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Conspirator by C. J. Cherryh
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Conspirator

by C. J. Cherryh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Foreigner (10)

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While some parts were refreshing (I will always adore Cajeiri and Illisidi), it grows rather tiresome to run into the same situation repeatedly. It also grows tiresome when Bren repeats himself, returns to the same tracks, and the book lulls.

I enjoyed seeing conflict between Bren, Toby, and Barb. I enjoyed it less when it abruptly came to an end and we didn't see exactly what was going on with Barb and Bren. I want to know whether or not Barb really is using Toby, like Bren suggests, but we don't get to see that. This gets frustrating.

A random renewal of hostilities in the middle of the book stir up interest, but that fades after the reader realizes it's nearly the same situation as earlier. Gunfire, without the people shooting visible, and only explanations being given later. It's the same formula and, after about nine books, it's time the formula changed.

It'll be a while before I come back to this series. The long interludes in Bren's head, without much going on and no real plot, just shambling from one scene to another, has grown tiresome. ( )
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
While some parts were refreshing (I will always adore Cajeiri and Illisidi), it grows rather tiresome to run into the same situation repeatedly. It also grows tiresome when Bren repeats himself, returns to the same tracks, and the book lulls.

I enjoyed seeing conflict between Bren, Toby, and Barb. I enjoyed it less when it abruptly came to an end and we didn't see exactly what was going on with Barb and Bren. I want to know whether or not Barb really is using Toby, like Bren suggests, but we don't get to see that. This gets frustrating.

A random renewal of hostilities in the middle of the book stir up interest, but that fades after the reader realizes it's nearly the same situation as earlier. Gunfire, without the people shooting visible, and only explanations being given later. It's the same formula and, after about nine books, it's time the formula changed.

It'll be a while before I come back to this series. The long interludes in Bren's head, without much going on and no real plot, just shambling from one scene to another, has grown tiresome. ( )
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
Amazon preorder
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
C. J. Cherryh’s Foreigner series is (with volume #14 about to be released as I’m writing this) one of the longer-running series in Science Fiction and might very well be the one with most detailed world-building, or, more precisely, with the most detailed exploration of an alien culture. As so often with Cherryh, it is at its heart a story about culture clash between different species, in this case between the humans (or a group of them that has been stranded on a far-off planet) and the atevi (the dominant species on that planet).

Cherry’s atevi, who have no concept of anything resembling love or friendship among humans, but whose society is held together by a quasi-feudal system of allegiance, are quite unabashedly modelled on Asian cultures; in particular a certain formality and reliance on ritual in interpersonal communication is quite reminiscent of the Far East. Cherryh has occasionally been criticized for basing her alien civilizations on human ones, but I do not think that this criticism is valid – writings that provide us with insights into the ways human cultures interact with each other are not any less significant than writings that describe genuinely alien cultures (which are extremely rare anyway – off the bat, I can think of only two successful examples, Stanislaw Lem’s novel Solaris and James Tiptree’s story “Love is the Plan the Plan is Death”). Much of the best of Science Fiction has used the genre to comment more or less openly on the present, and that is the tradition one should see Cherry’s Foreigner series in.

The series consists of several three-book arcs (and it is probably not a coincidence that three is a fortunate number in atevi culture) and Conspirator, being entry #10 in the series as a whole, kicks off the fourth such arc. Everyone who has been following the series this far will be impatiently waiting for the arrival of the Kyo (a second alien race encountered in Explorer) to arrive on the atevi homeworld; I knew from the back cover blurbs that this was not going to happen yet, and in consequence, was somewhat concerned that Cherry might just be treading water here, but as it turned out, I need not have worried.

The story starts off innocuously enough, with some quibbles over Bren Cameron’s appartement and him in consequence moving to his country estate for an extended vacation (I’d be willing to wager that Cherryh was itching at some stage to call this volume “Bren Goes on Holiday” or maybe “Vacationer”). But then things start to snowball and by the novel’s end our protagonists have had to deal with an assassination attempt and a major conspiracy that threatens to destabilize the balance of power on the planet. Conspirator does stays true to the series’ mixture of political intrigue and action, and while it does not present any innovations for the series, it keeps it exciting and entertaining even after ten volumes. The novel does not quite end on a cliffhanger but leaves things mostly unresolved at its end, and I was glad that I had waited until the complete arc was released before starting on it.
  Larou | Apr 3, 2013 |
important events for the series, and for the characters. Bren relearns how to make human connections, while the boy heir Cajeiri learns how to handle atevi associations. Bren and his brother reach an understanding, Bren's household is confronted by an shocking amount of raw human emotion, Tabini-aiji learns from afar how to help his son, the dowager great-grandmother Ilisidi rearranges the politics of the planet more or less casually on a drive-by, and Bren stops worryijng about his apartment and his technology ban.

but there's also unusually a lot of overexplaining, followed by re-explaining. followed by a long note. unusual for Cherryh to repeat herself, or stretch out of shape her usual tight third-person. all that regurgitated exposition makes the story flow less compellingly, which impedes that air of urgency her stories usually so well convey. and given that the dialogue was already covering the politics of the situation quite adequately, it was unnecessary to keep embellishing the deep background. ( )
  macha | Jun 23, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Intrigue, action, suspense, marvelously drawn characters, and plenty of alien psychology are neatly balanced here, creating a book that just about any science fiction reader will be happy with.
added by sdobie | editSF Site, Charlene Brusso (Sep 15, 2009)
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. J. Cherryhprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lockwood, ToddCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, Daniel ThomasNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Jane and to Shejidan—

for keeping me honest.
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Spring was coming.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Cajeiri, the young son of the powerful leader of the Western Association, has become a target for forces bent on destroying his father's rule. For Cajeiri is the first "ateva" youth to have lived in a human environment and the first of his people to ever truly understand the so similar--yet so dangerously different--aliens who share his home planet and threaten the hidebound customs of his race.… (more)

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