Set in the universe of the New York Times bestselling Three-Body Problem trilogy, The Redemption of Time continues Cixin Liu’s multi-award-winning science fiction saga. This original story by Baoshu—published with Liu’s support—envisions the aftermath of the conflict between humanity and the extraterrestrial Trisolarans.
In the midst of an interstellar war, Yun Tianming found himself on the front lines. Riddled with cancer, he chose to end his life, only to find himself flash frozen and launched into space where the Trisolaran First Fleet awaited. Captured and tortured beyond endurance for decades, Yun eventually succumbed to helping the aliens subjugate humanity in order to save Earth from complete destruction.
Granted a healthy clone body by the Trisolarans, Yun has spent his very long life in exile as a traitor to the human race. Nearing the end of his existence at last, he suddenly receives another reprieve—and another regeneration. A consciousness calling itself The Spirit has recruited him to wage battle against an entity that threatens the existence of the entire universe. But Yun refuses to be a pawn again and makes his own plans to save humanity’s future…
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This exposition-heavy prequel to Liu Cixin's Three-Body Problem trilogy will be a challenge for newcomers, and even fans of Liu's work are likely to be disappointed by the ponderous writing and murky story. The interminable opening section consists of a prolonged conversation 600 years in the future as Yun Tianming relates his experiences as "the greatest spy in the history of the human race," who, "embodied in an isolated brain," sought information to help humankind avert destruction by the mysterious aliens known as the Trisolarans. Yun constantly schemes to outwit his more powerful captors, but the slow pacing and paucity of action makes his efforts boring. Things don't improve when Yun finds himself involved in a conflict between cosmic beings known as the Seeker and the Lurker. Even the revelation of the Trisolarans' true nature feels anticlimactic, and the final twist is gimmicky rather than clever. Readers will need to be deeply immersed in Liu Cixin's original trilogy to get anything out of this overambitious homage.