Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pretender” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Pretender (Foreigner #8)

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  1,810 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Cherryh delivers the eighth book in her Foreigner series and the second book in the new Foreigner trilogy--the epic tale of the survivors of a lost spacecraft who crash-land on a planet inhabited by a hostile, sentient race.
Published March 7th 2006 by DAW Hardcover
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Pretender, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Pretender

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
P.D.R. Lindsay
Pretender is quite my favourite in the series. It follows the dramatic events of the spaceship's return to the planet and Bren, the atevi young heir, and his great grand-mother making a splendid dash to rescue the aiji and put the atevi part of the planet back to rights. Now the aiji and his supporters must take back the capital city and the government.

There is lots of action, a wonderful train ride, Bren and the heir,Cajeiri, have a fraught moment or two but they reach their destination.

The jo
J.C. Webb
Mar 11, 2015 J.C. Webb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: male-protagonist
Ok, so this book is so much more action packed then the rest of the series. That being said SO much is hinted at behind the scenes that it could easily make your head spin. (view spoiler) ...more
Jan 22, 2016 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review to come! : D
Mar 26, 2015 Kristin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I found this book a struggle. Purely a transition book, intended to get the characters from point A, through point B, to final destination of Point C. There is a fair amount of travel involved, lots of personal angst from Bren as he decides the whole Atevi muck-up is his fault, and concerns well out of Bren's control or realm of human comprehension.

It is well understood there was a political upheaval that ousted the current regime and forced them into hiding. No, not everything was the paidhi's
CAVEAT: This review contains spoiler material, not about the book itself, but about the preceding seven books; i.e., if you have not read the previous books, you might be better off reading my more general review of Destroyer (or reading my blog post on Cherryh).

At any rate, the eighth instalment in Cherryh's Foreigner series starts almost directly after the ending of Destroyer. Human paidhi Bren Cameron and his atevi associates — including the aiji-dowager Ilisidi and her great grandson Cajeiri
Sep 20, 2012 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, scifi
This one was, if anything, more exciting than the last in this truly engrossing series. I had quite a few moments where my heart stopped, several times when my eyes teared up, and most unusual, more than one belly laugh. I cannot recommend this series highly enough. But start at the beginning, please, as each story follows the next with barely a pause to draw breath. None of the books end on a cliff hanger, thank God, but only in a breathing space, with interest still engaged to wonder what will ...more
After shenanigans in space, it's back to the ground level where chaos has erupted and political hijinks have risen to new heights. It's probably the most action-packed book so far, all the more fascinating since the lead is a diplomat who does far more ducking, running, and hiding than shooting.

This series never fails to impress me. Every book has new layers of meaning, new character facets, new political machinations, new alien-human interaction insights. I want to shove this series at everyone
Jun 28, 2012 Stuart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The eighth book in the Foreigner series, and the second in the third trilogy, I have given it three stars. It's not bad, but honestly it didn't set the heather on fire either. I love this series because of how they describe and let you into alien thinking - two sets of aliens in the last series. But this book should have been combined with the previous book - there was no real delineation at all. The padhi comes back from space to find the Atevi world in uproar. In book 7, he meets up with the A ...more
CJ Cherryh is one of my all-time favorite authors and this nonet is probably her best effort. It's got everything -- politics (lots of it), really great aliens, culture clashes of monumental proportions, great charaters... I can't say enough about it.

The story is absorbing -- a lone human diplomat becomes embroiled in the political life of an alien culture that's just similar enough to his own to be comfortable and just different enough for that comfort to be extremely hazardous. In the course o
Nov 16, 2015 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Action plus! I really liked this 8th book in the Foreigner series. Bren is in his usual self-doubting state, but there is serious action in this segment. This is not a standalone book. You must have read the preceding installments to understand what is going on. If you have, you will likely enjoy how the usurper is defeated.
Emotonal Reads
Aug 14, 2014 Emotonal Reads rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series get better and better with each book. I understand more of this Atevi culture this author created. Manachi still confuses, but I am gaining more understanding of it, I guess there is different types as there is in love.

Jago, Bianchi and the other two, I would trust with my life. others loyalty may waver with Bren, but those four seem to be constant. I know

when I'm done with this series I will hunt down other books by this author, she has an amazing imagination and tells are very go
Jun 19, 2016 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Ms. Cherryh's series is a favorite and this book is great. Lots of action and thought to make readers think.
Lisa Feld
Mar 06, 2016 Lisa Feld rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nyc
A solid adventure, and thoroughly enjoyable, with Bren and company facing civil war and trying to draw shattered atevi associations back together. (view spoiler) ...more
Feb 03, 2015 Reepacheep rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As Bren's life gets more and more complicated I am reminded of Miles Vorkosigan and his adventures. I am thoroughly enjoying this series.
Dec 27, 2015 Babsidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another spectacular entry in the Foreigner Series - relentless and thrilling every step of the way.
Apr 16, 2013 Clara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think much of this short novel when I first read it, but it grew on me with several re-readings. It's one of (what I think are) the three best 'Foreigner' books ('Foreigner' and 'Explorer' are the other two) and it has a nice little arc/storyline of its own: Tabini shows up at Tirnamardi, so now everybody has to return with him to Shejidan in order to restore him to power (and not get shot in the process). Of course, shots do fly (and certain people decide that the best way to flout t ...more
Jun 01, 2016 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series just gets better and better, and this is the best one yet.
Sep 12, 2014 Trixie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
A...liens? I mean, more aliens. I'll read it again, promise.
Feb 27, 2014 Allison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Took forever to get started, but was a fantastic read!
Aug 22, 2011 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
The eighth in the series and they just get better. This book presented a deeper look into Atevi society, especially the Assassin's Guild. It also showed signs of "bridge of understanding" between human friendship, loyalty and Atevi man'chi. The 8 year old heir Cajeiri is an excellent and interesting character with his ties to so many Atevi clans and his two year space journey amongst humans.

I finished this book in the car driving from Tobermory to home in Windsor; after staking out the outline o
Gretchen Hummel
Jul 29, 2012 Gretchen Hummel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I keep reading these things. Destroyer next which is I think the 10th book of this series. While Cherryh can be repetitive, she almost needs to be to remind us who is who and what is what, because it's become very complicated. But fascinating. I think she does an amazing job developing the politics that inevitably arise betwixt sentient alien species, whose neurological wiring is so different that they have no words to describe each others emotions. For example manchi is the emotion that drives ...more
Kaushik Iyer
Jan 02, 2016 Kaushik Iyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Pretender and Destroyer are really one long book. And it's a fantastic book.

It starts with a slow burn (in typical Cherryh fashion a good deal of it is Bren wondering where everyone else is). But then you start to see how man’chi is established, how Tabini's balanced the world, and how close to the edge the world lives.

The one odd note in the book is that a lot of the book is spent emphasizing the urgency of reestablishing peace in Ateva lands due to the imminent arrival of the Kyo. And then the
George Heintzelman
May 21, 2016 George Heintzelman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Excellent! Definitely the best-paced book in the series so far.
CV Rick
Aug 20, 2014 CV Rick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
When we last left our heroes they were on a 7 book search for another alien species to complicate their lives and add unimportant plot elements. 7 books. After all that - about 45 pages of aliens and then we go home to a planet where humans aren't really wanted and, I guess no one else is either.

And they returned to a civil war. Cool, right?

Only cool if Bren gets to use his gun.

Alas, pop-pop and then back to the proper napkin and tea service.

Bjørnar Tuftin
I could have given this one four stars, but that would have been based on a feeling that maybe I'm judging these books so harshly because I expect more from Cherryh, or that I've become old and cranky, and would have liked it better if I'd read it years ago. And down that road lies madness.
This one was much more engaging that the first book in the trilogy, but in the end it wasn't four stars excitement and I'm not dying to pick up the final book of the trilogy.
Jun 29, 2013 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the first six books in this series. But, for some reason I'm finding the third trilogy almost unbearably boring. This book, volume 8, was by far the most difficult for me to get through in the entire series so far. Even by CJ Cherryh standards very little happens here inside unusually long, meandering chapters. Ugh. I dread moving on to book 9 at this point but perhaps this trilogy will finally turn into something in the third book.
Rebecca Huston
In the 8th book of the Foreigner series, Bren Cameron returns from the two year mission to the world of the Atevi, and discovers that things have gone very awry. Tabini is missing, and the Western Association is going through rebellion. Quite a ride, and the final sequence is madly intense.

For the complete review, please go here:
Jamie Collins
This begins mere moments after the events of the previous book. It's essentially about a road trip with explosions: Bren and his staff accompany the atevi leader as he flings himself at the capital to drive out the pretender. It’s a decent read within the series, but not one of my favorites, as it’s rather repetitive and mostly consists of Bren musing over the atevi political situation.
Jul 08, 2013 Melinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was awesome. I really like the way the author explains the political ramifications of every move. I'm sometimes oblivious to social cues and undercurrents; this made me more aware of what the characters were thinking and why they chose to do what they did. Plus the main character reminds me a little of myself, at sea in a flow of political and social currents.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
More like 2.5. Some interesting societal glimpses, and character development. But the pacing feels wrong.

Also I realized part of the issue with these books, or well, am able to articulate it. I recognize C.J. Cherryh's style of dialogue and monologue, and it's distracting enough that it sort of takes me out of the story.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Rebel Ice (Stardoc, #6)
  • The Better Part of Valor (Confederation #2)
  • Worldwired (Jenny Casey, #3)
  • Changing Vision (Web Shifters, #2)
  • The Ruby Dice (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #12)
  • Plan B (Liaden Universe, #11)
  • Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10)
  • The Law of Becoming (Jaran, #4)
  • Children No More (Jon & Lobo, #4)
  • Wasteland of Flint
  • Prisoner of Conscience
Currently resident in Spokane, Washington, C.J. Cherryh has won four Hugos and is one of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed authors in the science fiction and fantasy field. She is the author of more than forty novels. Her hobbies include travel, photography, reef culture, Mariners baseball, and, a late passion, figure skating: she intends to compete in the adult USFSA track. She began ...more
More about C.J. Cherryh...

Other Books in the Series

Foreigner (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Foreigner (Foreigner, #1)
  • Invader (Foreigner, #2)
  • Inheritor (Foreigner, #3)
  • Precursor (Foreigner, #4)
  • Defender (Foreigner, #5)
  • Explorer (Foreigner, #6)
  • Destroyer (Foreigner, #7)
  • Deliverer (Foreigner, #9)
  • Conspirator (Foreigner, #10)
  • Deceiver (Foreigner, #11)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »