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Ball Lightning

Written by: Cixin Liu, Joel Martinsen - translator
Narrated by: Feodor Chin
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Publisher's Summary

"Wildly imaginative." (Barack Obama on The Three-Body Problem trilogy)

A new standalone military science fiction adventure from the New York Times best-selling and award-winning author of the Three-Body Trilogy.

When Chen’s parents are incinerated before his eyes by a blast of ball lightning, he devotes his life to cracking the secret of the mysterious natural phenomenon. His search takes him to stormy mountaintops, an experimental military weapons lab, and an old Soviet science station.

The more he learns, the more he comes to realize 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 his elusive quarry come into conflict with soldiers and scientists who have motives of their own: a beautiful army major with an obsession with dangerous weaponry, and a physicist who has no place for ethical considerations in his single-minded pursuit of knowledge.

Ball Lightning, by award-winning Chinese science fiction author Cixin Liu, is a fast-paced audiobook about what happens when the beauty of scientific inquiry runs up against a push to harness new discoveries with no consideration of their possible consequences.

This program is read by Feodor Chin, voice of Zenyatta in Overwatch.

©2005, 2018 Liu Cixin; Translation copyright by China Educational Publications Import & Export Corp., Ltd. (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

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What listeners say about Ball Lightning

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Most boring-fun book

Feels like an academic work of literature. Beautiful in form, and has some memorable characters. Some ppl would say it's boring, but for fans of the author is a great piece.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not as good as Three Body Problem Trilogy but...

I listened to Ball Lightning after being enamoured with The Three Body Problem trilogy. Ball Lightning is very slow for the first half of the book. Maddeningly slow. The second half of Ball Lightning has some of the elements that make The Three Body Problem trilogy so good: surprising plot twists, creative take on the consequences of new technology, the thrill of scientific discovery, etc. So, Ball Lightning still worth listening to, in my opinion. Lastly, the narrator has an odd affectation in his voice when he reads the female character Lin Yun. This choice was a little strange and distracting at times. Thanks for reading.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Weaker Cixin book, but stellar performance

The recording for this book is fantastic, and the story is quite compelling, though much more focused in scope than the Three body series.

For fans of the other books, it's an easy recommendation, and it prompted me to re-visit the series via audible.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, but...

I finished the Three Body Problem series, which left a vacuum in my nightly entertainment slot. I picked up Ball Lightning in hopes that it would be equally amazing, but it didn't quite hit the spot. The story took quite a bit of time to get started with the hard science fiction, I was hoping for. That said, once it started, it got quite good. Ball Lightning is a prequel to TBP, and the introduction is there on a few occasions, if you're familiar with that storyline.

The performance on the narrator is good, but I couldn't quite get used to his portrayal of the female characters. Overall, though, he did well.

I highly recommend this book for any hard science fiction fans out there. Cixin Liu is a master of his craft, and while I would have liked some differences in the storyline, it is still a great story.

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2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

not as good as 3body story

having read 3body first i was expecting something just as good, disappointing but still worth reading, 3body is alot to live up to

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing after Three Body Problem

I loved Three Body Problem. All three books were wonderfully imaginative. When I saw this follow-up, I had high expectations that were not met with this effort. There are some interesting ideas in this book, but not enough to carry it and make it worthwhile to trudge through the less-than-good prose.

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