It’s in this fourth book in which the series seems to hit its stride. The main players become more defined and there is finally more focus on character development rather than world building. The three previous books feel like they were just a long introduction into what looks like will be the main storyline. Now that we have a sense of the world in which Chung Kuo is set, Wingrove seems to settle in. The concurrent plots begin to breathe a little and come to life.