• Emergence

  • Foreigner Sequence 7, Book 1
  • By: C. J. Cherryh
  • Narrated by: Daniel Thomas May
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (373 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The 19th book in the beloved Foreigner space opera series begins a new era for human diplomat Bren Cameron, as he navigates the tenuous peace between human refugees and the alien atevi.

Bren Cameron, acting as the representative of the atevi's political leader, Tabini-aiji, as well as translator between humans and atevi, has undertaken a mission to the human enclave of Mospheira. Both his presence on the island and his absence from the continent have stirred old enemies to realize new opportunities.

Old hatreds. Old grudges. Old ambitions.

The situation has strengthened the determination of power-seekers on both sides of the strait. Bren knows most of them very well, but not all of them well enough. The space station on which the world increasingly relies is desperate to get more supplies up to orbit and to get a critical oversupply of human refugees down to the world below. Rationing is in force on the station, but the overpopulation problem has to be solved quickly - and Bren's mission on Mospheira has expanded to include preparation for that landing.

First down will be the three children to whom Tabini's son has a close connection. But following them will be thousands of humans who have never set foot on a planet, humans descended from colonists and officers who split off from Mospheiran humans 200 years before in a bitter parting of the ways. There is no way the atevi, native to the world, will cede any more land to these new arrivals: they will have to share the island. But certain Mospheirans are willing to use force to prevent these refugees from settling among them.

Bren's job is as general peacemaker - but old enemies want war. Is Bren's diplomatic acumen enough to prevent a war that both sides are prepared to wage?

©2018 C. J. Cherryh (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Emergence

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

First Book in the Series I Struggled to Finish

In this book, Bren delivers a copy of the alien treaty to Mospheira and books a dorm for the Reunion kids. A man shows up wanting to take one of the vacant lordships. That's it. Honestly Bren should have gone with the new aliens to negotiate a treaty with original Earth. That would have allowed this very long series to go in a new direction and bring in fresh ideas. Instead, Bren breezes through some administrative tasks at home. Seeing his bodyguards' reactions to the island could have been interesting, but it wasn't. They like fried fish. Awesome. Barb is no longer a problem and Bren is 100% happy with being Atevi. He's not interested in original earth at all. The President agrees with whatever Bren says and does whatever he wants with very little fuss. Bren replaces all the officials who oppose him with old friends. All problems solved.

I have never been so bored with one of Cherryh's books. The characters are not genuinely challenged by anything that happens. There is no character development. Cajeri gets new bodyguards and there is some tension at first, but it doesn't lead anywhere.

Communication and culture clash are huge themes in this series, but Cherryh loves to sequester his/her characters in a corner by themselves so that they can think and stew and think and rehash and think. They solve their problems with other characters in their own heads, rather than WITH the other characters. This is a redcurrant problem in all of his/her books. Communication requires more than one person!

How long does Cajeri spend thinking about how he has to grow up and be responsible? Why not challenge him to do that? Telling his uncle's servant to make tea for his mother because his uncle is asleep is not a challenge. He spends most of the book sitting around, trying not to be bored because the guild is handling everything, and getting involved would just maker their jobs harder. It may be true, but it's not very interesting.

This quiet point in the plot could have been a good time for relationship and character development, but it doesn't happen. Lucasi and Vegico's issues with bonding never come up again. None of his guards say anything about his relationship with the human kids. Do we ever see the juniors and the new senior guard at odds over anything? No. There are so many opportunities to develop this group dynamic, and yet the whole group of 8 just fades into the background and may as well not be there.

Bren's guards are also starting to blur together. Do they ever have different opinions nowadays? Has Cherryh done anything with Bren and Jago's relationship beyond that one incident with Barb several books ago? Cajeri's family dynamic has potential, but it never goes anywhere. His parents start being nicer to him somewhat out of the blue. I guess this mirrors Bren's refusal to confront anyone in his family and actually address their issues. Can we have some real and satisfying interpersonal conflict please? Again, Cherryh is good at planting the seeds of conflict, but so often doesn't follow through. I would like a resolution to the Barb issue that isn't just "time passed and the author forgot about it."

I devoured the last 18 books, but I actually struggled to finish this one.

5 people found this helpful

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Wonderful narration and story

TheForeigner series has been a delight throughout. It is made even better by the narration of Daniel Thomas May, who navigates the language and pronunciations of names and places without a hitch. I love immersing in the stories and letting the language and customs roll over me. More! More!

2 people found this helpful

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Good, a little slow, didn't like narrator

Cherryh's last book and this one really should have been one book, judiciously edited. Satisfying conclusions to several problems. Not sure what the next book will be about, though. Enjoyed seeing Cajeiri's maturing thought processes and his ability to operate without Bren, Ilisidi or Tabini. Overall enjoyable.

I did not care for the narrator. I could forgive his guesses on name pronunciations (though Cajeiri surely isn't pronounced Ka-ja-REE). But he used a high falsetto for Damiri's voice that almost sounded like mocking. All the atevi from the central district were rendered with heavy accents, as though Ragi wasn't their own language. Worst, Tatiseigi sounded like a ridiculous Count Dracula impression, so bad that I could not at all take him seriously as the refined, powerful political player he is supposed to be.

Ended up reading the e-book.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent series.

I've enjoyed this entire series without exception. Can't wait for the next one, hope it is published soon.

1 person found this helpful

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Boring

Don’t bother with this one or the last three books in this series. Every character struggles with circular reasoning throughout every chapter. It becomes dreary, annoying and a waste of tine.

1 person found this helpful

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More fascinating intercultural action

What did you love best about Emergence?

The scenes of atevi country life are so well done. Best parts of the series.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Emergence?

Tatiseigi's ride! What a scene!

What about Daniel Thomas May’s performance did you like?

The narrator generally does super job. What a great marriage of narrator and story.

Any additional comments?

Although I really like the narration in general - in this book (and Convergence), Toby suddenly gets a different voice and a Jersey accent, plus the pronunciation of a couple of proper nouns changes. A little disconcerting.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Audible where are the others in the series?

I really enjoyed this Emergence. Instability within the atevi is improving and Cajeiri is coming into his own. Damiri is given her due. Progress is made with the human refugee population. My only gripe is with Audible for having books 2 and 3 in this sequence. Sure I can read Resurgence and Divergence but I will miss Daniel Thomas May's narration, especially of the Ilisidi, the Aiji-dowager.

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Enjoyable but almost too realistic

Maybe it is the politics of the times, but this felt a little too close to home- which is probably a feature and not a bug!- but don't come here looking for complete escapism.

For amazing cultural details and alien family dynamics, however, this IS the place! Wonderful insights into Atevi and even Mospheirans. Enjoyed it very much as an excellent installment in the series.

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Reunion

the story was fast paced and moved along. More of a view of Mospheira and country life on the continent. Reunion. about more than the refugees!

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another great book in this series

the author continues the long-running space Opera which I enjoyed very much people need to really read the first novels to appreciate this one and lucky you if you haven't because you've got a wonderful experience to look forward to. the performance was outstanding as usual and I enjoyed listening to the audio very much.