The first reading of this instalment - of what for me is my favourite Cherryh series so far - was like going on a long trip and wondering when I was going to get there, it taking a re-read of the first two in the series, and the second time around with this one to find it wasn't as drawn out as it seemed to be the first time. Foreigner is revisited by way of Bren being conscious of Jase's difficulties to assimilate with Atevi thinking and expectation. And the ongoing Jago - Bren relationship adds an element of romance to the proceedings, which is well used towards the end of Invader. An Alliance - Mosphei versus Union - Atevi element is also present, the political and social structure of the Atevi adding a further fantasy angle to it all. That's why I like this series so much, it's a well written and thought out mix of sci-fi and fantasy. Looking forward to the new one.
Cherryh has managed to create in this trilogy a fascinating yet thoroughly alien race - just close enough to human to be familiar, yet different enough to tantalize. The concepts of honorable assasination, different emotion "hardwiring" and the only word in the languange for like/love equating to a preference for a particular salad certainly keep one just enough off-balance that you can't stop reading - because you just want to find out just how Bren will make that true connection with the atevi, and one lovely woman in particular. Even if she is 7 feet tall, has pointed ears, yellow eyes and is a trained assassin! A must read for those who truly appreciate the creation of an alien race who are not just humans who dress differently or have an extra limb or eye.
Hopefully there will be more forthcoming in this series.
I loved this book - this is her best series yet, and I am eagerly awaiting those next three books that her webpage hints at. This one elaborated on the brilliant world of the atevi, had magnificently interwoven plots and sub-plots, and some fascinating characters. There was only one thing I was disappointed in ...... there was very little of Damiri, Tabini's influential consort, who looked promising in Invader. Damiri aside, this is an elegant, suspenseful, beautifully-written book, the type that is very, very, very hard to put down. An absolute must-read for all fans of intelligent sci-fi.
Cherryh makes us care about the characters -- something all authors try for and few achieve. We know much about Bren's feelings for his atevi companions; perhaps in the next volume Cherryh will explore how they, especially Jago, feel about him. I think Cherryh does something I've seen only one other author (McCaffrey) do: Sucessfully mix Gothic romance and SF.
The third novel in the Foreigner universe well lives up to the standards set by the first two. Not only does the book introduce new characters, it also elaborates on old ones, and relationships. For those that wish a well written book that always keeps you guessing what's going to happen I strongly recommend this book.
The entire trilogy is first-rate and one gets hooked very fast. Plots and subplots come thick and fast. There's no way to anticipate them, yet they never seem contrived once they arrive. Characters are deep and realistic, strange yet eerily familiar. One complaint: the first 100 pages or so are a waste for those who have read the first two volumes. It seems that Cherryh is simply trying to bring new readers into the story. This is not only boring for those who are already hooked but also somewhat futile for others: there's no way to capture adequately what happened in vols. 1-2 without reading them. This concerns not only plot but also, even moreso, the character development at which Cherryh excels. Fortunately, after this initial letdown the book picks up and quickly reaches the pace and intensity of the others. Let's hope the author doesn't do *this* again in any sequels. (I'm hoping for at least one more follow-up!)