheme of [email protected]#$%!&?ing you with revelatory meditations in almost every chapter.

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    The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 2) review []  2020-1-19 20:28

    Bought on Day 1 and finished on Day 3. It was a unbelievable Sci-fi reading experience from beginning right to the end. You just couldn't stop feeling surprised and stunned by those choices and decisions created by the characters all the time, regardless they matter or not. The unthinkable scope of the plot and sceneries just repeatedly stroke your imagination and nerves like forever. Twists and turns in both huge and little scale are blended into the whole logical story-line, which is so well-arranged that it turns out to be better than a mind-bending blockbuster paring with the first volume, the fresh translator localized the writing in a more "English" way, making the reading for English speakers feel like reading an original Western literature instead of an Eastern-Western translation, which may not be too amazing for "preserving" the original writing, but... there isn't too a lot of Chinese culture/history similar content in this second book more thing to add, unlike vivid human beings appear in regular full-length fictions, most characters Liu sculpted in his works look like symbols instead, which I fancy is on purpose, being probably the only "obstacle" for this book in the method of becoming a real saluter to those true Classics back in the Golden Age of Science finitely a strong Hugo/Nebular contender and a likely champion next r your own sakes, read it yourselves.

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    The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 2) review []  2020-1-19 20:28

    It's hard to know where to start talking about The Three-Body Problem trilogy (officially known as the Remembrance of Earth's Past series), a truly staggering piece of science-fiction written by Chinese author Cixin Liu and translated to English by Ken Liu and Joel Martinsen (Liu did books 1 and 3, while Martinsen did 2). A trilogy that spans literally thousands of years, deals with quantum physics, android game theory, sociology, religion, zone exploration, zone colonization, and more, all driven by the nature of first contact with alien intelligence - there's a lot going on in this series, and that's before you begin realizing just how much Cixin (reminder: Chinese names are traditionally written with the family name first and the given name second) truly takes on the advanced science of his ideas. And yet, when you [email protected]#$%!, you realize that you've read something truly wonderful - a piece of hard science-fiction whose ambition, scope, richness, and ideas are impossible not to search yourself thinking about for days afterward.Once you read The Dark Forest, the series' second volume, Cixin's ambition for this saga starts to come into focus. The question of first contact is settled, and the nature of the alien's approach is known: this is to be a takeover of our planet. But how can we deal with a race so much more advanced than our own, constant surveillance by extra-dimensional forces, and fractured elements of humanity working versus us?If The Three-Body Issue was a first contact novel done as hard science-fiction, The Dark Forest is an alien invasion novel, albeit one in which the actual invasion is still many, a lot of years away. It's the first time Cixin starts using hibernation to leap through decades and even centuries, spanning large chunks of time as humanity changes and evolves in the face of an arrival which will change everything. As humanity struggles to search ways to either defend itself or present that it means no harm, the race has to deal with its own fears of inevitable conquer or a desire to retreat from the only planet we've ever 's not as if The Three-Body Issue wasn't already ambitious, but The Dark Forest is on a whole other level, dealing with interplanetary fleets, lightspeed travel, quantum computing, and more, watching as they evolve over large swaths of time. But more than that, the novel is a deeply philosophical one, discussing the nature of life in the universe, questions about human nature and how we react in the face of threats, how we work together (or not), and android game theory in how we test to handle uncertain intentions in allies and foes alike. Indeed, the central metaphor that gives the book its title (which doesn't arrive until near the novel's end) is a stunning one that helps you understand that what Cixin is writing about isn't just this particular alien invasion, but about the nature of all life in the universe and how we attempt to define ourselves in the face of at Cixin does this while, again, mixing in such a compelling story (focusing especially on the "Wallfacers", a little group of people tasked with covertly planning humanity's resistance versus the invasion) is nothing short of remarkable. The Dark Forest builds beautifully off of the questions and ideas raised in The Three-Body Problem, but turns them into something else entirely, changing the questions from "how do we initially react" to "how would we redefine ourselves in the face of such news". Far from suffering from any sort of "middle book syndrome," The Dark Forest is incredible, engaging with wonderful concepts but never neglecting the human characters that anchor its heavy scope nor the ticking clock at its story's explain this series is a difficult challenge, to place it mildly. This is a series that spans a large amount of time, deals with advanced scientific concepts in complex terms, grapples with rich philosophical and political ideas, debates questions without simple answers, and gives you a scope that can be daunting. It's a story of alien invasions, yes, but one in which the action sequences we're so used to are replaced with existential dread, a rethinking of our own lives, and a fear of the unknown that's hard to quantify. It's also the story of people caught up in these times, trying to give themselves a amazing life while never forgetting the larger questions of their era, and juggling their own fears with fears for humanity. In other words, it's what hard science-fiction is amazing at - thoughtful questions, huge ideas, and speculation, all of which change the method you think about the is series is a truly wonderful achievement, one that honestly left me a bit staggered and reeling as I attempt to think about it all, but one that I love all the more for what it accomplishes. If you're a hard science-fiction fan, or simply someone who loves dealing with the complex ramifications of common ideas, this is a must read series. I've never read anything like it in my life, and I'm a richer person for the ideas it's inspired me to think about.

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    The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 2) review []  2020-1-19 20:28

    Despite a deeply engaging premise and articulate expoloration of the philosophical aspect of first contact and the importance of fundamental physics, Dark Forest routinely trips over its own fundamntal flaw: insufficeint research and unnecessary e volume of research required for a book like this is heavy given the vastness and quantity of topics that it explores. It’s quite possible that in its current state it might never have been written if the author had attempted accuracy in all things. Chriton and Wier (The Martian) curtail the scope of their projects to their own expertise and still spent years researching before writing. Liu, instead, ventures unnecessary exposition on topics that belie the limits of his research and break the fourth wall. We don’t need to know, for instance, that the author thinks space-based telescopes would have lenses or that those lenses would be created by Zeiss (In the book much is created about the size of the Hubble II telescope but larger telescopes, especially space-based telescopes like Hubble and Keppler use mirrors instead of massive glass due to the mechanical limitations of massive refractive elements) but a small research could have turned an awkward stage into a fluid one at least. With Wier the inclusion of info like this often seems awkward and disrupts the drama of a stage but they are thoroughly researched and are often important for the reader to understand the mind of the protagonist. With Liu info like this are likewise awkward and disrupt the drama of the stage but because they’re often insufficiently researched they also undermine the credibility of the author. And yet, they continue to add up. Telescopes, zone planes, AI, bullets- old technologies are dusted off and presented as new, current technologies are presented inaccurately and emerging technologies are ignored or dismissed out of u excells at the far out, the multidimensional and the philosophical but stubmbles close to home and it makes for a herky-jerky read that’s not unlike a teenager learning to drive a stick shift.

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    The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 2) review []  2020-1-19 20:28

    This is nothing like the first book. Its characters behave like a bunch of idiots. Consider:1) they accidentally discovered a method to manipulate people’s beliefs and the UN decided to approve development and deployment to support people believe in wining. That is all. And not one member argued about the potential for stealing this crazy risky device or abusing it. Surprise surprise: 5 out of 6 devices and associated super super computers were stolen and abused.2) an unknown probe gets into the solar system and the whole zone fleet goes to intercept it. The whole fleet. No zone ship left behind, none was being repaired or was on any other duty. Every single ship went into a single put at the same time and very close to each other. To see what the one unknown probe was about. When the attack started it took them two mins to wake up from the shock. No plan n it obtain any dumber than that? Apparently yes. People panicked at the power of the invaders. Not about the stupidity of their is a amazing thing I didn’t order the 3rd book of the series in be fair, even in the 1st book plot holes had started to form and should have send warnings signs

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    The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 2) review []  2020-1-19 20:28

    As an avid reader of sci-fi, it was refreshing to read the Remembrance of Earth's Past series. It's inventive, well-written series so and Liu is a master at keeping enough info from you to hold you guessing what everyone is thinking. If you like realistic explanations of alien technology then this is your book. It's not like you reading an astrophysics textbook but it's not Star Battles soft either. Liu aims right for the sweet spot for believable sci-fi.I'll admit, I was a small skeptical about the sequel because I didn't know if it would be able to top the unbelievable Three Body Problem. Dark Forest dragged a bit in the beginning and I feared that he wouldn't be able to top the first novel. But the story keeps building and building until the second half of the book where all the ideas really come together. You can feel the pressure humanity is under to survive or have fun their days as the timer counts down to the doomsday battle. And it's so fun and exciting to see a character's plan to come through as they make their own fate only to be place in a tougher u moves into the future with this book. Unlike the previous book, Liu takes the story into the future. Three Body spent quite a bit of time in revolutionary China and was one of the fascinating aspects of the story. I like that I got a small cultural lesson as I read. There is less of that in the sequel.We have a character but he isn't our focus. We are given an assortment of characters to root for or against. They aren't the most developed characters I've read but I didn't search myself caring too much about that the globe itself is the main hero here. I even found myself empathizing with the Trisolarans, they have their rational reasons for wanting to exterminate humanity. Who's to say we wouldn't do the same if we were in their position?. I'm not leaving any spoilers ere are no boogeymen in this universe unless you're talking about the other hunters in the dark forest. You're going to have to read the book figure this one 's great, read ve Stars!

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    The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 2) review []  2020-1-19 20:28

    I've read a lot of science fiction, so I don't say that lightly. There are so a lot of brilliant concepts here, and they're beautifully woven together in a fascinating and suspenseful storyline. No words are wasted on meandering or pointless side plots. The book presents a dark but profound and utterly compelling picture of the universe. Where The Three-Body Problem's characters were a small flat, The Dark Forest's characters are full-bodied and richly human. So stop reading this review and go buy the book.

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    The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 2) review []  2020-1-19 20:28

    OK, OK. So I have to begin this out by saying that at the outset, I wasn't quite feeling the same intense level of infatuation that I did with the first book, Three Body Problem. The narrative seemed fickle, flitting from one thing to another, and some of the speculative items admittedly flew method over my head. I didn't quite have the same connection with the characters as I did in the first book, even those who were actually IN the first book.But, man. This story is a slow burn. The happenings plod ever forward, sometimes in ways that don't create much sense, but it's all part of the journey, and the endpoint, when it comes, is IMMENSELY satisfying as a ick with this one. The first part was slow going for me, and the latest hundred pages were the best, culminating in the ending. It's an awesome journey and when everything finally comes together, it's like an emotional sucker-punch, but in a amazing u Cixin's writing transcends science fiction. It's highly inspirational and absolutely rewarding to read and experience. I can't WAIT to see what the third book in the trilogy brings.We leave the future Earth of this story in a very certain tone and frame of mind...I wonder if it will last. Whatever comes next, it's going to be avo, Mr. Liu. Bravo.

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    The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 2) review []  2020-1-19 20:28

    “We can never know about the days to comeBut we think about them anywayAnd I wonder if I'm really with you nowOr just chasin' after some finer day”Carly Simon’s 1971 song lyric beautiful well sums up Cixin Liu’s second installment of his futuristic trilogy, “Remembering Earth’s lished originally in 2008, “The Dark Forest” continues its exploration of how Earth’s citizens react to the realization they are not alone in the universe. In fact, reasonably close in astronomical terms is another more advanced civilization, TriSolar, and its intentions are this installment it is now known TriSolar has better technology and is reaching out to Earth in two ways, other than the communication links established earlier:• An advance surveillance system called “sophons” capable of inhibiting technological advances on Earth and eavesdropping on Earthling conversations (“sophons” are sort of combination of protons with nanotechnology operating in multiple dimensions as predicted by string theory and capable of exchanges with humans)• An interstellar fleet moving toward Earth but not expected to arrive for several light years (two – four centuries in the future)As might be expected, this realization with the lengthy lead time before physical contact sets in motion a dozens of reactions: defensive measures, escapist groups and submissive or defeatist groups resigned to their fates. The dominant globe order is following the defensive approach while suppressing the other two groups. And the future society is living both underground in a sort of “Blade Runner 1982” globe or aboveground in a “Blade Runner 2049” st of the story goes into lengthy detail about the successes and failures of these efforts. While some characters from the first tale appear briefly, developments are largely similar from the perspectives of two characters: Luo Ji, a seemingly self-absorbed young scholar of cosmic sociology, and Zhang Beihai, a slightly older naval officer whose appearance seems to conceal much more below the veral tactics are being employed simultaneously: creation of a Zone Force (with even a passing reference to Donald Rumsfeld who probably originated the term) and the Wallbreaker Project designed to exploit a sophon vulnerability, the inability to read human minds – curious since people in the future globe wear clothes electronically displaying visual photos of their emotions. Luo Ji becomes the protagonist for the Wallbreaker approach and Zhang Beihai for the Zone ere is an intriguing meditation about how disparate civilizations in the universe (“the dark forest”) might or should react to discovering each other – sort of echoing Stephen Hawking’s cautions about interstellar contact – assuming there is a choice. As might be expected, by the end of this installment, nothing is completely resolved but left either with an unknown outcome or at a stand off. While very imaginative, getting there can seem long and at times overly a private observation, there seems to be another, perhaps deeper, reflection being place forth by the author: the enigma of death and how each of us personally handles its impact on our immediate lives. While “The Dark Forest” is an entertaining tale about the possibilities of zone exploration and interstellar contact, it really goes deeper into the unknown than at first rhaps Carly Simon’s lyrics had it right:“And tomorrow we might not be togetherI'm no prophet and I don't know nature's waysSo I'll test and see into your eyes right nowAnd stay right here 'cause these are the amazing old days”(For those interested in other authors using some related concepts here are sources with permalinks to my Amazon reviews:• For extreme nanotechnology, William Hertling’s 2015 science fiction work, “The Turing Exception”: For zone elevators, William Forstchen’s 2014 science fiction novel, “Pillar to the Sky”: For discussion of current limitations to colonizing space, Michio Kaku’s 2018 work, “The Future of Humanity”:

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    Hana's Suitcase Anniversary Album (Holocaust Remembrance Series) review []  2020-1-23 0:13

