96 points, 5 stars!
Six months have passed since the reappearance of the starship Phoenix—the same ship which brought a colony of humans to the hostile environment of alien atevi nearly two hundred years ago. During these six months, the atevi have reconfigured their fledgling space program in a bid to take their place in the heavens alongside humans. But the return of the Phoenix has added a frighteningly powerful third party to an already volatile situation, polarizing both human and atevi political factions, and making the possibility of all-out planetary war an even more likely threat.
On the atevi mainland, human ambassador Bren Cameron, in a desperate attempt to maintain the peace, has arranged for one human representative from the Phoenix to take up residence with him in his apartments, and for another to be stationed on Mosphiera, humanity’s island enclave. Bren himself is unable to return home for fear of being arrested or assassinated by the powerful arch conservative element who wish to bar the atevi from space. Desperately trying to keep abreast of the atevi associations, how can Bren possibly find a way to save two species from a three-sided conflict that no one can win?
“Possibly she has other reasons, nadi, such as intentions she holds in secret, and I would suggest that you remember she is old because some of her enemies are dead.”
Bren is caught between so many rocks and hard places it isn’t even funny. (It’s a little funny.) Deanna, the backup paidhi who was sent to the mainland when Bren went out of contact in the first book, is trying to cause a war all the way from Mospheira. So Bren either has to become a traitor to his country or let the war break out and everything devolve into chaos. Good choices, there. Plus, Jace, who has come down from the spaceship, is doing nothing but causing problems due to ignorance at the world and a difficulty in adjusting to being on a planet, and Bren has to keep ahead of his dumbassery. Also, the Atevi are constantly putting pressure on him, too.
All while Bren’s personal life is going haywire. His family is suffering back on the island due to his choices in Invader. They blame him for the choices he had to make, and want him to give up what he is doing and being the paidhi. He has friends he isn’t strictly supposed to have among the Atevi, Banichi and Jago, and they aren’t around because they’re off on a secret mission. And he has been doing everything alone for the six months between the previous book and the start of this one.
Wow, is there a lot for Bren to juggle in Inheritor.
I don’t particularly care for Jace right now. All he does is whine and complain and get in the way. And he irritates me far more than he should. One can only hope that he gets better with time. And calms the fuck down. And stops getting in the damn way.
A large part of Inheritor is Bren meeting with a bunch of politicians followed by a nice, long hike. A hike with guns. And nothing ever goes to plan. Shocker. Which really is basically the format of all the books so far. Bren does politics, Bren gets to go for a nice trip somewhere else to go do something else and gets into danger, or goes somewhere to get out of danger. Nothing goes to plan. It’s a great formula. Works very well.
I’m not a major fan of the end or any of the numerous bombshells that were dropped, but I’m curious to see where this going. However I do enjoy reading this, no matter what is happening. This series makes the weirdest leaps of logic I’ve ever seen. I’m constantly wondering where something came from. The story leaps in odd fits and starts, too. Overall odd but fantastic.