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Defender (Foreigner #5)

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4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  2,241 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
It has been over two centuries since the starship Phoenix disappeared into space, leaving an isolated colony of humans to fend for themselves on the world of the alien atevi. Two centuries during which humanity fought a devastating war with these volatile aliens, nearly facing planetary extinction before devising an interface which allowed these two so-different sentient r ...more
Hardcover, 314 pages
Published November 1st 2001 by DAW Hardcover
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Brad
Still loving the series! It's like a warm glass of SF milk by a fire on a stormy winter night, so comfortable and steady. I mean, seriously, what's more steady than the slow retrofitting of a space station and the refueling of an interstellar spacecraft while juggling aliens, lies, and family problems back home?

I mean, besides a cool drink of poison?

Is this the beginning of another coup attempt? Poor Bren has been left out of the loop again, but at least he thinks quickly on his toes!

And yes, t
...more
Veronique
fifth book - 2nd of second trilogy

“Actually, you’re the alien”

Another great instalment in the Foreigner Saga. A few more years have passed by since the previous book and the space programme is well under way. The orbital station is finally operational, served by several shuttles, and the new ship in construction. Once again we have politics galore, and with the news that the senior captain of the Phoenix, Ramirez, has died, everything that could go wrong threatens to do so. Not only this but Bre
...more
Kristin
Not as interesting as Book #4, but still a quick read. This was definitely a transition book; getting the characters from Point A - the Space Station - to Point B, the space ship, where they can then start to transition to Point C, the abandoned space station.

My main complaint with this book is the characters don't seem to have evolved or matured. Bren is still wrestling with family issues, even though he's been on the space station and out of communication for two years. Jase is still behaving
...more
Krista D.
Jan 03, 2017 Krista D. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OMFG these people.

1. Bren's mother is a PITA and I frankly look forward to her death.
2. Barb has some fucking cheek with her "oh I know you're with Jago, but maybe I could come to the station to visit on weekends."
3. Toby needs to let his wife leave him. Or, on the flip side, he needs to leave his mother for his wife. Mom has Barb now. Let Barb look after her.
4. Ilisidi needs to be put in her place. Oh, yes, I did just say that. I love the old lady, but she can't go around (view spoiler)
...more
Lazette
Jan 28, 2011 Lazette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, fiction
A deathbed confession, overheard by the wrong person, sets a wildfire of emotion through both the station and the ship crews as they learn there may be survivors on a station they abandoned when they ran back to the Atevi world.[return][return]Betrayal, anger and distrust are rampant in every interface between the various human groups and even with the Atevi. However, with the ship refueled, there is no reason why the crew can't go back to get the missing people. A year-long journey and a chance ...more
Nathaniel
Aug 07, 2015 Nathaniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I love this series. Thankfully, it's broken into trilogies. I can usually stop between trilogies, but I can't stop between books within a trilogy. I finished Precursor yesterday, then finished this book today, and I've already started on Explorer.

The reason for only three stars is just that, relative to the other books in this series, not a whole lot happened in Defender. I can't tell yet if it could have been skipped--so far it seems as though Explorer might follow directly on its heels--but th
...more
Sandra
Jul 20, 2010 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
This was especially good. Bren and his atevi associates leave for a far star. The process of getting to that point is incredibly complicated with political secrets, intrigue, and bold moves, shaking Bren's confidence and his sense of safety. A great series. On to Explorer
Christopher
Feb 24, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review to come! :D
Mark Edlund
Science Fiction series - Cherryh continues this second of umpteen trilogies. Bren and his troupe are now in space to embark on a voyage to find the Reunion craft. Lots of intrigue and back stabbing.
No Canadian or pharmacy references.
Michelle
Jun 23, 2017 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Too short.

