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Alliance Rising: The Hinder Stars I

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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 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 suspicions. Ross and Fallon, crew members of the Galway, believe the ship belongs to Pell, which has an interest in The Rights of Man, another massive ship docked at Alpha. It is under the command of the Earth Company, but it is not quite ready, and its true purpose is shrouded in mystery. James Robert Neihart is captain of Finity's End, a Pell ship flown by one of the Families. He has heard whispers of The Rights of Man, and wonders at its design and purpose, especially as Sol struggles to rival the progress of the Farther Stars. Now stationed on Alpha, he must convince the crews that more is happening with the megastations than meets the eye. For the reasons behind the creation of The Rights of Man, and its true plans, could change everything--not just for Sol, but for the First Stars and the Beyond itself.


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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 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 suspicions. Ross and Fallon, crew members of the Galway, believe the ship belongs to Pell, which has an interest in The Rights of Man, another massive ship docked at Alpha. It is under the command of the Earth Company, but it is not quite ready, and its true purpose is shrouded in mystery. James Robert Neihart is captain of Finity's End, a Pell ship flown by one of the Families. He has heard whispers of The Rights of Man, and wonders at its design and purpose, especially as Sol struggles to rival the progress of the Farther Stars. Now stationed on Alpha, he must convince the crews that more is happening with the megastations than meets the eye. For the reasons behind the creation of The Rights of Man, and its true plans, could change everything--not just for Sol, but for the First Stars and the Beyond itself.

30 review for Alliance Rising: The Hinder Stars I

  1. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    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 bureaucracies, and that takes place almost entirely on the dockside of a single, past-its-prime station, an 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 bureaucracies, and that takes place almost entirely on the dockside of a single, past-its-prime station, and which is utterly compelling and maintains an almost white-knuckle tension throughout. The time: Well, based on previously-published timelines, I'd estimate somewhere in the mid-to-late 23rd century (these are the earliest-published events in any of Cherryh's Alliance/Union novels, predating Devil to the Belt and Downbelow Station and the rest of the Merchanter/Company Wars books). The place: Alpha Station, the first of the Earth Company-built stations (built back before FTL was a thing, using a station core sent on a sublight pusher ship and being itself the first seed of humanity's interstellar expansion), now sinking quietly into decrepitude and irrelevance -- it survives only because it's the interface for contact with Earth (which, at the time of this book, has not found a successful FTL route to Alpha or to any other nearby star system -- FTL at this point has hard limits on how far one can travel in a single jump, and Sol is just a bit too far from its stellar neighbors for a single jump; but maybe if somebody could locate a convenient interstellar mass point that could be used as a way-station ...); and in the meantime, the spacers have gone further and further off, founding additional stations (with names you'll recognize, like Mariner, Viking, Pell and Cyteen) and discovering the FTL drive that threatens to cut Earth out of the picture entirely and leave the Hinder Stars stations (Alpha chief amongst them) to founder. And for the past couple of decades, all of Alpha's resources, at the insistence of new arrivals sent from Earth, and to the detriment of pretty much everybody else on the station, have been poured into the construction of a very large merchant(?) ship, the Rights of Man. Against this backdrop Ross and Fallon Monahan, crew of the shorthauler Galway are sitting in a dockside bar when news breaks of the unexpected arrival of one of the big new merchanters being built (another familiar name to anyone who's read any of these books previously), the Finity's End, an arrival which threatens to upset the delicate equilibrium that's kept Alpha and her associated ships alive & functioning. This is a very interesting book to read if you've (as have I) read a fair number of the earlier Alliance/Union books, particularly Downbelow Station. I'm not prepared to say that it retcons events in the previous books, but at the very least it certainly recontextualizes them, not least by giving probably the most sympathetic view we've had of Earth Company personnel (well, a few of them; others are right prats) and by showing that the Merchanter's Alliance that came onto the scene at the end of Downbelow Station wasn't really a spontaneous creation. Fair warning: This does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I, for one, will be eagerly awaiting the sequel.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (Kalanadi)

