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    Inhaltsangabe

    In a sunlit clearing in Central Gondwana, on an otherwise ordinary day in the late Cretaceous, the seeds of Earth's first and greatest civilisation were sown in the grisly aftermath of a Tyrannosaurus' lunch. 

    Throughout the universe, intelligence is a rare and fragile commodity - a fleeting glimmer in the long night of cosmic history. That Earth should harbour not just one but two intelligent species at the same time defies the odds. That these species, so unalike - and yet so complementary - should forge an alliance that kindled a civilisation defies logic. But time is endless and everything comes to pass eventually.... 

    The alliance between ants and dinosaurs, was of course, based on dentistry. Yet from such humble beginnings came writing, mathematics, computers, fusion, antimatter and even space travel - a veritable Age of Wonder! But such magnificent industry comes at a price - a price paid first by Earth's biosphere and then by all those dependent on it. And yet the dinosaurs refused to heed the ants' warning of impending ecological collapse, leaving the Ant Federation facing a single dilemma: destroy the dinosaurs, destroy a civilisation...or perish alongside them?

    ©2020 Cixin Liu (P)2020 W F Howes

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    Interesting setting, but not convincing

    The setting is very intriguing and interesting, but I found the story not very convincing and also not consistent. For instance the author described the dinosaurs as being creative and intelligent, traits that the ants lack. But actually I always had the feeling that the dinosaurs are very dull while the ants seemed to be intelligent and rational beings. Another inconsistency is the end, the dinosaurs have some technology which I won't spoiler here, and it seems that they have been developed the technology without the help of ants. At least the ants were not aware of this technology which is a serious inconsistency in the plot, since the book was all about how the ants are the fingers and hands of the dinosaurs and how they built all the technology for them. Maybe I am too critical, and the focus lies in the political allegory. But I didn't find the allegory to be very enlightening, so I wished the author would have pursued a different storyline in which a consistent world is created that is completely different to ours. I liked the narrators style, but it was too slow for me. 1.35 times the normal speed was perfect for me.