Foreigner by C. J. Cherryh

The first book in C.J. Cherryh’s eponymous series, Foreigner begins an epic tale of the survivors of a lost spacecraft who crash-land on a planet inhabited by a hostile, sentient alien race.

From its beginnings as a human-alien story of first contact, the Foreigner series has become a true science fiction odyssey, following a civilization from the age of steam through early space flight to confrontations with other alien species in distant sectors of space. It is the masterwork of a truly remarkable author.

Summary from Goodreads

It’s been awhile since I’ve dived into a true Sci-Fi story, especially one that boasts a series as long as C.J. Cherryh’s Foreigner series (which stands at 20 books, as of 2020).

I missed Sci-Fi. I missed the ‘fish out of water’ aspect of human-meets-alien species stories. I also missed the creativity and ingenuity of good Sci-Fi: the creation of languages and cultures, social structures and building structures, and the interactions between two different species and the fascinating aspect of Sci-Fi where you find yourself understanding both sides.

Bren Cameron, the main human character, presents an interesting dilemma for readers. On the one hand, he’s the lodestone to familiarity in the midst of atevi culture and language, and on the other hand, Bren himself is becoming, culturally and mentally, something other than just human, and still far, far away from becoming atevi.

I found the dynamics of the single human character amongst an alien species really fascinating reading, and the nuances of clashing cultures made the seemingly benign actions and problems that rose up have a tense, even sinister feeling to them. The littlest things could tip the balance toward an inter-species war. Another one.

I heartily enjoyed this book, and have already started the next one, Invaders. I recommend this for any hard-core science fiction fans who like their Sci-Fi classic and entertaining.

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