    Trade route politics has never been so gripping. Seriously I need the sequel.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    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 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 Beyond. After the giant ship Rights of Man performs poorly in testing the whole station is shocked when Finity's End, the giant ship who's plans Rights was built from, arrives spectacularly in-system in a show of maneuvering that terrifies everyone. But what is one of the largest ships in human space doing in a backwater like Alpha? I've been a huge fan of Cherryh and her Alliance-Union books for a very long time, but after the disappointment of Regenesis, I was a little worried about what I'd be reading here. However, this was brilliant and a triumphant return to her future history in its most well known period, or at least close to it. Jane S. Fancher is co-credited here and I think her contribution is clearly a positive one, but given these two have been together for a very long time, I always wondered if more of Cherryh's books had a silent co-author. You don't need prior knowledge of the Alliance-Union universe to pick this one up, but like most of Cherryh's books, it's still fairly dense and doesn't coddle the reader. It is set earlier than any other book in this series though, and reading it knowing where a lot of these events end up certainly adds something to the story, but it's entirely accessible (or as accessible as Cherryh gets) without all the foreknowledge. The Alliance-Union series is an amazing future history and I thoroughly recommend it. It's probably notable that this book will put the whole series in contention for the Best Series Hugo in 2020, something I really hope it wins.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    I’ve been reading Cherryh and her Alliance-Union books for a long, long time — the first was published in 1981, and I started reading them not long after. So it’s a real pleasure to see her return to this series after a long hiatus. This one is a worthy addition, taking us right back to the founding of the Merchanter’s Alliance. The best review I saw here was Lindsay’s, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... . I recommend you read his before I make a few more comments. Back again? I re-discover I’ve been reading Cherryh and her Alliance-Union books for a long, long time — the first was published in 1981, and I started reading them not long after. So it’s a real pleasure to see her return to this series after a long hiatus. This one is a worthy addition, taking us right back to the founding of the Merchanter’s Alliance. The best review I saw here was Lindsay’s, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... . I recommend you read his before I make a few more comments. Back again? I re-discovered that most of her books are set in this universe, probably including the Chanur books (catlike aliens), and possibly also including the Foreigner books. But, never fear, “Alliance Rising” is self-contained, although if you’ve read other Alliance books, you’re likely to enjoy it more. Or you may be inspired to read more of Cherryh’s works, a good thing. This one does end on a bit of a cliff-hanger, and I’ll be reading the next. The author has an outline of her fictional universes here: http://www.cherryh.com/www/univer.htm She won the Grand Master Award from SFWA in 2016, joining a very distinguished group of writers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damon_K...

  5. 5 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    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 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 collection and one of the first books I picked up was a 1988 copy of Cyteen. I feel a re-read coming on!) What a solid return Alliance Rising is to a cosmos I have freely rummaged through over the years, compliments of the masterful Cherryh! Alpha Station, part of the Hinder Stars, unusually receives recent visitations from a number of ships. It turns out to be a consortium led by James Robert Neihart, captain of a massive space ship, Finity's End. This puts some stress on the station, particularly when security has been virtually seconded by Earth Company as part of their project to build a huge ship, The Rights of Man, at a cost that has become a financial albatross hanging around the neck of the station master and of the ships that serve Alpha and the Hinder Stations. There is a struggle going on at the command level of the station and the visit by Finity's End ups the ante. Drawn into the struggle is the Captain and crew of the Galway, and in particular crew members Ross and Fallon. Cherryh's writing style has that distinctive gravelly, almost staccato note that conjures up the differences of those wed to star travel, and of the family ships like Galway running on luck, hope and the often uncanny ability to parse the cards one's dealt. Pride and loyalty to one's ship is foremost but a time has come when the Merchanter families need to band together. And it starts here! As always with Cherryh, a masterpiece is unfolding, and I'm thrilled to have a front row seat. I have stars in my eyes! A NetGalley ARC

