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Alliance Rising: The Hinder Stars I (Alliance-Union Universe)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  57 reviews
SFWA Grand Master Cherryh returns to the Hugo-award winning Alliance-Union Universe with a thrilling entry in her far-reaching sci-fi saga.

Years after Sol has lagged behind other great megastations like Pell and Cyteen, Alpha station receives news of an incoming ship with no identification. The denizens of Alpha wait anxiously for news on the outsiders, each with their own
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by DAW
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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  252 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Remember when Star Wars: The Phantom Menace first came out, and the opening crawl started out by talking about trade routes and tax policy and everybody went, "Hur, hur, hur, trade routes" because that couldn't possibly be the start of an exciting adventure in space?

Well this is a book that consists almost entirely of discussions and reflections about trade policy and the inner workings of beauracracies, and that takes place almost entirely on the dockside of a single, past-its-prime station, an
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Political intrigue and clashing mindsets at the beginning of the Alliance from Cherryh's mammoth future history.

Alpha Station is the closest jump point to Earth and something of a backwater. It's under a lot of stress because for decades all its resources have gone into a bold Earth Company plan: a gigantic ship built from blueprints stolen from Pell Station, a powerful political center of human space. It appears to be built as a military ship with a mission to enforce Earth Company will on the
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Trade route politics has never been so gripping. Seriously I need the sequel.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beguiled once again by Cherryh!

Starting off I found this a dense read. Having been a Cherryh reader for years I was scrambling to recall the earlier novels I'd read eons ago and to have those line up with the present happenings. Not that it's necessary to read these before Alliance Rising but as I am an avid fan I was busy sorting through what I already knew to meld this current offering of the Alliance-Union saga with what has gone before. (As it happens I was sorting my hard copy Sci-fi collec
Christopher Telcontar
Feb 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sf
There's a whole lot of rehash here.

And that's about it. I was fooled, when I ought to know better, but if I hear that C. J.'s got a new book about the Company Wars era, I start to pant a bit. Silly me. The amount of recapitulation over a single concept in this novel is staggering. Out of 345 pages, I think the same conversation is held between different sets of characters at least half a dozen times. We get it; Neihart wants to unionize the Family ships. We get it. We got it. Move on. Please, pl
V. Larkin Anderson
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm super biased because C.J. Cherryh's particular form of introspective, nuanced, dense political drama is my happy place. Seriously, sitting down and reading one of her books feels like drinking hot tea in front of a fire wrapped in a blanket to me. Gimme every single detail of a character's decision making process. Make me understand in detail the political ramifications of every option that they consider. Make it take forever to get anywhere so I can just sort of wallow in C.J. Cherryh's lov ...more
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
I had to give this a four because it is very slow reading. You have to read a lot of backstory and world building before you really get to the characters and the meat of the story. Once there it gets really interesting with an very unexpected twist near the end. There are many different groups, each with their own agenda, in the plot. That kept the action moving. The book set up the beginning of the Alliance but it ending with a lot up in the air. I was glad to see it is a series as I am quite i ...more
Laz the Sailor
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
The Union-Alliance universe is very spread out, with many books written over many years. This is the first new story in over 10 years, and I didn't go back to re-read the others.

This has the classic CJ voice, with sharp subtleties and understated drama, which still remains compelling. There were more twists in this story than I expected, and yet I was never confused. The characters were varied and the segments of the space-bound societies were described in detail.