A nice expansion of the universe this series is set in.
Lis Carey
Jan 12, 2011 Lis Carey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf
This is the fifth of the Foreigner series, and Bren Cameron has made the terrible mistake of becoming comfortable in his new role as the representative of the atevi ruler aboard the space station. He has spent the last several years carefully maintaining peaceful relations among the atevi, the humans of the island of Mospheira on the planet, and the humans of the returned starship, Phoenix. Phoenix is refueled, the first of the new starships is well along in construction. One of the atevi aboard ...more
P.D.R. Lindsay
This is book five in the Foreigner series and ten years on from the first book. It's a great read if you have followed the series. Readers can meet their old friends and see how they have matured and changed. The triangle of power between Aiji, ship humans and planet humans has been nicely balanced, mainly due to Bren's diplomatic work as Paihi - interpreter and translator.

The aiji now has a son and heir, and Paidhi Bren has been working with ship human Jase and their rocky beginnings have devel
...more
Emotonal Reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kaushik Iyer
Jan 14, 2015 Kaushik Iyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I liked Defender.

Although this goes against what goodreads seems to think, I felt this was the strongest book in the series so far. It certainly doesn't stand alone, and there's no point reading this without having Explorer ready and waiting for you. However things happen. Bren reaches a moment of personal catharsis. Tabini is at the top of his game: two vignettes:
(view spoiler)
...more
Rena McGee
In Defender, Bren comes to realize he’s been left out of the loop on some extremely delicate negotiations between Tabini and Ramirez, the executive captain of the Phoenix. He discovers this after having to attend a mysterious memorial held in honor of Tabini’s father. (The memorial is mysterious because Bren cannot quite figure out what the political purpose of the memorial was. The general theme of the memorial gives us just enough information to be extremely alarmed when we find out what is ha ...more
Emilie
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
...more
LindaJ^
This is the middle book in the Foreigner Sequence 2 series. It is a transition volume. It picks up about 6 years after the Atevi put down an uprising on the Alpha space station, created when the newest of the four captains tries to overthrow the head captain. Bren Cameron is now working only for the Atevi. He continues to have family problems, somewhat surprising as he seemed to have resolved many of those problems in the last book. Bren, as usual, doubts himself and worries about whether he is ...more
Speedtribes
Jun 20, 2007 Speedtribes rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Out of the entire uncompressed series, I think that this book was the one that needed the most editing.

It should have been sliced in half, turning this entire ship arc into two books, not three. The first half of 'Defender' was a series of personal correspondence and a redundant display of Bren's neuroticism that could have piggybacked on the end of Book 4 and set things up for the one following it. The second half of 'Defender' was a rather interesting bit of ship-Mospherian-atevi politics, wh
...more
Jan
Normally I like the Earthbound politics a little better than the politics in Space, but this book was so unexpectactely rife with emotions... Brens loss when he thought he'd lost Tabini's approval, and felt that T went over his head. The moment when Bren hugged Tano and Algini and they hugged back.

There was so much sadness and joy and love and respect in this one, it almost blew my mind.

I was quite disappointed with the ending, because it didn't feel like a resolution to me, and in my eyes they
...more
KJ
Feb 12, 2014 KJ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Not the best in the series by a long shot--more of a stepping stone between Book 4 (brilliant and hilarious) and Book 6 (game-changing and delightful in a million ways.) It's always hard to remember what happens in this fifth book, because so much of the "plot" is hour-by-hour reacting to information. The last three chapters are high-speed action/negotiation/betrayal/resettlement, but the road there is somewhat featureless.

That said, I will never fail to laugh at the introduction of Cajeiri's ch
...more
Ree Linker
Jul 06, 2013 Ree Linker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Loved it. This series is great. I'm rating several of these at once, and I can't remember clearly what happened in which book (because as soon as one book ends I scramble to grab the next one) - so for now my review is a bit generic. I'll write a better review when I reread this series (probably soon).

I liked this arc a lot. Aliens! Recalcitrant humans! Struggle to assert authority! Blatant poisoning! Power plays!

