Tuesday, June 29, 2010


C. J. Cherryh

Part of the Foreigner series. Another strong edition to the universe, launches off the second trilogy with an engaging blend of action and intrigue. I noticed this volume had a significant focus on sexuality and family, in relation to humans as well as the atevi, and both elements play out fairly well. Fundamentally the book is about moving along the narrative and with it the unfolding interaction of human and alien factions. One of the more unique things about the series is how the aliens are able to (relatively peacefully) get as prominent as they do. The extended narrative of what happens after first contact make it a meaningful addition to the field of science fiction. I'm still not particularly engaged by Bren as a character, however. It’s first rate science fiction as a whole, however, and definitely avoids being just another installment in a series with familiar characters. Partly this works by structuring the main approach on the process of change and transforamtion, so the center of the story usually isn’t the actual characters so much as the setting as a character, and the way events gleefully demolish the status quo, then shift and overwrite the new norms that have been established. It’s very satisfying as an approach to science fiction, and is rather different from Cherryh’s tact in the Alliance-Union series.

Better than: Foreigner by C. J. Cherryh
Worse than: Chanur’s Homecoming by C. J. Cherryh

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