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Crossing the Line (Wess'har Wars, #2)
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Crossing the Line (The Wess'har Wars #2)

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  764 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Shan Frankland forever abandoned the world she knew to come to the rescue of a lost colony on a distant and dangerous planet -- a hostile world coveted by two alien races and fiercely protected by a third. But in the course of her mission, she overstepped a boundary and stumbled into forbidden lands. And she can never go back -- to being neutral, to being safe. To being hu ...more
Paperback, 373 pages
Published October 26th 2004 by Eos
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4.0 to 4.5 stars. An excellent sequel to the superb City of Pearl. This book has an intricate and tightly woven plot that begins immediately after the end of City of Pearl. In books like these I am always looking for "cool concepts" and "WOW" ideas and the alien "c'naatat" is certainly one of those. Highly Recommended!!
Nov 07, 2014 Pancha rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
I feel so conflicted about these books. I find the basic premise interesting, but the characters kind of baffle me. They keep swinging between callous disregard for life and a high-vegan environmental protectiveness. In particular, the view on genocide is so weird. All the characters we're supposed to read as good are totally okay with the mass slaughter of a civilian population. None of them seem to have any conflicting feelings about it. I can't understand that.

And in theory I don't have a pro
Jul 16, 2008 Shannon rated it liked it
City of Pearl was good. Crossing the Line was okay. The series gets worse from here.
Aug 28, 2009 Neil rated it really liked it
Traviss is a solid writer, with great characters who face interesting dilemmas. This series is notable because although there are several humans who you'll root for, the human species, with all of it's paranoia and combativeness, is the villain.

This picks up where City of Pearl left off, with Shan Frankland, a human, and Arras, a Wess'har carrying c'nataat, a virus that makes them pick up opportunistic bits of DNA from any species they encounter. This makes them extremely hard to kill, but unfor
Kathleen Molyneaux

The first half of the book dragged for me. It was a side effect of having multiple view point characters some of whom (Eddie and Lindsey) I didn't care much about. Although, I'm glad I slogged through it because the second half was fantastic. Nuclear weapons, genocide and having your main character step out an airlock. That last one was executed beautifully. It's difficult to have a sense of danger when your main character is essentially unkillable, but Traviss managed it. It was tel
Adelaide Metzger
“Karen Traviss, why do you use your authorly wiles to get me emotionally connected to your primary characters and then cut me off?! Also, you seem to have a knack for making me very, very angry! But that’s not your fault.”

I don’t even know where to start with this second book of the Wess’Har series. I…loved it, but at the same time I…GUH! I swear to God, I’ve never felt so confused about my emotions than with Traviss--and I think because these are her original characters, I feel like I’m more co
I do think that I enjoyed this book a lot more than the last because I decided to ignore the things that irritated me. You do, however, see a slow progression of thought and a general shift that seems a little more than black and white.

What the book does well is world building. Each and every species is unique and has their own characteristics that aren't good or bad, they just are (ignoring the opinions on humans which seem universally bad, unless you're talking about a very few individuals). Y
Jun 28, 2013 Ghoule rated it it was ok
C'est indéniable, Karen Traviss possède un talent d'écrivain. La traduction de son 2e tome « Crossing the Line » alias « Transgression » dans la série des Guerres Wess'har tend à présenter une plume solide, quoique parfois noyée dans les détails et victime de longueurs ça et là.

Ce qui m'a le plus dérangé avec « Transgressions », c'est le point de vue de l'auteur sur l'humanité.

On s'entend, c'est bien qu'un auteur épouse une point de vue politique, on a besoin de plus d'engagement.

Or, dans « Tra
This is unfortunately very much a "filler" book - important in that it sets up several important facts that will drive much of the conflict for the rest of the series, but disappointing in that (with the exception of the excellently-written journalist Eddie) most of the main characters take a back seat to the various political maneuverings and human backstabbings.