Not quite a 5-star read for me,
Todd Moody
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, great-fiction
So good to get back into the Alliance-Union universe. With this one we go back before the Company Wars, to when the Merchanter Alliance is forming, getting names signed to a formal alliance. It centers around Alpha Station, the first station established from Earth, but things are in a mess, with Earth Company trying to assert itself from ten years away, by building a new ship to supposedly rival the big FTL ships, like Finity's End. The station and the ships that support it have been neglected f ...more
This is the newest title in the Company Wars series after Finity's End. I am used to picking up books in this series and being pulled immediately into the story and then racing to the very end. Unfortunately that was not possible with this title. It starts out setting the scene - about stations and merchant ships, about Alpha station, about the families, about the economics, political infighting, loyalties, possibilities and fears - on and on explaining, explaining, explaining. The old adage "Do ...more
Jamie Collins
Feb 04, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Perhaps the second half of this book is exciting; perhaps it even delivers on the inferno promised by the cover illustration. I'll never know, because I am giving up after 175 pages of tedious exposition. I have read a lot of Cherryh novels, and I thought I had a high tolerance for her repetitive prose (it sometimes bogs down even the Foreigner series, which I love) but here she has defeated me. Maybe I'm just not in the mood, but I can't stand one more page of rehashing.

This book seems to be ab
Disappointing. This was definitely not as good as the books I remember from the series. Mostly due to the pacing. It was just too torturously slow. It did speed up for the ending and it was a good ending. And it was basically a prequel and prequels have their own difficulty. Still it was fun to revisit the world and might encourage some re-reading. After all I have 2 shelves of Cherryh's books, I might as well re-read some of them. 3.5 out of 5 with that extra .5 coming with the last tenth of th ...more
Feb 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Same as her last twenty books (I had hopes, y’know?): tiny bit of plot buried in tens of thousands of words of explication. Life is just too short to spend it reading about fictional characters in a fictional universe fretting at immense, repetitive length over...ramifications. DNF
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cherryh, C. J., and Jane S. Fancher. Alliance Rising. The Hinder Stars No. 1. Daw, 2019.
Fans of C. J. Cherryh’s early work have been waiting a long time to her to return to world of Finity’s End, Merchanter’s Luck, and Downbelow Station. The new Hinder Stars trilogy is set at a very early period when the Alliance that will become a major player in the Company Wars is just being formed. We get the back story on the first great merchant ships and the conflict between Earth Company and earth’s firs
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cherryh fans,
Shelves: science-fiction
This one ended up being a great space opera novel, but for the first 25% of it I was wondering if I were going to set it aside and come back to it some other time. Cherryh is an author whose books I consistently enjoy and re-read, and when I still bought physical books she was on my buy-in-hardback list.

Cherryh's characters are prone to lengthy rumination about whatever situation they find themselves in, which serves as exposition for the reader about the history and social situation of the wor
Buzz H.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf, space-opera
C.J. Cherryh just released her latest novel Alliance Rising a couple of weeks ago, and it is fabulous!

It's been some years since she's written a new book in the Alliance/Union/Merchanter universe. I was particularly pleased to see that this is the first in a new series.

Alliance Rising is set in a time that we've not yet read about. Faster than light drives, invented at Cyteen, have spread through Pell and the major trade routes into the Hinder stars. Sol is still connected to the Hinder stars on
Nathan Trachta
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Had to get this one as soon as it came out, I’ve been missing Ms. Cherryh’s Alliance Union space series and was eager to see what she was bringing this time. After getting the book I was intrigued since Ms. Cherryh’s partner Ms. Fancher is listed on the cover; interesting because I wanted to see the impact storytelling wise.
I’ll open by saying this is a good re-opening of the Alliance-union series. Interestingly the choice was made to open before the Downbelow Station which I don’t think is a mi
Joel Finkle
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
Cherryh, as always, remains master of the alien mindset. Even when there aren't any non-humans, the people travelling together for years on starships think differently, and it's always a challenge and a joy to get into the mindsets of her characters, especially as you're often dropped in the middle of a small part of the story. That's another joy of her Union/Alliance stories: they're small and personal, while interconnected to huge political stories that play out behind the pages.

Alliance Risin
Joe Slavinsky
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been ages since I read "Cyteen", and "Downbelow Station", among other books set in this universe. So, it took me a while to get into this book. That, and I had several other books going, at the same time. At any rate, once I got up to speed, Cherryh's brilliance exerted itself, and I really got into the story. It, obviously, is the beginning of a series, which I am looking forward to. Cherryh is one of my all-time favorite authors. While I would like to have her continue the "Foreigner" ser ...more
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a time I really wish GR had half star options.

