On the way to the stars

Defender (Foreigner, #5)
by C.J. Cherryh, Daniel Thomas May (Narrator)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Good thing that I don‘t really read the blurbs before diving into these books, because the main plot line of this one was a complete surprise, for me and Bren Cameron. So I experienced it all firsthand though him. Fun!

“Actually, you’re the alien.“
Oh yes, that was a good one. The crew of the Phoenix in all their entitlement still haven‘t understood that the colonists have moved on and are their own society now.

And by now it seems that Bren Cameron is more Atevi than Mospheiran. Stretched out between all those different cultures and not quite belonging to his own origin society anymore.

It doesn‘t feel like a transition or „middle-book“ at all for me, as other reviewers hinted at. Well, yes, it really is a middle-book in this sub-trilogy, but the story was entertaining and had some great new developments. Bren being kept out of the loop of some back-door dealings between two of the major players was quite a revelation to him and leading him to question Tabini‘s trust in him.

I wonder how this trip will shape Cajeiri and I can‘t wait to find out about that other station, the other aliens and what they will find when they all get back home…

Defender is the 5th Foreigner book. It is also the 2nd book in the second subtrilogy.

“Yes, ma’am,” he said, and folded his hands and stopped where he was, listening, waiting while a very sick woman tried to gather her faculties.
“First off, tell the dowager she’s a right damn bastard.”
It was no time for a translator to argue. Mitigation, however, was a reasonable tactic. “Aiji-ma, Sabin-aiji has heard our suspicions regarding Tamun and received assurances from me and Gin-aiji that we have not arranged a coup of our own. She addresses you with an untranslatable term sometimes meaning extreme disrepute, sometimes indicating respect for an opponent.”
Ilisidi’s mouth drew down in wicked satisfaction. “Return the compliment, paidhi.”
“Captain, she says you’re a right damn bastard, too.” 

Atevi in Space!

Precursor (Foreigner, #4)
by C.J. Cherryh, Daniel Thomas May (narrator)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Book #4 of the series, first book of the next trilogy, continuing three years after the last books. Shuttles have started to go up to the station, the Atevi have reached space. Relations with Mospheira have improved. Tabini unexpectedly sends up Bren with with his Atevi household and a Mospheiran delegation. They are not exactly welcome on the station, despite agreements to the contrary. Relations with the crew of the Phoenix prove more difficult than expected and go downhill quickly.

I have to confess that I could not fully relate to the action of the ship‘s captains and their motivations. Was this simply a powerplay? Why stall and antagonize the people that they asked for help and in fact need so badly?

Bren‘s family is still a pain in the neck, especially his mother. And Ilisidi is hilarious, as always.

I am finally, finally hooked. This book so far was the fastest moving, with the most action. I enjoyed this a great deal and will definitely continue. Great start for the next subplot and trilogy.