Not so foreign this time around

On Monday I posted about attempting to read Foreigner again. Guess what, I am done. I pretty much listened to the second half of the book today, while doing housework and enjoying the sunny weather on my balcony.

Inheritor (Foreigner, #3)
by C.J. Cherryh

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book #3 in the massive Foreigner series. From the book blurb:

“The first book in C.J.Cherryh’s eponymous series, Foreigner, begins an epic tale of the survivors of a lost spacecraft who crash-land on a planet inhabited by a hostile, sentient alien race.  From its beginnings as a human-alien story of first contact, the Foreigner series has become a true science fiction odyssey, following a civilization from the age of steam through early space flight to confrontations with other alien species in distant sectors of space. It is the masterwork of a truly remarkable author.

The long-running Foreigner series can also be enjoyed by more casual genre readers in sub-trilogy installments. Inheritor is the 3rd Foreigner novel. It is also the 3rd book in the first subtrilogy.“

I abandoned the audiobook around halfway in 2019, as I was bored. Go figure.
The first book, Foreigner, was also a mixed bag. I really liked the first two sections of that novel. First the arrival in the planetary system, then a fast forward of a few generations to the planetary settlers and first contact with the indigenous population of their chosen planet, the Atevi. I enjoyed the setting in space and the glimpse at societal differences of the humans onboard the ship and those on the planet. 

Down below I had fun reading from the POV of an Atevi. His human counterpart was an interesting character as well. Unfortunately, with the beginning of the main storyline, my enjoyment took a nosedive. I was not fond of Bren, who I called a whiney little shite in my review back in 2017. I gave the book 2 stars, but was fascinated enough to continue. I actually loved Invader (Foreigner #2) so much that I gave it 5 stars.

Long story short, I abandoned this one halfway, but I delved into a few really long books in the meantime (endurance training) and I really want to like this series, so I decided to give it another try. 

The Phoenix, the ship that left the first settlers behind in Foreigner, is back at the end of book #2 and wants help. The Atevi are still progressing towards space in a slow pace, strung along by those settlers and Bren as the go-between. Bren’s connection to Mospheira is more or less non-existent at this point and what relationships he has left with his home are strained.

As in the previous books, there is a lot of intrigue, politics and complicated relationships. This time around I had a fun, though. Ok, some parts flowed by me on audio — as Bren pointed out several times: One needs a flowchart to keep track of it all. I really did have to look up some of the characters several times. A lot of them sound very similar and the names are not easy. But I think I finally might be hooked. I really want to know how it all plays out now.

PS: I listened at 1.5x normal speed and I am pretty sure that quite a few details swooshed past me, but I don‘t care. I might re-read this in print at some point, to catch all those nuances. Theoretically it means I listened to 9+ hours of audio today. My ears feel a little tender.