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The Betrayal (Cyteen #1)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  655 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
The first part of C.J. Cherryh's award-winning triad introduces the planet and complex politics of Cyteen, part of the Alliance/Union universe. Resources are limited and the scientific compound of Reseune, which produces computer-trained clones called azis, is a major power center. Reseune's lead scientist, the fierce and cruel Dr. Ariane Emory, has dominated Cyteen's poli ...more
Paperback, 359 pages
Published February 1st 1989 by Warner Books (first published 1988)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,182)
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Feb 18, 2010 Stephen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf-space-opera
5.0 to 5.5 stars. This is one of the most brilliantly written books I have ever read and I believe is a work of special genius (no pun intended based on the subject matter of the book). This is not an EASY book to read and is not what I would describe as TONS of FUN. It is a complex, richly detailed, psychological science fiction mystery peopled by characters of vast intellect and extreme cunning. This makes the story one in whiuch the reader must pay close attention. However, the pay off for su ...more
Sean Callaghan
Sep 04, 2016 Sean Callaghan rated it it was ok
After finishing this, I realized there is a type of scifi out there that I just have no tolerance for. Dry, adult scifi that is strictly about the ideas at the expense of expression or fun or the joy that is the future. Put Cherryh in this group alongside KSR, and Isaac Asimov (to some extent, he's probably the only one whose dry play with ideas I find interesting; Asimov's play feels like the play of gods and so fits his style). This was too dialogue driven in that cheating way that scifi write ...more
Sep 10, 2014 Xan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dado que Cyteen es un libro partido en tres partes para facilitar su edición hacer una reseña de la primera parte sin hacer spoliers es complicado.
El argumento explora las posibilidades de la clonación humana, tanto como banco genético de reserva de la especie frente a la dispersión por el espacio como por la factibiliad de recrear la mente del donante. Cherryh se pregunta si es posible crear un clon con la mente de sus original recreando las situaciones (educación, contactos, experiencias...)
Aug 21, 2009 Peter rated it liked it
The Cyteen series of books follows the history of Ari Emory, a brilliant scientist, businesswoman, and politician who has herself cloned after she dies. Her clone is then part of a life-long experiment in which her childhood and development is closely controlled to mirror that of her predecessor, in homes of producing another multifaceted genius. This experiment happens with the backdrop of interstellar political intrigue and competing factions within Emory's enormous corporation.

This book was v
Julieta M. Steyr
May 16, 2016 Julieta M. Steyr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Como dije, hay que darle tiempo para que empiece el juego maquiavélico de poder, donde todos quieren ganar algo, sus intereses están por medio y no importa si manipulan o tienen que asesinar para lograrlo. Pobres los que lo abandonan este libro sin haberle dado la oportunidad.
CJ no les va a explicar a los personajes, deja que se expliquen por sí mismos, entonces uno tiene que recordar quién es quién. Quizá eso pueda molestarles. Son muchos personajes.
En cuanto al final de este libro, lo hubiera
Bayard West
Feb 18, 2014 Bayard West rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sub-genre: Political Sci-fi
Literary conflict: Man vs. Man Politician vs. Politician

Solid editing/polish:
Tripple dose of politics:
Fun characters: -
Witty repartee: -
Great "how-it-works" technology descriptions: -
Unbelievable moments: -
Rapid head-hopping: -
Great ending:
Thought provoking:

Cyteen is one of the most carefully crafted novels in the Sci-fi genre. This politics heavy novel is not for the action seeker though. Imagine the The Pelican Brief, but without any guns. There's only mention of
May 27, 2013 Jackie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't finish. Read a hundred pages, was bored and confused by the parade of characters and endlessly complex backstory that dropped you in half way through.
Dec 17, 2014 Sne rated it it was ok
I give up
Jan 03, 2012 Kirsten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I actually read an omnibus edition with the entirety of Cyteen, but I'm having difficulty finding the correct edition on GoodReads.

Anyway, this took me almost two months to read (not of constant effort, mind). Was it worth it? I think so. It's a strange book, one of those books where most of the action is taking place beneath the surface, inside peoples' psyches. It takes careful reading, and there are many references and mysteries set rolling in the first 100 pages that are not resolved
Welwyn Katz
Sep 09, 2010 Welwyn Katz rated it really liked it
I think I read this in omnibus form under the title only "Cyteen." I am rereading the whole omnibus now to try to remember it clearly enough to read "Regenesis." Though I don't like the characters (most of them), there is no doubt that they jump off the page. They are scarily real, and reading the book you feel there is no way to escape some of them. The book has a suffocating feel, though again, I'm reading it in omnibus form. This omnibus has no ISBN and is nearly 900 pages long, which is cons ...more
Dec 23, 2009 Marie rated it really liked it

Least. Satisfying. Ending. Evah.

I have just checked Wikipedia, though, and learned that the three Cyteen books were originally one novel, split into a trilogy perhaps by profit-motivated publishers of the 80s, back when paperbacks were not as thick as cement blocks. In fact, I recall, back in The Golden Age of SF (defined as the speaker's 13th year, in my case 1986) science fiction books nearly always fit in your back jeans pocket.

I digress.


So, I chose this book because, as a Cherryh f
May 21, 2011 Kevin added it
Good so far. This has the distinction of being the most accessible book I've read by Cherryh so far, with brief asides that explain the history of the Alliance-Union Universe (which apparently includes all the Cherryh books I've read previously). I'd recommend it to those who'd never read her, because I could have used the context included herein when puzzling over parts of "The Faded Sun" and "Serpent's Reach".

"The Betrayal" ends on a fairly minor note, and withholds the introduction of pivotal
I stopped reading this a mere fifteen pages in. It seemed to be all about politics, and the politics were very realistic and like real world politics. I don't like real world politics, so you can see how it isn't the sort of book I would like.
Jul 24, 2013 Chip rated it it was ok
Shelves: top-200-scifi
This book is really poorly written particularly the first 3/4. Most sentences start with half an idea, inject a side thought and then continue on with the other half. There are way too many characters to make sense to what is going on, especially since it drops you in the middle of the book and doesn't really try to explain what is going on. Most of the action is political infighting, back stabbing and brain washing. Not only that, but much of the book happens inside the head of one character or ...more
Linton Lewis
Dec 06, 2014 Linton Lewis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
LJ Cherruh


In the expansion of homo sapiens to outer planets Cyteen is developed to meet human needs. Brain power is worshiped and the smartest is a woman who at 120 is murdered before cancer can take her. Her exact match is cloned in a vat and raised carefully hoping she can match her original. She does and more so and at 18 is forced to rule from behind the scene. Good characters good plot good use of power though protagonist becomes more goody two shoes in the end. Heavy overwriting
Roy Kenagy
Feb 18, 2014 Roy Kenagy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-written; excellent conception and characters; in dire need of trimming.
Miki Habryn
Jan 25, 2008 Miki Habryn rated it liked it
A close friend has been trying to get me to read this book for years, and I finally took a tilt at it in multi-part form. It actually isn't all that bad. It doesn't really get the blood pounding with excitement on the one hand, and the politics don't have the grand sweeping scale to stretch your mind on the other, but it's pleasant enough, I suppose.
Sep 19, 2014 Kaye rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
This one was over my head. The background was very complicated. It was slow going. Finally I got caught up in the character, young Ari, and after that the story held my attention.
Dec 29, 2010 Elly rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-favorites
A reread of this first part of the Cyteen story, as a prelude to reading the newest book. A nice start, but not a finished story. Up to the next part.
Rob Mason
Jul 08, 2016 Rob Mason rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Just realized I never rated this. One of my favorite series of all time.
Nov 30, 2007 Sbuchler rated it it was amazing
Genre: Science Fiction

OMG, how did I miss these?! Absolutely brilliant!
Oct 10, 2012 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dense complicated difficult. Yes!
Feb 14, 2009 Michael rated it it was amazing
A fine grained tale of intergalactic political machinations and planned genetic manipulation.
Reinhold rated it really liked it
Sep 22, 2016
Kaitlynn marked it as to-read
Sep 20, 2016
Shelly marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2016
John Wilk
John Wilk rated it it was amazing
Sep 13, 2016
David Miller
David Miller rated it it was amazing
Sep 13, 2016
Harry marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2016
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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

Cyteen (3 books)
  • The Rebirth (Cyteen, #2)
  • Vindication (Cyteen, #3)

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