Ranking the three books in the series, this would fall squarely in the middle, with The Dark Forest being the highlight of the series and The Three-Body Problem being my least favorite of the three. All that to say, stopping at the second book would be a reasonable choice (and clean ending).
This book was a little more empty than its predecessor. It had lots of interesting ideas, but never really explored any of them—and their implications—in depth. I would love to learn more about this universe of Liu’s creation and was left craving to learn more about it. The book accelerates in time and space as you go through it, leaving many details to the imagination.
As many Goodreads reviews point out, there’s some weird gender representation in this book. Those reviews represent this better than I could ever hope to.
Overall it was fine. It definitely drew me in and kept me turning the pages. But it could have been so much better.