I read this Hugo-winner last year, so I'm writing this from an increasingly unreliable memory. It's also gonna be short.
Parts of this book I really loved, parts I really didn't.
The cultural aspects were gripping. You don't usually see this side of China in science fiction. I loved following the political machinations.
The actual science-fiction seemed dated and derivative. The virtual realities seemed like Gibsonesque 80s cyberpunk. The alien reveal wasn't much of a surprise, nor did it feel innovative.
Some of this is undoubtedly due to the translation and my unfamiliarity with Chinese literature, but the science-fiction parts read how older movies with bad CGI look. It was a little like watching The Lawnmower Man, only with compelling characters.
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