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Ball Lightning

By: Cixin Liu
Narrated by: Bruno Roubicek
Series: Three Body, Book 0
Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (63 ratings)

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Publisher's 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.

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

What listeners say about Ball Lightning

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    5 out of 5 stars

A fascinating speculation fiction

Ball Lightning's story is okay, but I wouldn't say it is amazing. Where this book truely shines is in its speculation of uncharted physics. I found Cixin's speculation on physics to be quite fascinating and entertaining to listen to, and overall enjoyed this book very much.

2 people found this helpful

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Awesome

I listened to Ball Lightening after reading the Three Body trilogy. I love Cixin Liu's style. His characters are relatable, his ideas are novel and innovative, he has a talent for making frontier scientific concepts accessible without dumbing things down, and there's always another intriguing turn in the plot whenever you think you've read/heard all the juicy bits. The only thing I could say against his writing style is that it sometimes requires patience, in that occasionally sections or chapters will go on what at first seems a tangent, but read/listen on and your faith is very thoroughly rewarded (Lovecraft was a bit like that oftentimes, come to think of it). Another big plus is Bruno Roubicek's narration. Clear and consistently paced, and suitable for listening in the car or noisy places. Highly recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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A great prequel to the 3 Body Problem series

Another captivating storyline, one which you could belive actually happens with in depth characters. an enjoyable listen.

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interesting but a bit boring

I struggled to finish it. It has a very interesting idea about the physics of ball lightning but too often it overuses monotonous, highly descriptive and sometime unrealistic dialogues.

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loved it!

great story; great characters, great narrator i can't wait to start listening to next book

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-11-2018

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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  • Jed1314
  • 28-04-2020

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-09-2019

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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-08-2020

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • D
  • 12-09-2020

interesting throughout, but vaguely dissatisfying.

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

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  • critical friend
  • 09-09-2020

This is science speculation: which universe ?

The author takes us on a journey from a tragic and dramatic personal event through an understandable and credible mission to understand the phenomenon of ball lightning into a logical progression involving quantum physics and philosophy. The main protagonist's relationships and interactions with other major figures, especially the female colleague/love interest/superior/mentor as well as the science becomes intense and holds the reader's interest. The narration is superb and captures the differences between men and women as well as the status and background of the characters. The pronunciation of the Chinese names was consistent and the voice acting helped keep track of who was talking and how the story progressed. I have deducted a star for the story as at one point there is a reliance upon sophisticated technology to make a novel event happen. This event destroys all technology within a wide radius of the event. A plot necessity is that repeatedly triggering this event in the same place becomes a threat. This overlooks that the event cannot be triggered again in the same place as the necessary technology was destroyed by the first triggering. Despite this flaw, this book made me think about parallel universes, intersecting time-lines and whether events are really chance or random. I am looking forward to the Three Body Problem trilogy of which this is the prequel.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-08-2020

I'm converted

It is an exceptional novel and author, it took me on a true scifi journey.

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  • W.M.
  • 24-08-2020

Stunningly Elegant Sci-Fi

Unforgettably lovely story, encompassing tragedy, loss, particle physics, war and joy. The book is also a very interesting and compelling one and I finished it in a day. I reluctantly had to put the story down at times to deal with real life. Now I’m going to read everything that the author has written. Well, obviously not his grocery lists but yeah, everything else. I LOVE this book.

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  • Joshui
  • 13-08-2020

Maybe translation probs?

Loved the flow of the 3 body prob series but this felt disjointed and dull. I don’t know if it’s the same translator or the speech patterns of the narrator but this one didn’t work. If you haven’t done the other books don’t let this one put you off.