16 September 2010

Book Banter -- Deceiver

Title: Deceiver (Foreigner #11)
Author: C.J. Cherryh
Genre: Sci-fi
Length: 355 pages
Where Word Nerd's Copy Came From: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library
Plot Basics: Bren Cameron, the interpreter between the humans and atevi, has survived being in space and survived a coup waiting for him upon his return, but now he is embroiled in a years-old political conflict surrounding his estate. Politically dissident factions -- connected with ousted coup -- are still trying to leverage their power when all Bren wants is some well-deserved rest. Bren is joined by other strong political figures, making them too tempting of a target for rebels to resists and despite the neutrality of Bren's office, he will once again be called on to play politics and try to keep his human head down while surrounded by alien assassins.
Banter Points: I blogged awhile back about my fictional crush on Bren Cameron and this book didn't lessen that at all. He's still amazingly polite and politically brilliant. While there's a bit of shooting in this book, it's actually very quiet and subtle. The action is tightly controlled twists of an already tautly wound spring and the tension comes because it's unclear which move may snap the whole thing. It's a sci-fi book because it has aliens and space ships in it, but really, it's a political novel. Cherryh deftly still deals with the concepts of "other" and the progress of technology while delivering an enjoyable novel.
Bummer Points: This book was hard to get in to. It was July 2009 when I read the last one and while Cherryh provided some reminders, I still had to think pretty hard to remember what had happened. Knowing that Cherryh is working on a fifth trilogy in this universe, I'm thinking there may need to be a whole re-read here, but that just takes time...
Word Nerd Recommendation: If you like quiet novels with hints of space opera but much more politics and sociology, these are a great series. I'd highly recommend waiting until whole trilogies are out before diving in so that you can read an entire story arc without waiting a year in between because they are so precise.

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