Compared to the first book, this one feels much rougher around the edges by far. (view spoiler)
Jul 31, 2012 Christopher rated it really liked it
Crossing the Line, the second book of the Karen Traviss Wess’har series continues much of the quality work that made the first book, City of Pearl, such a unique read. Having first read Ms. Traviss’ work on the Gears of War novels, I was surprised by her writing style in this particular series.

What she ultimately started in City of Pearl and greatly continues in Crossing the Line is ultimate world-building as I’ve heard it described. She shows incredible detail in her people, the creatures and t
David King
Jun 23, 2012 David King rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Crossing The Line" by Karen Traviss is the sequel to "City of Pearl" that I previously read as part of a Women of Sci-Fi book club. As this is a sequel I will warn anyone reading this review that there are some mild spoilers in relation to "City of Pearl" so please make sure that this doesn't bother you.

The novel follows the continuing adventure of Shan Frankland, a former police officer who has been infected with an alien organism that manipulates her DNA to the point that it is almost impossi
Mar 31, 2008 Ryan rated it really liked it
The second novel of a series can be a tricky thing, especially when the author involved is fairly new to the book industry. Often unsure of later releases, they write the first novel in a series so that it can be enjoyed as a whole, and has a conclusion that is satisfying in its own right. The problem with this, howeve,r can be that when the later volumes in the series do come out, there has to be a re-establishment of the status quo before the author can continue with the series in a satisfying ...more
Thomas Myers
Sep 04, 2007 Thomas Myers added it
Recommends it for: anyone who is interested in sci-fi intrigue with a twist.
The Wess'har Chronicles are unique in a number of ways. They take a more practical approach to how intelligent aliens might react to humans and they also foretell a very real possibility of the future, taking us to an Earth where fruits and vegetables are patented ensuring that owning a garden of any variety is illegal. We see a future where pollution and mass destruction of our habitat is at an all time high, but Karen never takes us to Earth. For the first book, she takes us almost exclusively ...more
Feb 02, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I liked seeing more of Aras and Shan and their interactions. Also we get to see more of the alien cultures we first met in the previous book. Shan and the humans are pulled further into the stalemate, and war between the Wes'har and the Iseji.
Feb 11, 2014 Adr_enne rated it really liked it
Better than the first one? Maybe. There's much to the desire and devour, and the drive to keep reading the larger story is irresistible. So far I've really enjoyed this series, so I'm off to read book 3!
Nov 16, 2012 Chani rated it really liked it
This book was a good continuation. Events at the end of the story made me very angry, but not at the writer or book, but at the characters, rather the way of the world. So many things in this series parallel the real world and the current thoughts of humanity. It was an enlightening read, but it also brought me deeper into my own thoughts and how much I detest the way selfish people think. Traviss has done an amazing job bringing me into the story and then allowing it to flow back out, and impac ...more
Nov 15, 2011 Banner rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, alien
This is a worth follow up to City of Pearl. THis book takes up right after the events of that book. We learn more about the fate of the three alien species that humans came in contact with. They are even more alien and harder for humans to understand than first thought. I'm enjoying the depth of culture and history that we learn about the alien cultures.
Nov 04, 2015 Honnah rated it it was amazing
Read it in two days. Couldn't put it down.
Jul 13, 2013 John rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
The bones of a good story, but this second volume takes a nosedive in my estimation by turning almost entirely into tedious character development. I just skimmed the last two thirds and was still able to follow the plot and to catch every significant event. Will flip through the third volume, just to see whether humanity is exterminated (a real possibility) or if the author can contrive some way to keep that from happening.
May 30, 2015 Fiannawolf rated it really liked it
Loving this series almost as much as the Commando books. Nice.
Chris Hawks
Nov 29, 2010 Chris Hawks rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Maybe not quite as good as City of Pearl, but still a darn good read. The brief sections discussing Wess'har anatomy were, well, rather laughably ridiculous. But the characterization (of all four species, now) keeps getting stronger. And with a number of "Holy crap, they actually did that!" moments, Traviss can sure crank out a plot to keep you constantly guessing what's going to happen next.
Elisa Wilson
Jun 05, 2009 Elisa Wilson rated it it was amazing
Aras has given Shan Frankland the ability and the long life to right a number of wrongs that truly suit her status as an Enviromental Hazards Officer. Aras and Shan's relationship deepens in unexpected ways, both learning much more about what it means to be human and to be alien. Massive destruction on Bezeri changes the fate of the human colonists and the native oceanic population in life changing ways.
Mar 19, 2015 Karen rated it liked it
Same as first, enjoyed the treatment/character discussion of what is alien. And how humans define human and what we accept, along with a good story. This is building up nicely, glad I have the series on my shelf waiting.
Dec 28, 2010 Simeonberesford rated it really liked it
I had assumed that City of Pearl was a stand alone and part of me is sort of sad. Stand alone novels are after all more literary but no it seem I was mistaken. In this episode various other alien races get drawn in. Thematically our cast start to wonder where is black and white are in a universe of greys. Plotwise oh just read the damned thing I promise that its got one.
Celia Powell
Nov 20, 2010 Celia Powell rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, re-read
Crossing the Line continues Shan Frankland's story where City of Pearl left off - Shan is dealing with her infection with c'naatat, and the idea of crossing the line from human to alien. Meanwhile, Earth is on the way to lay a claim to Cavanagh's Star, having made a secretive alliance with the Isenj - things are going to get nasty. Which is just what you want in a story.
Allan Fisher
Jan 07, 2011 Allan Fisher rated it really liked it
Shelves: serial-sci-fi
I really enjoyed this and the previous book...A City of Pearl...Karen Traviss is a really accomplished writer and should be read far more widely. In this series she has created some meaty characters notably Shan and Aras. This book manages to deal with a lot of subjects and handles them all well.

