Cizinec (Atevi, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Cizinec (Foreigner #1)

by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  3,886 ratings  ·  243 reviews
The first book in C.J.Cherryh's eponymous series, Foreigner begins an epic tale of the survivors of a lost spacecraft who crash-land on a planet inhabited by a hostile, sentient alien race.

From its beginnings as a human-alien story of first contact, the Foreigner series has become a true science fiction odyssey, following a civilization from the age of steam through early...more
Paperback, 439 pages
Published 2003 by Triton (first published 1994)
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 Cizinec, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Cizinec

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
mark monday
well-respected and prolific science fiction author-cum-scifi-anthropologist C.J. Cherryh puts her considerable gifts to work in this introductory volume to her elephantine mega-series, as she begins a sensitive new tradition: fiction that is specifically geared to those unfortunate individuals who have no experience in reading, as well as to our fellows experiencing severe mental challenges. i for one appreciate the effort and am happy to report that the writing in this novel makes every attempt...more
Stefan
Foreigner is one of the most in-depth, uncompromising examinations of the way cultures interact in science fiction. Rereading it after all this time and with the added benefit of having read some of the later books in the series, I discovered a whole new level of complexity that’s probably almost impossible to appreciate on a first reading—complexity on almost every level, from Bren’s personal life and the subtle interactions of the atevi characters on the micro-level to the incredible socio-pol...more
S.A. Bolich
Cherryh is among my favorite genre authors, though some of her books have left me cold. This isn't one of them. Admittedly, it starts out slow. You must wade through two sections of backstory before you get to the real opening of the series, when Bren, the main character, is attacked in his rooms without a clue as to why. From there it takes off like a bullet and, despite Cherryh's often long (and characteristic) lapses into musings by the character on life, the universe and everything, it never...more
Sandra
Well. The star system is very frustrating. I can't decide if my frustration at trying to understand the atevi species that humans deal with in this book is a function of my fuzzy thinking or a function of C.J. Cherryh's brilliance in making me feel like the hero, Bren, felt through much of the book. Therefore it's hard to figure out how many stars to give it. At any rate, the tension that built throughout the book as Bren struggled to figure out what was happening to the world where he served as...more
Neil
This is my first attempt at Cherryh, and I'm on the fence as to whether or not there will be more. I'm surprised that the reviews of this aren't more tepid.

The atevi are interesting: the alien species at the heart of the book, dark-skinned, larger than humans, but more importantly hardwired in a different way. Their society runs on hierarchies based on duty, but friendship and trust are notably absent. They are mathematically astute and tend to glorify numbers and seem to desire to reduce decisi...more
Twilight2000
This is one of the great gems! CJ has written a wonderful first-contact series with a really accessible protagonist. The Aliens are truly alien - the humans frequently irritatingly human ;>. This is the beginning of a 12 books series - written in 4 trilogies. One can read as many of the trilogies as one would wish. While they build, one upon another, if one wished to stop after 1 or 2 or 3 of them, the stories are sufficiently tied up that one can.

I can't imagine stopping - in fact, I started...more
Stuart
A good read. A very believable account of how humans and aliens might interact. I should preface my comments that I have not read the other nine (?) books in the series, so I am basing my thoughts solely on this book. The book gives a short account of how humans arrived on the planet (An exploring spaceship went off course). The account is sketchy and leaves holes which are filled in later in the book, as a kind of surprise (at least it was a surprise to me).

The reader discovers gradually throu...more
Ron
Four stars is a bit of a stretch, but I'm a sucker for first contact stories. And, even though Cherryh's aliens are as human as you'd find on Star Trek (and the bulk of this book happens 200 years after first contact), the aliens are enough different that our protagonist, Bren--even though he's a professional interpreter--spends a lot of time obsessing about what they're really thinking. The plot revolves around the fact that the Atevi have fourteen words for betrayal but none for trust.

What's n...more
House Hesson
Full disclosure: If you know us more than superficially, you know that our love for this series borders on obsession. I don't think any of these books can get less than four stars from us.

That said, the original starts out with one of the bigger weak points in the series. Book One and Book Two of the...book...are background pieces that we're glad to have in the context of the whole series, but not strongly connected to the events of Book Three - the real story. Cherryh presented them to her edit...more
Banner
Ok the bottom line for me, was the aliens. I wanted to like this book, but just couldn't get pass the bland presentation of the aliens and their society. The plot was very engaging and I felt there is a lot of promise for this series, but I just couldn't get over the aliens. They drink tea, have "bric a brac" in their homes and watch the evening news. There are aspect of the culture that made open communication difficult between their human neighbors, which is interesting and has promise; but I...more
Maggie K
ugh. I was about halfway through this book and said out loud "Yay, something happened!" and realized I could no longer waste time with this. (Except for the first two introductoy books) it was the most repetitive thing ever! Bren can't go anywhere by himself. Bren is bored. There was what possibly could have been an assassination attempt and now he is locked up somewhere. That is all, and i wrote it in three sentences.
I REALLY wanted to like this book, and I hear it gets better, but if i saw the...more
Christopher
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan
This was awesome, and I'm still reeling from all the confusion and repercussions and violence and things to come. I would have given this 5 stars, if only I hadn't still been so confused about everyones motivations at the end. I suspect this series is truly divided among trilogies, and that much will only become clear after reading the first three books.

Bren Cameron is the Paidhi - the Interpretor/Ambassador - in the Atevi society. Unfortunately for him, there's an assasination attempt on him, a...more
Kelly Flanagan
This was a difficult book. I think it was meant to be difficult,but that doesn't help now, does it? The book is about humans messing up their trajectory and ending up somewhere in the universe they never expected. After generations of trying to find home, or a viable planet, the only one there was had not only sentient people but civilized ones living in a gently industrialized way in the cities and as country folk always have in the country. But the Atevi are different in a very important way....more
Kathryn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Josh


That's it, I give up... I got over halfway, but I cannot finish this book. It is one of the most boring plot lines I have ever read. The main character is so childish and whiny, I just can't take it anymore.

This is not the right way to go about writing a story. There are reasons that we have rules about good writing. Why is it that an established author is allowed to break them, while beginning writers would be chastised and told to "go rewrite"? This is unfair. We should be just as hard on big...more
Jim
A challenging and delightful read. Cherryh has developed a character depth like I have never experienced before. You WANT to see the conflict, and you WANT to see how the hero resolves them--not just that he does.

Cons:
Long winded; sometimes the detail adds up, but the desire to keep reading can override this.
Agree: the first two chapters are unnecessary. If indeed part of the production process of the story they would have been better utilized as labeled preamble or some sort of 'special feature...more
Shane
I read this book over a period where I didn't have as much time as I'd have liked to read, so my finish time is very deceptive. It's a fairly short read and a good one so most people will turn it around in a few days, a week at most.

This book is the start of a series by Ms. Cherryh that has something like 14 books and counting. Obviously this is the very beginning so while I haven't read any of the others, of course knowing that there were many, many books to go in the same universe colored my...more
Cecile
Two stars is a little harsh, but I had a hard time reading this book so I can't give it three. If one day we have half-stars, it will be two and a half.
Maybe I had too high expectations for it because I liked a lot The Pride of Chanur. Both are stories of the encounter of humans with aliens on alien territory. Where Chanur is a space adventure seen from the point of view of the aliens, Foreigner is about the diplomatic struggles of the main character, Bren, the human envoy in the alien court.

The...more
Amelia
Bren Cameron is the only human who associates with the atevi. It's his job as the paidhi to understand them and is the intermediary between both races. He's doing his best, but atevi aren't human and simply don't think or act in ways like a human might, especially with the assassinations that are sanctioned. When Bren is faced with one such attempt, his position with the atevi is on very shaky ground. If he doesn't do his job, war between the two species could devastate the whole world.

This is m...more
Jake
The basics:

When the human starship Phoenix goes wildly off course, the survivors are forced into a desperate search for a new home. Wandering an unknown region of space, they locate a habitable planet, and send down a team of colonists who make a startling discovery; the planet is already inhabited.

Five centuries later, the humans have found a way to maintain a small colony through a treaty with the Atevi, the race of black-skinned giants who rule most of the world. In exchange for their technol...more
Onefinemess
Cherryh has been on my list of authors I probably should read but whose cover copy bores me to tears (more on this later, sort of...). So I saw a used copy of Foreigner and figured now was the time to give her stuff a shot. I saw that this series was quite long (up to 13 or 14 books now) and she had several other series as well. I was excited. If I liked this book...I might have another author to read for years to come!