At the beginning the narration sounded so similar to the Foreigner series that it was off putting to me. And like that series it takes for-eve-r for thing to get going with a LOT of repetition of same ideas from different POVs.

A surprise at the end did still get me though and the last 60+ pages were compelling enough. I did end up caring h about key characters.

Some might find the ending doesn’t resolve enough - obviously there’ll have to be
Nicole Luiken
It's interesting to get back to the Alliance-Union world after so much time with the atevi. The book takes place before Downbelow Station when the Merchanter's Alliance is just getting started. As expected with Cherryh there are a lot of politics involved, and more than two sides. I had an idea what might happen at the end--and I was totally taken by surprise by what did happen. Very interesting, can't wait to see what happens next.
D.L. Morrese
I gave up on this one after about 75 pages, which mostly consisted of backstory. That, by itself, wasn't what put me off. I'm okay with a story that's 'told' rather than 'shown' if the prose is witty, if the setting is intriguing, or if the story is insightful. Sadly, none of these applied with this book. I found the prose awkward, with choppy, incomplete sentences. None of the characters were well developed, and I found none engaging. The pace in which the plot unfolds was far too slow. Without ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, sf, skimmed
I got about 1/3 into this and set it aside for other books that seemed more interesting or I had to read for my book club and never really got back to it. It started out OK, but it's been so long since I've read books in the Alliance-Union universe, that I had a hard time remembering the politics. Not a good first read, try Downbelow Station instead.
Gordon Green
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Not the best in series

Loved "Down below" so I was a little disappointed in this one. Too much on the economics and political impact of the unexpected ship arrival at Alpha Station. Chapter after chapter going thru all the potential impact of its arrival. Then revisited time after time. The main story really didn't take off until practically the end of the book.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-kindle
Absolutely loved it. Except now we’ll have to wait 2-3 years to find out what happened to Galway
C.J. Cherryh has at last returned to the Alliance-Union Universe series, begun in the early 1980's in particular with Downbelow Station (Hugo Award, 1982)!

I always really enjoyed the books about the great merchanter families that ran their own trading ships, carrying cargo to & from stations such as Pell and Cyteen.

Earth wanted to control all of its human colonies but the Beyond was just too many light years away. The various stations and their planets were only too happy to run their own
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This was not a perfect book. The discussions of the whole Alliance concept got repetitive after a while, and that seemed odd. I don't know if Jane Fancher's presence as a co-author helped or hurt, because some of the other Cherryh books have this same problem, but the injection of a new co-author should have given a second set of eyes to the pattern.
That said, this had some great moments of adventure, and some strong stage-setting for the whole political structure which shows up in some of the o
Brad Delong
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed it very much, but... I wish I had read something else this past week and had saved this for five years from now, when The Hinder Stars II, III, and... IV? would be out...

For reasons I do not fully understand, these days publishers seem to want to greenlight books where the office say: “and we have already written to sequels!” This then creates the problem of how to end the first book with a satisfactory plot resolution well still leaving hey bigger story open for the sequels. It is a har
Nico Janow
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I think Cherryh's SF universe is very good SF. I like the feel of humans spreading out into the galaxy, but without convenient earthlike planets available everywhere.

The main reason for not rating the book higher is that the subject is depressing. Far into the future, and it's still greed and war and corruption. I can appreciate the story, but I can't say that it pleased me. My higher-rated books are mostly more cheerful.

Side note: SF writers seem to be weak on thermodynamics. Yes, deep space is
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Mixed feelings; I wanted to rate this higher just because it's finally more Merchanter's, after 20 years. And the element of (view spoiler) in a space opera is appealing and kind of upends some of the common dystopian elements of this subgenre. And that's made more complex and interesting by us knowing how what starts here is going to play out, that many of the aspirations here are going to eventually fail, that it's going to get seriously grim.

But this also suf
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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