Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lecture Anglaise : Intruder by C.J.Cherryh

(read for myself of course, but also for the I read in english. challenge)

Once again, in this 13th installment of the "Foreigner" series, we find Bren Cameron lone human translator and lord atevi diplomat in a delicate position, this time trying and close rifts between hereditary enemies. At the same time, young Cajeiri, precocious son of Tabini, aiji and ruler of the atevi, keeps growing on in maturityin the heart of the Bu-Javid, capital of the atevi.

While in older books Bren had troubles with his duties, erring in his understanding of the situations, lead by his human emotions, he is now described as a seasoned diplomat, at his best at work with difficult people. Therein lies one of my first remark : Cherryh is a little bit too complacent with him, having him work hard, but not sweat for his results. I prefer when he is more challenged.

No, this time, the challenge is on Cajeiri, mainly in his positioning with his parents and their future second child and his aishid (bodyguards). Challenge he in part creates himself, with his old boldness and self-confidence.
Once again, even though the relation with his parents gives new insight in the up-to-now undiclosed atevi parent-child  relation (and some parent-parent), I feel the challenging a little bit too restrained.

And last, an other gripe is that we don't see as much of that lovely (never let her hear that!) Illisidji as we used too, and never at her best either. I so miss ill-tempered and sharp-witted Illisidi, we only find her agreable...

I understand Intruder is used to jumpstart the new (and fifth in the Foreigner series) trilogy, to recap the previous ones, but I would have liked more action and more challenge, more physical threats, as was more common in the rest of the series.

Finally, a remark, not on the book itself, but on its editing and formatting : I've grown quite fond of self-published/indie ebooks, despite their nasty reputation of being sub-par, text and editing/formatting-wise. I have in the last year, probably read 40 or 50 self-published books.
While some where really rubbish (in either of these criteria), I have read a good ten or twenty ones that were BETTER edited AND formatted than this one. Shame on DAW for publishing this book with such errors !

While I LOVE C.J. Cherryh's writing, I won't rate this book more than 4 stars, 3.5 if I were to take the publishing aspects into account.

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