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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

Liu did it again

Great characters and the drama revolving weapons and science. The author as usual has made sure to take mundane thing which we leave out to hard science fiction story which will make you listen to in one straight week or 2 days in my case.
Great Story
Great Characters
Awesome crossover - Ding Yi is the best.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-11-18

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
  • 28-04-20

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.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-08-20

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

4 people found this helpful

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  • Gabriel Lopes
  • 18-09-19

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Bilsbrbj01
  • 01-03-21

Another Excellent Cixin Book

Loved it,
Stand along from the three body problem but in the same fictional world.

As always Cixin starts in the real and slowly developes into the mind boggling bizarre in a beautiful speculation of scientific advance

1 person found this helpful

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  • Justin Murphy
  • 11-02-21

Excellent hard sci-fi

I discovered Cixin Liu with the Wandering Earth, then continued with the Three Body Problem series and now with Ball Lightning. He is very much a “hard sci-fi” author: fictional phenomena based on a kernel of real science. In the Dark Forest it was relativity; in Ball Lightning it is quantum mechanics. I would compare him with Stephen Baxter.

At first I didn’t like the narrator, but after so many books I have grown to like him and I think his steady style of talking matches the nature of the books.

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  • Tatiana / @TCLinrow
  • 15-12-20

A weird and wonderful sci-fi

I really enjoyed this story for its ability to write about incredibly complex scientific theories and possibilities in a way that could be understood easily.

The storyline itself was engaging and captivating, and with a little bit more character development it could easily have been a 5 star read for me.

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  • D
  • 12-09-20

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-21

very one dimensional characters

it was a struggle to finish this the characters are so one dimensional, they jump from emotion to emotion incredibly fast, the plot and concept was interesting and made me stuck it out to see what happened, the best part is the epilogue where the author gives a short history lesson on Science fiction in china

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  • david
  • 08-05-21

dull

Sorry but the story and narrator came across as dull with just enough interest to keep you going. some interesting bits and loads of unanswered questions

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  • Dan C Amazon Customer
  • 27-04-21

Stilted

Perhaps it's partly the translation but I was expecting a lot more. I found it stilted and I could not connect to it.

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  • Kyte Gurner
  • 14-04-19

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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  • Declan
  • 02-04-19

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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  • Harrison
  • 27-01-19

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.

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  • Dario
  • 22-09-19

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lucette Cysique
  • 21-09-19

loved it!

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