I docked this book a star because I vaguely remember that it has some issues typic
...more
Lisa Feld
Mar 09, 2010 Lisa Feld rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nyc
This is the point at which it becomes clear that the series is not simply one book after another, but sets of fortunate atevi threes, each with their own arc. The first set established the world and the return of the ship, and this trilogy involves travelling to confront the alien threat alluded to in earlier books. The conflict works both to reveal whether the various governments can trust each other (and the factions within each government) and also to raise the suddenly pressing question: if ...more
J.C. Webb
Feb 09, 2015 J.C. Webb rated it liked it
Shelves: male-protagonist
This one took longer then expected. Basically the time I had to read it was down to 5-10 minuets a day. On the up side it was a very good read but unlike the 2nd & 3rd books in the series this one was mostly about the political differences between the 3 factions. (view spoiler)

The ending was entirely unsatisfying, It really felt more like the end of a chapter then a place to close a book. On the up side I have the nex
...more
Nora
Mar 08, 2015 Nora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, female-author
Like the previous books in the series, this one starts out at a glacial pace. At one point I looked down at my status bar and saw I was 28% in and nothing had really happened. But obviously I wouldn't be reading the fifth book in the series if I didn't enjoy the characters, so it's kind of nice to just follow Bren around and wonder when the shoe is going to drop. And drop it does! I was actually surprised when the book was over because I had been so engrossed I hadn't checked the status bar and ...more
Dorkthropology
Just when I think the series is settling, it throws a wrench into everything and veers off into a new direction. It's a transitional book but it's a fun one, major changes happening on multiple levels as everyone shifts in position. It's fascinating to watch the implications of the closer association of humans and atevi, and what it means to now have multiple people who can translate.

The ending isn't quite a cliffhanger but it definitely leaves enough unresolved I want to hurry up and get the ne
...more
Jamie Collins
So far this series feels like one very long novel, and it should be read from the beginning (with patience for the unsatisfying opening chapters). The descriptions of later books unavoidably contain spoilers.

Here the paidhi mediates again between the atevi, the human colonists and the ship’s crew during a crisis which arises when it turns out that the crew’s story about the other space station being destroyed by mysterious aliens wasn’t entirely truthful.

While this wasn’t quite as thrilling as t
...more
Laura
Jan 30, 2017 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book five and still really interesting! This one was maybe a bit slower than the others. There was interesting things happening, but the central plot felt a bit disconnected or distant. This book felt a bit like a bridge to get from the last one to the next one. Having said that, there was even more world building that was fascinating and I spent a lot of time eager to see what would happen next.
Liberty
Apr 14, 2014 Liberty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best thing I can about a C.J. Cherryh novel is that I find it nearly impossible to emerge from them back into real life. Like all the best fictional universes, from Middlemarch to Middle-earth, her worlds are utterly engrossing. I feel bewildered when I look around and don't see the narrow corridors of the space station, or the numerically fortunate arrangements of three. Another wonderful installment.
Reepacheep
Dec 11, 2014 Reepacheep rated it really liked it
To think that I almost didn't finish the first book. Now I've read five in this series and I can't wait for the next book.

At each step in this journey there are many directions the story could take, and each path chosen by the author is not what I would have considered--and yet the story always takes a very satisfying and interesting course.

If you've been reading these books, then you know ... there should be three paragraphs here. Baji-naji!
George Heintzelman
Jan 10, 2016 George Heintzelman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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 18 books)
  • Foreigner (Foreigner, #1)
  • Invader (Foreigner, #2)
  • Inheritor (Foreigner, #3)
  • Precursor (Foreigner, #4)
  • Explorer (Foreigner, #6)
  • Destroyer (Foreigner, #7)
  • Pretender (Foreigner, #8)
  • Deliverer (Foreigner, #9)
  • Conspirator (Foreigner, #10)
  • Deceiver (Foreigner, #11)

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“Yes, ma’am,” he said, and folded his hands and stopped where he was, listening, waiting while a very sick woman tried to gather her faculties.
“First off, tell the dowager she’s a right damn bastard.”
It was no time for a translator to argue. Mitigation, however, was a reasonable tactic. “Aiji-ma, Sabin-aiji has heard our suspicions regarding Tamun and received assurances from me and Gin-aiji that we have not arranged a coup of our own. She addresses you with an untranslatable term sometimes meaning extreme disrepute, sometimes indicating respect for an opponent.”
Ilisidi’s mouth drew down in wicked satisfaction. “Return the compliment, paidhi.”
“Captain, she says you’re a right damn bastard, too.”
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