    This is the saddest and most encouraging book that I have ever read. I have read a lot of books about the Holocaust but never one so moving as this. It includes the real story of a attractive small girl, Hana Brady, and of a remarkable young Japanese woman who pieces together Hana's tragic story. The Japanese woman is attempting to educate Japanese kids about the lives of kids affected by the Holocaust, a subject which is fresh to these children. By sharing history's most depraved occurrence, the hope is that kids will learn compassion and tolerance, and that they can create a positive difference in their globe by standing up for what is right. This unbelievable book chronicles the satisfied prewar lives of Hana's family living in a little city in Czechoslovakia. Hana loves to ice skate and ski and play the piano. Her parents are loving and warm and their home is filled with visiting artists and musicians. She and her older George are close companions. But there is a fatal flaw-Hana and her family are Jewish. The book describes the young child's increasing bewilderment and anger as she is forbidden to participate in a growing list of childhood activities and finally must wear clothing on which a star of David is attached. Then her parents are arrested and finally the small girl, age 11 and her brother George are deported to the concentration camp Thereseinstadt. They are each allowed one suitcase. . It is here that Hana participates in secret classes where she sings and draws. Eventually, George is deported to Auschswitz, followed by Hana, who brings her suitcase. The child's life ends in a gas chamber the day that she arrives. But her story is far from over. She becomes a symbol of all the lost young lives, her story spreading around the globe in a whole series of improbable events. Hana had dreamed of being a teacher. It is through her suitcase, drawings and images that this small girl, one among the 1.5 million Jewish kids murdered by the Nazis, tells the globe of unspeakable tragedy and sorrow and of unanticipated joy and triumph. This story proves that the worst evil of which humankind is capable can be turned into something amazingly unique and beautiful.

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    Hana's Suitcase Anniversary Album (Holocaust Remembrance Series) review []  2020-1-23 0:13

    Hana’s Suitcase: The Quest to Solve a Holocaust Mystery is by Karen Levine. It is a real story which Karen heard about and told. The forward by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is heartwarming and yet 1999, a Children’s Forum was held in Japan. Holocaust survivor Yaffa Eliach met with two hundred students in the Tokyo zone at the Tokyo Holocaust Education Resource Center. After telling her story, the students studied the artifacts and were then challenged to spread the word about the Holocaust. They did this. The suitcase marked with Hana’s name was especially interesting to them and they wanted to know more about Hana. Research e research they did paid off. They got the background, including pictures they drew of Hana and sent them to her brother George. George was not expecting something like this. He had felt guilty for not being able to protect his small sister, now she was being remembered and he was being honored. He had been liberated at the age of seventeen. He returned to his hometown to search an aunt, uncle and cousin as well as the news that his parents died and that Hana had been killed upon arrival at Auschwitz. George had photograph album and, in his letter back to the kids in Japan, he included some pictures of Hana for e book is fairly short but is packed with information. In the back are suggestions for future reading and projects.

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    Hana's Suitcase Anniversary Album (Holocaust Remembrance Series) review []  2020-1-23 0:13

    This is a children's book, but it is a well done children's book. In March of 2000, a suitcase arrived at a children's Holocaust education center in Tokyo, Japan. There was the name of a young girl painted on it, and from there the mystery progressed. The kids in the center wanted answers about the suitcase. Where had it come from? Whose name was on it? This prompted the director of the center, Fumiko Ishioka to set out on a find across Europe, a find for info that was almost 70 years old. I though this was a amazing book, I never really thought about how to teach Japanese kids about the Holocaust. Seeing as they are physically so far removed from Europe would show true challenges. A amazing book for kids to learn about the horrors of the Holocaust, but, in an age appropriate way.

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    Hana's Suitcase Anniversary Album (Holocaust Remembrance Series) review []  2020-1-23 0:13

    This book was recommended (and was available) at the bonus store in Terezin in the Czech Repulic when I was on a trip. I did not purchase it then. After I returned home, I wished I had purchased it. So I found it on Amazon and quickly downloaded it. Real story. I would recommend this book. It is a fast read but very thought provoking.

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    Hana's Suitcase Anniversary Album (Holocaust Remembrance Series) review []  2020-1-23 0:13

    This was a forced purchased for mandatory summer reading latest summer. Both my 10 year old daughter and I enjoyed the book. Instead of reading it in order we read the chapters from the past first and then the chapters from show day...chronological order. That created it easier for her to understand. I would recommend this book to any 4-6 grade child. Tells a amazing story and teaches life lessons. No wonder it was a mandatory assignment.

