The Dark Forest (Hardcover, 2015) 4 stars

"With the scope of Dune and the rousing action of Independence Day, this near-future trilogy …

"I guess I have to read the whole story now"

3 stars

That was my first thought after finishing the first novel in the trilogy. This second book didn't change that much in my thinking. It's still okay, I liked some aspects, such as the whole 'Wallfacer' idea, but it still had a few very weird subplots, that just seem so out of place. The whole romantic subplot made me cringe, it reminded me of mail order brides. The feelings, decisions and personality of the woman in question are unimportant. Maybe that's a cultural thing but there were so many pages about this whole thing and it's just weird.

The whole idea of the dark forest is interesting, the droplet was also a good part. I wish he put more time into the characters and the story, not just into the science. That's the thing, I remember most of the science, but the characters are all very much replaceable.

In the end, I can't recommend this book. It's not bad, but there are so many better sci-fi books out there. It's good to see some non-American sci-fi authors out there, but that doesn't mean we have to blindly praise this one. It's like pumpkin spiced latte: It's fun to have something different once in a while, it's not bad, but on it's own, it's not that great.

I will read the last book, just to get it over with. Maybe it's gonna turn this whole ship around, but I don't have any high hopes. I still don't get why so many people recommend this book.

Content warning Spoiler