A really good book with a strong female character at its heart.

Score 8.8
Sep 14, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it
These were recommended to me by Trevor (who never steers me wrong), and I've really enjoyed the first two. Very, very compelling characters and a very compelling world. Unfortunately I keep having trouble finding the books, so I keep having big gaps between them when reading them. I just ordered the rest off Amazon, though, so soon I can read them all back to back.
Fábio Fernandes
Jan 22, 2014 Fábio Fernandes rated it really liked it
I'm reading again the Wess'Har Saga, and I'm not disappointed. The story seems to grow in scope with each reading, and the characters are among my favorite in science fiction. Shan Frankland and Aras Sar Iussan are fully-formed beings, three-dimensional entities with a good and a dark side, and Karen Traviss does a wonderful job in fleshing them out.
Jun 21, 2009 Sheila rated it liked it
Recommended to Sheila by: my sister
Shelves: sci-fi
Interesting twist of events. I like the love story, oddly. I'm not sure where she is going with everything. Some characters' motivations are exaggerated and unrealistic. But hey, it is Sci Fi. Since I bought the whole series, I'm inclined to read all 6. So here goes...
Oct 14, 2008 Joshua rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Eurocentric freaks
Oy veh! This is a tree-hugger's wet dream as far as characters go. The "good" aliens are like super PC eurosexuals with a matriarchal society. Blech. But for some reason I keep reading these stories. They're laughable though. Don't waste your time like I've been doing.
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#1 New York Times best-selling novelist, scriptwriter and comics author Karen Traviss has received critical acclaim for her award-nominated Wess'har series, and her work on Halo, Gears of War, Batman, G.I. Joe, and other major franchises has earned her a broad range of fans. She's best known for military science fiction, but GOING GREY, the first of her new techno-thriller series, is set in the re ...more
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Other Books in the Series

The Wess'har Wars (6 books)
  • City of Pearl (Wess'har Wars, #1)
  • The World Before (Wess'Har Wars, #3)
  • Matriarch (Wess'Har Wars, #4)
  • Ally (Wess'Har Wars, #5)
  • Judge (Wess'Har Wars, #6)

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