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    Hana's Suitcase Anniversary Album (Holocaust Remembrance Series) review []  2020-1-23 0:13

    Hana Brady was 13 when she was sent to Auschwitz. She was immediately place to death, but her story didn't end there. With her she'd carried a suitcase which had followed her from her home to her aunt and uncle's house to a Jewish ghetto in Czechoslavakia and finally on to her final destination. A lot of years later, Fumiko Ishioka decides to begin a Holocaust Museum in Japan in order to teach young people about the horror. One of the stuff she is sent to display is the suitcase which bears the name of Hana. Her kids become adamant that they must know more about this girl, so Ishioka goes to work. She tenaciously goes to the prison camp where Hana lived for 2 years and discovers much more than she'd planned. This is the story of undying human spirit told in a method that kids as young as 8, 9, or 10 can understand. Levine does a special job of presenting the facts in a moving method without becoming mired down in gruesome details. This story will touch your heart and you will be unable to forget the story of Hana and her suitcase.

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    Hana's Suitcase Anniversary Album (Holocaust Remembrance Series) review []  2020-1-23 0:13

    An intriguing real story. I loved the images along with the narrative about Hana and her experiences. Fumiko is a unique teacher who directed the Japanese kids to search answers about Hana's suitcase. I would recommend this book for older kids to learn about the lives of Jewish kids in the 1930-1940 time period. Even as an older adult, I could not lay the book down until it was done.

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    Hana's Suitcase Anniversary Album (Holocaust Remembrance Series) review []  2020-1-23 0:13

    The story was spellbinding. It should be a must read for students in school to understand the suffering that others have gone through. It is a time in history that never should’ve happened.

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    Hana's Suitcase Anniversary Album (Holocaust Remembrance Series) review []  2020-1-23 0:13

    What a touching and informative book. My nine year old enjoyed learning about Hana and I was overwhelmed by the story of her life as well. I highly recommend.

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    Hana's Suitcase Anniversary Album (Holocaust Remembrance Series) review []  2020-1-23 0:13

    I'm always interested in reading about the Holocaust!

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    Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    The content was not only an insight into history, but written in a very private conversational way. I loved seeing the pictures in the paper form. The one I got was personally autographed1

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    Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    Considering that I am a history buff, especially concerning the WW2 years in Europe, naturally, I enjoyed this book tremendously. This is not a history book per se, but rather a family biography of those years but does touch on a lot of facts of those times, especially pertaining to (the former) Czechoslovakia's role. One could even consider this a mini history lesson on Czechoslovakia's history, but written in a private manner that makes it pleasant to learn. Amazing topic material and well written.I give it an A rating.

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    Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    I read this book because I was expecting an autobiography of a major figure in US statecraft. Instead, I found a history of the Czech Republic with minor biographical information. This was not a disappointment, it was a bonus!I learned a lot about the development of the environment that lead up to WW II, as well as the history of Prague, Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic and neighboring countries. The book provided a lot of subjects of conversation. I happened to be in Prague after I read the book (not my first visit by any means), and I discussed some of what I had read with my local colleagues. They were amazed that I was familiar with the relationships between Britain, France, the USSR and pre-war Czechoslovakia, which was e enhancements to the edition mostly do not work on my Kindle. Perhaps if I had read it on my PC or a Kindle Fire I could have seen what they are.A amazing book if you like history.

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    Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    There is no method that I can top some of the amazing reviews written about Prague Winter: A Private Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 so, I'll just state some of my easy observations on this unbelievable Albright weaves just enough of her own private story with regards to her family, mates of the family and relatives as to not bog down the story. The historical data that she has well researched, does not obtain massive with details, but provides just enough to hold the memoir moving.Her info on the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich read like a well written spy novel and her descriptions of Terezin were excellent but heartbreaking. If anyone plans on visiting Prague, please take time to visit Terezin as it is only about an hours drive from the Old City Square.I am still stunned at how well written and researched this book actually is.Highly recommended to anyone interested in the history of Globe Battle II, interested in the plight of the Czechs during this horrible time or just interested in bright and who her family really is.

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    Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    Let's be honest. Based on her age alone (year of birth), Albright couldn't remember anything. Having heard her speak, I recognized her voice in this book. The first half is tedious, far too detailed. Perhaps she intimidated her editor but she really should have deleted or condensed a lot of the info in this section. By about the middle of the book, though, the pace picks up and the history starts to come e book ought to be categorized or described as diplomatic history. It is neither private nor a remembrance. Albright definitely wants to enlighten Western readers about Czech history, and that's fine. However, I'd have been a much happier reader if I didn't feel I'd been duped by cover blurbs.

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    Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    This is a long book, and each time I picked it up to read it for my book club I felt some resistance. That said, I was always pulled into her well written accessible prose. This is a riveting story from a very various perspective on a complex and tragic battle in our history. While she told the story of discovering her Jewish heritage, it was disappointing to me that she avoided talking about exactly when she found out (accounts vary), and what her feelings were about that discovery.

