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Summary

When Chen's parents are incinerated before his eyes by a blast of ball lightning, he devotes his life to cracking the secret of this mysterious natural phenomenon. The more he learns, the more he comes to realise that ball lightning is just the tip of an entirely new frontier in particle physics. Although Chen's quest provides a purpose for his lonely life, his reasons for chasing this elusive quarry come into conflict with soldiers and scientists who have motives of their own.

©2005 Liu Cixin (P)2018 W.F. Howes Ltd

What listeners say about Ball Lightning

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Author's afterword contains spoilers

Great book and reading, I've gone on to listen to more of the series but afterword spoils part of 3 body problem. Better to return to this section after you've read the rest of the series.

24 people found this helpful

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An interesting story

This is my first time reading a Cixin Liu book, and I picked this up hearing it was a prequel to his popular Three Body series. I was pleasantly surprised, Ball Lightning is a slow but engaging story that explores interesting science fiction concepts. Everything feels very real and grounded in reality, as if some of the things mentioned in this book could be real.
Bruno Roubicek's narration takes a little getting used to, but I do think he did an excellent job. I highly recommend

7 people found this helpful

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Not a prequel and not my taste at all

I really liked the beginning of this book, but the military fetishism of the second half really put me off. I loved the three body trilogy, but this is not in the same league at all. Also, Liu's lingering sexism is even more pronounced here, but without the quality story to distract from it. Very disappointed.

3 people found this helpful

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Outstanding!

Wow, just wow...

At first i was sceptical about this book because i heard to ignore it as it was supposedly unrelated to the rest of his work (namely three body experience) of which i heard amazing things about. After a quick search i figured out with is a prequel and as wanting to catch the beginning, i bought it.

Oh boy...

This book really catches your attention and tells a gripping tale about the unflinching obsession and the struggles of scientific discovery vs the moral and existential (for the lack of a better word) implications.

I highly recommend this.

7 people found this helpful

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very one dimensional characters

it was a struggle to finish this the characters are so one dimensional, they jump from emotion to emotion incredibly fast, the plot and concept was interesting and made me stuck it out to see what happened, the best part is the epilogue where the author gives a short history lesson on Science fiction in china

1 person found this helpful

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a wonderful piece of science fiction~☆

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this tale of ball lightning, and the protagonist search for meaning. The narrator is good too~☆

1 person found this helpful

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Another Excellent Cixin Book

Loved it,
Stand along from the three body problem but in the same fictional world.

As always Cixin starts in the real and slowly developes into the mind boggling bizarre in a beautiful speculation of scientific advance

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent hard sci-fi

I discovered Cixin Liu with the Wandering Earth, then continued with the Three Body Problem series and now with Ball Lightning. He is very much a “hard sci-fi” author: fictional phenomena based on a kernel of real science. In the Dark Forest it was relativity; in Ball Lightning it is quantum mechanics. I would compare him with Stephen Baxter.

At first I didn’t like the narrator, but after so many books I have grown to like him and I think his steady style of talking matches the nature of the books.

1 person found this helpful

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A weird and wonderful sci-fi

I really enjoyed this story for its ability to write about incredibly complex scientific theories and possibilities in a way that could be understood easily.

The storyline itself was engaging and captivating, and with a little bit more character development it could easily have been a 5 star read for me.

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  • D
  • 12-09-20

interesting throughout, but vaguely dissatisfying.

they want words for the review, so here are some words.the title says enough, but is not enough.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lothloria
  • 01-11-18

Continues to be one of my favourite authors!

The book starts off absolutely brilliantly and you are hooked in immediately. It is a different feel and pace to Three Body Problem series, but I enjoyed the infiltration of science (however unnatural) into the near future. Narrator was brilliant.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Asger
  • 05-12-21

Alright

The book was alright, but I read three body first and found that one much more interesting. The theoretical ideas in this book are interesting but the way the characters learns of the ideas didn't seem realistic enough to me. The odd physics genius stereotype just always had an explanation for every weird, unnatural phenomena they experienced.
also, the storytelling wasn't as compelling to me as three body problem.