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Monday, February 17, 2020

ResurgenceResurgence by C.J. Cherryh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm usually the one to start raving at the wonderful worldbuilding, complex politics, and absolutely fantastic detailed alien psychology and how it conflicts with human psychology in these Foreigner books. Normally, I'd be excited as hell to pick up the next book and find out if the mainland is finally getting its crap together, see if the refugee humans are settling in, whether the human island is safe at last, or ANY NUMBER of possible combinations, including more space-travel, a third alien incursion, or long-separated humans arriving to make a mess of everything that everyone else has worked SO HARD to find a balance with.

And it's a testament to a writer who can STILL make such complexities INTERESTING over such a long haul.

Hell, even this book kept my interest the entire time, with all the focus on a little naughty animal and giving him away to a shelter, endless cycles of tea, meeting with a barely-remembered mischievous lord from a conflict-ridden province, and a seemingly endless number of passages of straight exposition to remind us, readers, the lay of the political landscape.

Okay. Maybe I got a little tired of the exposition. A lot of it is necessary, to be sure, but it could have been summed up or put into the story in such a way that it didn't drag on so much.

And then there was the other problem I had with the book:

Nothing happened.

In the other recent books, there was at least the storming of the Assassin's Guild or retaking the capital or running through the countryside. This one? Some guerilla action near the end? Action that didn't progress much of any plot? It's almost like this book was supposed to be twice as long with something really JUICY happening during the second half, but the publishers chopped it in half without looking at the contents.

Plenty of build-ups. No payoffs.

And yet, I still ENJOYED the writing. It's always like coming home when I pick up this series. I know and love everyone. I just wish I didn't catch them all on their day off.

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