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    Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    I thought it was an perfect book. I am from the generation that was very young during Globe Battle II and consequently had small true knowledge of what happened to families living through it. I only remember my parents listening to the news reports every day, so I knew it was something not good that was going on, but not where I was living in Sweden. Even in history classes in high school, we never got to this period of time, as it was too latest at that is book gave me so much more insight, both from a child's point of view living in England and also from what Ms Albright learned from her relatives who were in the midst of it.

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    Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    Having recently attended an happening about Madeleine Albright and her pin collection, I wanted to search out more about her early life. This well researched history before, during, and immediately after WW11 gave me a better understanding of Europe at that time, and the horrors and fears surrounding so a lot of countries.Difficult, but well worth the read.

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    Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    I looked forward to this book. After all, what could be more interesting than Madeleine Albright writing about this period in history? Sadly, I am disappointed. The book reads like a series of anecdotes without any true depth. She writes about a period of time that is fraught with tensions, tragedy, heroism and despair and it reads like she's writing about what she did today in the garden. Yes, it is tragic that her family and so a lot of others died because of the Nazis. She says as much, but she doesn't create the reader feel it. In fact, I have never read a book about this period, and I've read a fair number, that didn't create me really care about what happened to the people in it...until now.

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    Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 review [Book]  2017-10-24 18:0

    When I purchased this book I was expecting a biography type story and looking for something various than what I normally read. I thought the enhancements would really be a nice touch while reading this book. However, with that said the enhancements did not work on my kindle fire. Even without the enhancements this book is so full and rich with history of WWII. There were so a lot of things that were revealed that I did not know,and yet because it is a autobiography it is not totally dry. Anyone who would like a story of the life and times in Europe and Czechlosavakia at the time of WWII, along with the unveiling of what was event with the political climate at this time will really have fun this book. This book for me was not a quick read. I had to read, apsorb and read again. But I would definitely recommend it!

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    The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 1) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    How in the globe did this book average 4+ stars? My apologies, but I can’t tell you because I apparently read something completely various from everyone else!Absolutely zero hero development, I mean nothing! Just flat personalities all-round. In fact, I couldn’t start to emphasise the two-dimensionalism show in this book even if I was blessed with the eloquence of a Joyce or Shakespeare.Oh, and it might be amazing to have at least a PhD - no, that is a bit much, create it a Masters in physics - because the amount of academic regurgitation is borderline criminal!And what the hell is this video android game plot all about...are you kidding me?!? Dehydration!?? Utter-Rancid-Rotting-Garbage!!!To leave my sardonic humour aside for a second, perhaps it really did not translate well from Chinese...similar to how Crazy Rich Asians (also garbage, but entertaining garbage!) was hugely profitable in the US, but an absolute bomb at China’s Box Office.I’m so alone...someone please support me...please explain how I was led astray by so many?!

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    The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 1) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    This is the most impactful sci-fi series I've ever read. What I mean by that, is that this series has permanently changed: the method I look at the stars, the method I perceive time, the method I think about life, the method I think about SETI, the method I think about the meaning of life, the method I think about human beings' put in the universe, the method I view technology, is series well and truly "blew my mind away". This isn't a page0-turning zone opera adventure kind of story. The story is interesting and good, and there is most definitely some drama and entertainment - and the writing is perfect (translation to English is superb). But the main thing for me about this series is that it educated me about physics and really created me look at EVERYTHING through a fresh lens. The ideas in this book I had never encountered before - and I am a voracious reader. I found this series to be totally original and mind-blowing. There were time where I simply required to place it down after reading only a short time, in order to simply ponder the ideas presented. I've never had quite an experience like this with a book.Highly recommend this series. And, create sure you read all three, because each one is better than the last. The latest book of the series was my favorite and just absolutely melted my brain. I mean, to the degree where I am questioning my own reality. Yes, it is that good. Really, a mind and perception altering experience.

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    The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 1) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    I'm about 25% into the book. I doubt I'll [email protected]#$%!. I have a Ph.D. in Physics, and my graduate program had a powerful Particle Physics department (though I specialized elsewhere). The author shows a startling lack of understanding of what motivates Physicists and how they think, to a point where the book is ruined for ere is also rather ... amateur hour writing, which may be due to the translator.Spoiler version:In the book plot, the invariance of physics under translations in time and zone has been proved to be wrong at higher energies, and because of this "There is no Physics" and scientists have started killing themselves due to despair. This is the true world, Particle Physics has gotten rather boring and predictable. Short of some absurd theoretical results at energies that we can't try experimentally, the Standard Model has tremendous explanatory power and has explained all experiments and predicted fresh results correctly. CERN discovered the Higgs, as expected, but has brought out no fresh Physics, thus far. This is disappointing. Much, much more exciting would be a field breaking result, (such as a new, previously unknown, variance of Physics in time and zone at higher energies). Particle Physics would be fun milarly, when Wang Miao starts seeing a countdown, instead of jumping to the most likely conclusion (that he is becoming mental ill, and needs outside, non-biased verification of what he is seeing) or that he is receiving messages from some outside intelligence, he starts to go crazy in a very over the top and amateurishly written way.

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    The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 1) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    After slogging though far too much science narrative while finding virtually nonexistent hero development, I had to laugh when I read that the author started life as an engineer. I finally started skipping the science to search some plot development, sort of like skipping the cetology when reading Moby @#$%. Despite these criticisms, Liu has made realms that can expand any willing imagination. But the book would benefit from an editor with a machete, to cut through the technical kudzu.

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    The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 1) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    I was on the fence about this book for a couple of years but I finally took the plunge and am extremely satisfied that I did! The reviews seemed to be a bit of a mixed bag and I saw some people suggest that it lacked interesting characters. Having read this book as well as its two sequels I can firmly say that this is not the case. There are several compelling and interesting characters in this book.Above all else the plot, world-building and pacing of the book are completely top notch. To have a hard sci-fi book that is not about zone marines and laser guns but still manages to be a page-turner that you can't place down is an awesome achievement! This book represents the best in science fiction. It's about huge ideas and examining possibilities. I refuse to discuss the plot but if you have an interest in science and technology and love the hard sci-fi genre, stop reading this review and order the book immediately!I will provide one disclaimer. If you have no interest in science whatsoever or just lack an aptitude or understanding of it, this book series may not be for you. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to have fun this book but you probably will need to have at least a baseline understanding of some primary scientific principals and/or a willingness to google some stuff.Anyway, obtain it!!

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    The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 1) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    It's impossible to rate this book on it's own since it's part of a stunning trilogy, and the quality of this book only really shines in the context of the whole. Cixin gets very technical in parts, and descriptions of physics can go on, and on. For that reason, I am glad that I had an audiobook for this one. I'm an academic, and already do a lot of reading, and some sections would begin to feel more like work than relaxation. Still, I might have drifted off a small here and there during the most intense technical descriptions, but still paid enough attention to learn a bit about the speed of light, black holes and various dimensions.I also place the series down in the middle of the second book when I realized that there was not a single female hero left that was a significant part of the narrative. But, I came back to it eventually, and I'm so glad I did. As it turns out, the 3rd book is largely from a feminine point of view, and thinking back, I'm beautiful sure that Cixin was intentionally emphasizing a masculine point of view in the second book.Otherwise, the wonderful scope of this book and the sheer audacity of even trying to tell this the story Cixin tells is breathtaking. It even has the quality of a fairy tale, but not a modern Disney version, more like the old dark folk tales of the past. Cixin waxes and wanes from optimism and despair, destruction and renewal and yin and yang throughout. As with life, there is no fairy tale ending, the story just ends when it ends.I'm going to be thinking about this story for a lot of years to come.

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    The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 1) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    I only got about 1/3 of the method through this one. I really gave it my best effort, but the insane story line contrivances, non-stop fresh characters, constant stage changes across various epochs, all created it impossible to follow. I finally gave up when I realized there was really nothing holding all this jumble together. The story is just one divergence after another. When it wasn't putting me to sleep, I was drained trying to piece it together. Finally, I just gave up and place in in the "done" shelf.

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    The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 1) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    If life were just, I would be in a perfectly repeating time loop whereupon finishing Death's End, I return to right before I read the Three Body Issue Trilogy for the first time. I rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, and am trapped in the most luminous imaginings until further notice.I've read everything, written about much of it, taken more degrees than are worth it, rubbed elbows with cultures, legendary leaders, scholars, and thinkers, peoples diverse and fascinating...and then I have read this trilogy of a lot of wonderful sagas enrich our global library; however, without the Three Body Trilogy, something would be missing from my life that could not quite be fixed, not quite replaced by anything else. This makes me sound obsessive or unwell in some fashion, but that's not it: even Obama was challenged by how to pin down just how extraordinary this trilogy is when he described it as "wildly imaginative."All I can say is, read it. Now. Obtain to it. You won't regret reading it. You'll regret not having read it sooner. And then you'll regret that you can't have the lovely experience of encountering it for the first time again.

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    The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 1) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    I don't know if it was the translation or the natural flow of the author, but there were substantial portions of this story that seemed utterly lacking in depth ... the book is riddled with vague and bland descriptions of scenes and actions of characters that created small sense, trite descriptions lacking in color or flavor ... for example there would be passages like "he parked his vehicle and walked to the apartment" ... no descriptions of the scenery around him, no atmosphere, no sounds, no internal monolog to tell us what the hero was thinking, just a plain and easy sentence describing a plain and easy action without any environmental scene-setting or any other literary tool to paint a picture for the reader. Perhaps its an aspect of how various Chinese cultural expectations are from ours. Anyhow ... the entire story seemed rather silly to me ... and after seeing all those 4 and 5 star reviews gushing about how intense and deep this story was ... I'm thinking those reviewers must have only ever been exposed to Dr Seuss stories before if they found this book to be deep. It is not deep. It is not masterful. It is not mind-blowing or eye-opening or any of the other superlatives and hyperbolic praise phrases that some reader/reviewers have posted. It's not a poor story, but it is definitely not anywhere near the realm of the hard-science fiction masters ... compared to Asher and Corey and Douglas, this is YA territory.

