I’m continuing my very slow wade into this huge series and very glad that I did. This book confirmed a lot of different things for me, both good and not so good.
Series: Foreigner Universe; Book 2
Author: C. J. Cherryh
Genre: Science Fiction
ROTS Setting: Distant-Future, Colonization, FTL, Aliens
Synopsis: Nearly two centuries after the starship Phoenix disappeared, leaving an isolated colony of humans on the world of the atevi, it unexpectedly returns, threatening the stability of both atevi and human governments. With the situation fast becoming critical, Bren Cameron, the brilliant, young paidhi to the court of the atevi is recalled from Mospheira where he has just undergone surgery. Upon his return to the mainland, he Cameron finds that his government has sent in his paidhi-successor, Deana Hanks—representative of a dangerous faction on Mospheira who hate the atevi. Haunted by the threat of assassination, Bren realizes his only hope may be to communicate with the Phoenix as the spokesman of the atevi—an action which may cut him off for good from his own species. Yet if he doesn’t take this desperate action, he may be forced to witness the destruction of the already precarious balance of world power.
Recommendation: Highly recommended!
Bren and I just are just not going to get along. His internal monologues trend on the tedious. I found myself skimming through most of them. There are only so many times I can handle him saying the same thing but in minutely different ways. His constant moaning about his not-girlfriend being the worst offender. Lastly, there was far too much time spent with him in a mentally compromised state. Coming off the first book, it only emphasized how he’s a horrible translator/diplomat and can’t seem to ever say the right thing but it seems to always be the right thing anyway.
Beyond that, I really enjoyed the book. The over-all plot was on point and I loved every bit that involved the atevi. The cultural and political shock waves and maneuvering. The contrasting way they think and the volatility of their very nature. I’ve come to see that they are a hyper-stylized version of humans. More instinctual, but also more logical and analytical. Ruthless and something beyond loyal.
The first book doesn’t point to much of future of mutual interaction between humans and atevi. Thankfully, there are glimmers that the divide may not be as broad as it first appeared. This sliver provided a very firm hook for me even though I’m not as excited about this book as I was about the first. It was a decent book, but it was mostly a setup-book working to progress the main plot points and preparing for new ones.
In summary, I’m glad I read it and I will, of course, be continuing the series.
Inheritor; Book 3 >>