Second Novel Is As Rich As The First, January 25, 1999
Reviewer: A reader
This second novel is as rich as the first. Wingrove is truly a sci-fi force. The characters are vividly portrayed, both good and evil, and the complex plots and subplots are a true delight for me, a fan of this genre. Wingrove seems to be able to keep a story alive while not causing the reader to lapse into incredulity. Devore is up to his usual tricks, with a few powerful allies, and the members of the T'ang are slowly losing power as the Seven is struck by assassinations and dissent. Events in this novel -- the allegiances that are forged and the ties that are broken -- will surprise some. I can see where some people might be intimidated by this series because of its scope and length but to anyone who is looking for a mixture of superior, intelligent science fiction with a soap-operatic yet action-oriented feel, then this series fits the bill...bar none. In addition, there is a welcome emergence of very strong female characters in this novel that continues into the third novel of the series. Be forewarned, however; the sheer number of characters can be frustrating if you haven't read Chung Kuo first.
Seven continents, Seven Chinese kings. A benevolent rule and a stable, sensual, high-tech society. But the T'and overlords no longer control all three hundred levels of City Earth. Revolution is brewing. As the all-powerful Seven plot the boldest imaginable counterstrike, a plan to control the minds of all humankind, Chung Kuo speeds toward cataclysm, the final game between East and West, between the privileged Above and the downtrodden Below -- a monumental confrontation with forty billion lives in the balance.
In Book 2 of the series, revolution is brewing and the characters we have come to know in Book 1 are swept into greater conflicts. Wingrove displays excellent characterization and engaging prose in the entire epic series. Highly recommended.