I really wanted to like this book.

It's super boring.

Like. Really. Boring. I a...more
Richard Risch
This a very interesting book, masterly written in many ways. Although the book is classified as Science Fiction, I would consider it a Suspenseful Mystery with with science fiction overtones.

The book is basically about a human councilor/interpreter who works as a mediator between humans that have been stranded on an alien planet and its real inhabitants. His life is threaten by unknown assassination, without understanding who or why.

There is a little droning in it as the point of culture clash...more
Yune
I had to skim a lot of this; possibly the information in them becomes more important later in the series, but honestly I could have done without the entire first two parts, which detail how a spaceship becomes lost and forced to send people down to a planet inhabited by the alien aetvi. The good stuff starts after several generations have passed, and humans live on an aetvi-free island except for one man, a single representative who advises an aetvi leader on technological matters (as the aetvi...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I had looked at other books from this series in the past (in the bookstore) and not really felt the "gotta read that" vibe. But I checked out Finity's End from the library for a Cherryh fix, saw this next to it, and figured I'd give it a go.

Unfortunately, this book hops around a little too much. We get a few pages of the catastrophe at the beginning, a few pages from the time a few years down the line when the stranded survivors descendants have formed a stratified and factionalized society, and...more
Kristin
herryh can sometimes be difficult to read; her sentence structure or wording is different enough to give a person serious brain skids. However, thankfully, this book wasn't like that. My complaint with this book is similar to that of Sunshine - we spend way too much time in Bran's head. Get over the fact that you have been kidnapped, are stuck in a secluded mountain castle, and grow some balls. Bran Cameron is supposedly an elite politician/interpreter/liaison between the atevi and the humans. A...more
Jennavier
There is nothing better then a lazy day reading an old favorite, and I'm glad I got my hands on a copy of Foreigner to do just that. It's an unusual book, as it relies on the internal turmoils of s human diplomat to aliens for it's plot, but that doesn't make it any less brilliant. I did forget how long the intro felt- it's nearly a hundred pages of setup before we get to the good stuff- but aside from that this is one of the books that made Sci-Fi great.
Theresa
This was a fantastic (albeit surprising) science fiction novel. Generally I'm not a fan of the whole new worlds, alien creatures type of scifi-a lot of times I feel inundated with extraneous technical information, which bores me, frankly. However, Cherryh has done an outstanding job of creating a believable "new" world, while keeping the techy stuff to a minimum. What I loved most, apart from her created language, was the obvious tension and conflict felt between the atevi and human races. Bren...more
A Goddess
I don't remember how many times I've reread this book over the years; more than 4 times, less than 8. I LOVE the alienness of Bren's companions (never friends). I'm always on edge, wary of slipping into the trap of interpreting their motives as if they were human. Bren is so brave to stick with his job as an interpreter (but more than that really) and I feel proud of how he handles the challenges and grows more skilled and knowledgable of the intrigues he is swept into. I strongly recommend this...more
Alicia
Mar 02, 2009 Alicia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
I almost didn't read this book because the first 61 pages of the paperback (aka 'Book One' and 'Book Two') were boring. Once the author introduced the main character, however, the book became infinitely more interesting not leastwise because that's also when the real action started. The alien world and the main character keep developing throughout and the foreign-ness of that world and the challenges the main character faces were intriguing. The author raises a lot of interesting questions about...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Anyone else re-reading this Series? 1 10 Mar 01, 2014 06:03PM  
  • In the Company of Others
  • The Madness Season
  • The Color of Distance
  • Crossing the Line (Wess'har Wars, #2)
  • Endurance (Stardoc, #3)
  • Komarr (Vorkosigan Saga, #11)
  • Glory Season
  • Endless Blue
  • Remnant Population
  • Valor's Choice (Confederation #1)
  • Agent of Change (Liaden Universe, #9)
  • Primary Inversion (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #1)
989968
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...
Downbelow Station (Company Wars, #1) Cyteen (Cyteen #1-3) The Pride of Chanur (Compact Space, #1) The Faded Sun Trilogy (The Faded Sun, #1-3) Invader (Foreigner, #2)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »