Three more years have passed, the space station has been considerably refurbished and a new star ship is under construction.
All is going well, but Bren Cameron finds himself at a loss as to why Tabini wanted him to hurry down to the planet to attend a strange funeral ceremony, have a brief chit-chat and then have him hurry back to the space station.
Shortly afterwards, Stani Ramirez, a senior captain dies, and Bren discovers he has been left out of the loop. The plot thickens. And the intercultural protocols get strained to bursting.
Defender fits well with the previous four books, introducing a significant new character in the shape of Tabini's son. However, this is not really a stand alone item, it being more of a continuation of Precursor and a lead in to Explorer
This report prepared by Charles Smyth
Daw, Nov 2001, 23.95, 480 pp.
Two centuries ago the human starship Phoenix fled the planet leaving behind kin to defend themselves from the native atevi. The resulting war was a slaughter, but before global destruction occurred a peaceful coexistence developed. The few human survivors were exiled to the isolated island of Mospheira where they prayed for a miracle.
Now the Phoenix returns, ignoring their marooned human lineage while offering interstellar technology to the atevi in exchange for needed manpower to renovate an aging space station. Now with three space shuttles in their CJ Cherryh arsenal, the atevi internally argue about remaining earthbound or journeying into space. As they debate the impact to their culture, atevi leader Tabini-aiji sends his human paidhi-diplomat Bren Cameron to bargain with the Phoenix leadership. Bren learns that the Phoenix cowardly deserted its own people in the wake of a third species invasion in another space sector.
Merge the best violations of the prime directive of classic Star Trek with the wallop of Star Wars and the reader has DEFENDER. The complex story line is a taut thriller that explores several layers of emotions including the impact of technology on a race and the survivor instinct of both the individual and the collective society. Bren is a powerful character struggling to stand astride two cultures, one of which is innately alien to his core thinking. The key atevi characters, especially Bren's bodyguards, allow the audience to believe that the species exist. Fans of CJ Cherryl's Foreigner Universe and alien stories in general will fully relish this thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner