Explorer by C.J. Cherryh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Book number 6 in the Foreigner Universe - this is in no way a stand alone book for those of you not familiar with the series.
I'm not sure I can adequately describe a book that is the cumulation of the five books that preceded it. Bren Cameron, our Atevi liaison and now appointed "Lord of the Heavens", embark on a joint Atevi-Human space voyage to the stranded Reunion station. Lies, falsehoods and politics that span decades are the basis for current animosities. What the ship finds upon arrival is an alien entity, a paranoid station, and fear and resentment that's been simmering for over ten years.
This book starts out a bit slow as the reader needs to travel with Bren, his Atevi bodyguards, the Dowager-ajji and her ward, and the human crew on the ship to Reunion Station. The First-Captain is an angry resentful woman, the Second-Captain - Bren's friend and cohort from the Ajji's court - bears the brunt of First-Captain's anger and resentment as he uncovers more lies and reveals them to Bren and the Atevi. A fair amount of discussion, yelling, contemplation and angst make up the first half of the story.
When the ship finally pops into space near the station Reunion, that's when the reader is treated to some joint human-Atevi action, where Bren needs to figure out logistics from a human perspective and employ Atevi techniques to carry out the mission. The reader is steadily pulled along in what becomes, in my opinion, a page turner that is hard to put down.
Recommended if you've read the first five. Which I also recommend.
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