22 January 2007
Book Banter -- Precursor
Author: C.J. Cherryh
Length: 438 pages
Plot Basics: Three years have passed since Bren Cameron, translator between the humans and atevi, helped the two races start the construction of a space shuttle after the old human ship Phoenix reappears. In a move by the ruler of the atevi world, Bren's suddenly aboard the shuttle, sent into space to negotiate with the humans on board to figure out how to rebuild the space station. Negotiations seemingly start well, but Bren and his atevi staff end up being near-prisoners on the station and Bren finds that he has to prevent the outbreak of a new three-sided human-atevi-human war between the station and the planet.
Banter Points: Cherryh does such a good job with alien cultures. The atevi feel foreign and it's interesting to watch the character interaction of those people on the space station react to them. Her plots take lots of build-up, but once the books takes off, it's a great story.
Bummer Points: Her plots take lots of build up. This is the first book in her second trilogy set in this universe, so a bunch of the beginning of the book goes over familiar ground for readers of the first three (Foreigner, Invader, Inheritor). She spends a great deal of time, again, telling readers why the atevi are different from humans.
Word Nerd recommendation: Still pretty good, though Word Nerd thinks that readers who read these as they came out with more time between books might have liked them more because all the repetition wouldn't be so close together.