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    The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 1) review []  2019-12-19 19:10

    Much of what other "one star" criticisms say is true. Flat characters. Simplistic writing. The lack of plot sense is the worst disaster. Sometimes at the end of a spy thriller or mystery movie, we forgive some plot gaps for the characters or action sequences or ambience. Here there is small reason to forgive. I plowed through to the end and a few mysteries finally became clear, but there were too a lot of retrospective, "Hey, that didn't create any sense." moments. I am an old hand at science fiction, multiple timelines and plot threads coming together at the latest moment. SO, I doubt I "just didn't obtain it". It was mildly interesting to see some Chinese point of view on Mao's Cultural Revolution, which factors in. I didn't walk away thinking "Hmm, the Chinese take a very various approach to science fiction" though. Can't see how this even got nominated for any awards unless it was sheer political correctness.

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    Hiding Edith: A True Story (Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers) review []  2020-1-25 4:20

    I enjoyed reading this book. It was an simple read and kept my attention. It is quite various from most holocaust books.

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    Hiding Edith: A True Story (Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers) review []  2020-1-25 4:20

    Unbelievable book!

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    Hiding Edith: A True Story (Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers) review []  2020-1-25 4:20

    Through the story of Edith Schwalb Gelbard, who survived the Holocaust by continually moving and hiding, the reader can relate to the situation in Europe before Globe Battle II, the plight of the Jews, the virtue of righteous Gentiles who helped them, and the courage and strength it took to survive the war. Edith was a young girl enjoying life with her family in Vienna in 1938. After the Anschluss, the situation deteriorated quickly, and the Schwalbs were forced to move to Belgium, escaping mostly at night and on foot. Once the Nazis took over there and Edith's father was arrested, the family moved to the "free zone" of France, again seeking safety. By this time, Edith's younger brother, Gaston, was born. They soon learn that Vichy France may be worse than they thought; the government enthusiastically collaborates with the Nazis. Seeing no alternatives, Edith's mother and older sister go to work as maids in non-Jewish homes, and Edith and Gaston are sent to a unique school in Moissac, where they meet other kids who have been sent there for their protection. Shatta and Bouli Simon administer the school with strict yet loving involvement, and Edith is content as she makes friends. The town's citizens are aware of the school and protect its inhabitants by warning when Nazis come to town. The students go off into the words camping until the danger has passed. But soon it is too dangerous, and Edith is sent to a Catholic school to hide. When that zone is bombed, she is placed with a family. As the battle ends, she returns to Moissac, and reunites with her mother, sister and brother. Her father died in Auschwitz. Edith now lives in Toronto with her e book is written simply, so the story is not overshadowed by flowery narrative. With this easy retelling, the horror and inhumanity of the Holocaust are portrayed without graphic descriptions of atrocities, and the story of a small girl who must move from country to country and home to home is one to which the average reader can relate. This book is recommended for all libraries. REVIEWED BY KATHE PINCHUCK (BLOOMFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY - BLOOMFIELD, NJ)

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    Hiding Edith: A True Story (Holocaust Remembrance Series for Young Readers) review []  2020-1-25 4:20

    This is a beautifully written real story of Edith Schwalb, a Jewish girl from Vienna, and her journey to survival. Her adventure begins in May, 1938, and continues till the end of the war. Her family escapes first to Belgium, and then to the south of France, always trying to hold away from the Nazis. The middle of the battle finds Edith being protected in Moissac, France, whose a lot of residents conspire to hold the secret of a school's existence and that of its hundred Jewish kids in hiding. Her bravery is remarkable, as is the courage of those who support to save her, such as Shatta and Bouli Simon. The Simons are a young couple who run the safe house in Moissac and teach the kids what skills they need to survive. This is an easy-to-read memoir, although it is a sad and touching story. It is told from the point of view of Edith, who matures from a seven-year old girl at the begin of the war. Her thoughts and fears are clearly delineated. She is moved to various areas during the war, and finally is re-united with much of her family. Her sister and brother live to survive the war. Photographs of the family, the schools Edith attended, and some historical happenings illustrate the text, and create it real. The author is a prolific chronicler of Jewish history for kids who has won a lot of awards for her writing. For ages 9-12. Reviewed by Shelly Feit

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