99 points, 5 stars
For three breakneck years the atevi labor to build a space shuttle which will bear their representatives to the Phoenix, to strengthen connections with their new human allies and retain their bid for control of their world. But as soon as the shuttle proves spaceworthy, the captains of the Phoenix suddenly recall their planetary delegates, breaking diplomatic contact and initiating a vicious bid for political dominance.
But the powerful head of the atevi’s Western Association is not to be outmaneuvered, and he sends his own diplomat, or paidhi, Bren Cameron, into space to negotiate. Thrust into a political maelstrom with almost no preparation, can Bren gain control of the station and political supremacy for the atevi without sparking a three-sided interspecies war?
“He ventured into the security station to fill in his staff on what he’d learned, and Banichi was there, looking like death.
“You, nadi,” he said to Banichi, “ought to be asleep.”
“A superfluous habit,” Banichi said. “Conducive to ignorance.”
BREN IN SPACE! WOOOO!
This is the start of the second Foreigner trilogy and goddamn I love this series. I loved the game that Bren played between the atevi and the stupid humans on Mospheira in the first trilogy. I was reluctant to start this one because I didn’t want it to be over. Well, rejoice! Now it is Bren the almost-atevi vs the idiotic humans part 2, now with even stupider humans! And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
That is seriously basically the whole book. The humans are stupid, Bren has to try and out-think them. All while in a very precarious position because they finally have the space program up and running. Bren has to go up to the space station and set up the Atevi side, but first we have to make the space station secure for the atevi (and humans).
Oh and his home life is suffering some turmoil. Again. He has such an interesting family dynamic, with the mom who cannot let go, the ex-girlfriend who cannot let go, and his brother who’s family life is falling apart because of both his mom and Bren’s precarious position. Minor, but it keeps coming up all the time. Not my favourite part of the series but it certain is an interesting addition and adds to the depth of the series.
I love Bren’s interactions with the Atevi. This is book four and Bren really just..feels accepted by the Atevi. In a way no human has ever been accepted by an Atevi before. He and his bodyguards feels like a family. Bren feels like he has a position of power in their government when other paidhi before him were little more than dictionary-makers. Mostly because he actually does have power, he isn’t just a figurehead. He has carved out his place amongst them. And it is awesome.
This series just keeps getting better!