30 October 2006

Book Banter -- Foreigner

Title: Foreigner
Author: C.J. Cherryh
Length: 373 pages
Genre: sci-fi
Plot Basics: Generations have passed since the human space ship the Phoenix went terribly off course and colonists first landed on the world of the atevi. There is a fragile peace between humans and the atevi and one man, Bren Cameron, the paidhi, or interpreter for the two races is charged with keeping the balance. But when a rogue assassin's bullet rips through his apartment one night, Bren is whisked off -- presumably for his safety -- in to the atevi countryside. There he wrestles with what the cost is for peace between the two society and tries to unwind an ever-twisting pattern of betrayal.
Banter Points: Word Nerd first read this book when she was in high school, and remembered liking it. Since Cherryh is coming out with new books in this universe, Word Nerd decided to refresh her memory on what happens. It had been long enough since the first reading that Word Nerd felt like she was reading something new and thoroughly enjoyed this again. Cherryh does a great job of capturing the unease that Bren feels as he tries to interpret the atevi.
Bummer Points: Sometimes Cherryh gets a bit long in the descriptions or Bren's internal dialogue and it takes away from what could be faster-paced action.
Word Nerd Recommendation: This is great sci-fi. If you are a fan of the genre, this series should be a must-read.

1 comment:

Mlle. Librarian said...

I read these for the first time a few years ago, and I think your review is dead-on. I, too, could've done without the excessive internal dialogue, but overall I was wholly impressed with this series. The cultural permutations actually make sense, which is more than I can say for a lot of books in the "alien worlds" subgenre.