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Defender by C. J. Cherryh

Defender (original 2001; edition 2001)

by C. J. Cherryh

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749812,418 (4.2)27
Authors:C. J. Cherryh
Info:Daw Books (2001), Edition: Book Club Edition, Hardcover
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Defender by C. J. Cherryh (2001)

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A deathbed confession, overheard by the wrong person, sets a wildfire of emotion through both the station and the ship crews as they learn there may be survivors on a station they abandoned when they ran back to the Atevi world.

Betrayal, anger and distrust are rampant in every interface between the various human groups and even with the Atevi. However, with the ship refueled, there is no reason why the crew can't go back to get the missing people. A year-long journey and a chance of a hostile alien encounter are only part of the problem. A decade has passed since they abandoned Reunion. What will they find when they return?

The hope that friends and family might still be holding on in the partially destroyed station is going to lead to a mutiny if a rescue isn't immediately launched -- and even that would take a year to reach the station -- then there is going to be serious trouble.

Into this atmosphere, Bren Cameron must try to work a solution to everyone's liking -- but he's working blind in one respect. He has had no instructions from the Aiji or the Atevi government. Urgent messages go unanswered at a time when he most needs the guidance of his friend.

He knows friend is not a word he can apply to any Atevi. He knows that he doesn't feel what they feel, and yet he can't help but feel a level of betrayal when he learns the Aiji has been working with another rather than with him. He's been cut off with no one but his loyal Atevi companions to stand by him in a dangerous situation where he can only guess what the leader of the Atevi world will want. Add the pressure of family commitments he can in no way deal with, and believing himself abandoned and betrayed, Bren can only do what he's always trained to do -- mediate between groups of people who are one step away from open warfare. When the indomitable Illisidi and the Aiji's young son come to the station, intending to travel aboard the ship, the situation grows even more complex.

Defender is an exciting book from start to finish, with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing just what might be the truth and what enemies might Bren faces. As always, the alien society is exceptionally well-written and the plotting superb. This book is a real treat for fans of the series. ( )
1 vote zette | Feb 23, 2010 |
See Foreigner and Precursor. ( )
  TadAD | May 15, 2008 |
Defender is the second book of the second trilogy of the Foreigner series.

it is perhaps the most psychological and convoluted.

Bren has set himself up on the station to represent the aiji's authority and serve as a mediating presence between the atevi, mospheirans, and Phoenix crew/captains that are working and living in such close quarters. in fact he's gotten quite used to the idea--- in the last installment (Precursor), he felt in danger the whole time he was away from the world; but as of this point, it is precisely going back down to the world that makes him the most worried. he feels so entrenched and secure in his new realm that he completely forgets to look ahead... again... the boy is always doing this. well, one can't be a whiz at everything. Bren is nothing if not fallible.

an inopportunely-leaked secret destablizes the station and prompts the crew to mutiny. Bren is so busy trying to hold everything together and prevent drastic action that he is again blind-sided by Tabini's own drastic action in response. not once, but at least three times. features a memorable series of confrontations between the aiji-dowager (with young Cajeiri in tow; yay, Cajeiri!) and the most xenophobic of the captains, neither of whom is going to back down and only one of whom is going to win. plus, of course, a couple of family crises that Bren can't possibly handle--- the usual.

Jase finally takes on the role, and not merely the title, of Captain, and we finally see the powerful young man that we got to know on the planet (instead of the meekly obedient officer). Kroger is back, much happier, and more in the right of things this time around.

do we have any new characters? surprisingly, not really. only Cajeiri. she's teasing us with Cajeiri. we haven't properly met him yet; we've just gotten a taste. we have to wait until the next book to enjoy him further. think: Tabini, as a child.

Barb, god, can't we get rid of her? no, because his mother dotes on her and Bren's an all-forgiving ENFJ. I rather agree with Jago on this matter (as well as many others). I always think of a certain quote when Barb comes up:

It's not that she's bad... She just makes me want to put my finger through my eye, into my brain, and swirl it around! (Gunter to Rachel, regarding Phoebe's singing, Friends.)

and, ah, the human psychology discussed when Cherryh starts in on Bren's Family! lol ( )
  moiraji | Feb 21, 2008 |
Almost nothing happens in this volume, but I became so engrossed in it anyway that I barely noticed. This, the fifth book in the Atevi series, concerns the imminent departure of the human starship Phoenix which has been docked at the space station above the Atevi home world for the last several years. Again, we follow translator and diplomat Bren Cameron as he negotiates interspecies communication.

Unlike some previous volumes in this series, there are no great battles, no new Atevi landscapes to explore, and hardly any new characters (the Atevi ruler's six year old heir is one exception). Most of the book is consumed by Bren's conflicts with his human family and his difficulty understanding the Atevi reaction to the death of Captain Ramirez.

There is a lot of intrigue and suspicion among the factions in this book. So much that the reader spends most of the time trying to figure out what is going on. It is not unpleasant, and the delicious alien-ness of the setting helps. This is obviously a world in which the author feels comfortable. ( )
  Pferdina | Sep 11, 2007 |
Yet another stunning installment in the Foreigner series, and yet more startrekky moments ;-)

The book starts with a moment of frustration, of not understanding what is happening, but then goes on to describe the content and routine life Bren and his houshold has established on the space station... And then the troubles, as predicted by the reader, begins - a double-cross, feelings of being betrayed, of not being trusted...

Well paced, well written, in tone and theme not far from the first Foreigner book. ( )
1 vote Busifer | May 31, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. J. Cherryhprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
May, Daniel ThomasNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll,StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Asad, Barb, Harriet, and Irene,
and to Ann, Lawrence, Elaine, Elizabeth, Elinor
and Cynthia...
They found the missing pieces.
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Firelight went up to the red figures of an ancient frescoed vault, smoke-hazed from the braziers on either side of the black stone tomb.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0756400201, Mass Market Paperback)

National best-selling author and winner of three Hugo Awards, C.J. Cherryh presents book two of her second Foreigner trilogy-the epic story of a single human delegate on a hostile alien planet.

In this long-awaited sequel to Precursor, the alien atevi enter the treacherous politics of space travel-as their one human negotiator is caught in the throes of a mutiny...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:26 -0400)

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An isolated human colony has led a precarious existence on the hostile world of the Atevi, until the return of the starship Phoenix threatens to shatter the balance of power.

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