  6. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Telcontar

    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 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, please, move on. Added to that is a really flat cast of characters that offer exactly nothing new to the universe. Obligatory young man buried in seniority in his Family, obligatory young woman dangled to him as bait from a different Family. There is absolutely no feeling of chemistry between them, nor any sense that they would actually sleep with each other; the dialogue is just flat. Which leads me to a larger concern; spacer culture is really awful. They drink.. a lot, they talk about markets... a lot, they go to bars... a lot, and they have many, many, many, many panic attacks. A lot. Which is to say, it's the same spacer's culture without any added depth she's been hustling for over 20 years. What did I expect? I was hoping, I should say, we would get to the Holy Grail of her Company Wars era, and that is Conrad Mazian. I want a novel about him, about his origins and the early days of the war, and most of all, what became of him afterward, when he's just a hunted animal along with the ass end of his fleet, down to about seven ships, give or take one, I don't recall exactly. That was what I wanted, what would be acceptable as a plot in these latter days of the Pell universe. The entire MacGuffin of Rights of Man was painful to endure for 345 pages. If that ship's not gonna suddenly throw off her disguise of bungled project and blast everything in sight with missiles, then what is the damn point? None at all. (If it takes 20 years to build a warship, it ought to work, right?) I had high hopes that Hewitt or Cruz was actually Mazian and the ship's name was actually going to be revealed as... Europe. I also had hopes that she had finally thrown away her standard male character I like to call the Pale, Sweaty Man. You know who I mean... Vanye, NG, Mallory's boy toy in Downbelow Station, the lead in Merchanter's Luck. They're all the same guy. Anxious, paranoid, awkward, overflowing with angst. And here's Ross, reasonably assured of himself, to try and break the mold. Until the spacewalk and the bleeding forehead and suddenly we have the standard issue Pale, Sweaty Man in full regalia, revealed as hero! Surprised? Naw, just let down again. Allegedly this is the start of a trilogy. I'll be an idiot and read the second installment, just in case Mazian might walk on stage, though I realize after Alliance Rising it's really a long shot. For all I know the entire content of book 2 will be the ship's manifest of Galway when she returns from Sol, since C. J. seems so determined to ram the romance of commerce down our throats. There ought to be more to this universe than what we're allowed to see; it's a pity we'll never get to see it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anissa

    Five star read. I said that. Five. Stars. I'm not even put off that this ends on a cliffhanger that has me anxiously awaiting the sequel. One of my favourite settings for a story is space stations and Cherryh knows how to make me feel like I'm there. The close quarters, the tension between different occupant factions (station master, Belters, Spacers, Stationers, Earth Company representatives) and the resource sucking ship under construction: Right's of Man. It's simmering tension on a good day Five star read. I said that. Five. Stars. I'm not even put off that this ends on a cliffhanger that has me anxiously awaiting the sequel. One of my favourite settings for a story is space stations and Cherryh knows how to make me feel like I'm there. The close quarters, the tension between different occupant factions (station master, Belters, Spacers, Stationers, Earth Company representatives) and the resource sucking ship under construction: Right's of Man. It's simmering tension on a good day and on a not so good day, things can go quite pear-shaped. Alpha Station has seen better more relevant days and so have the ship Families who dock there. And then Finity's End, out of Pell arrives and upends everything for everyone, save a few in the know. How events and plans unfurl and take shape were where the excitement was and was, not surprisingly, well done. All the talk of Pell, the Konstantins, Cyteen and the Alliance have made me want to re-read Downbelow Station (one of my very favourite books). I will say that nothing about Mallory or Jen were particularly interesting nor was their coupling. They could literally be anybody because they're quite simply so everyman/everywoman they're nobody. They're the obligatory part in service of the plot that I've come to expect and find mostly innocuous in this universe so they didn't detract from the story for me (but neither did they add anything). I came for the politics, trade issues and beginning of the Alliance and I got what I came for. Recommended for fans of Cherryh and lovers of science fiction with political intrigue. All the stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    V. Larkin Anderson

    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 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 lovely worldbuilding. I want all of that. It's my happy place. Given, this type of slow, detailed writing is probably not everyone's happy place, or even most people's happy place. If you're the type who wants action! And flashy drama! And to have it all happen *right now*, this probably won't be for you. But if you're a Cherryh fan... she did a good job on this one, you guy. I enjoyed it immensely.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laz the Sailor

    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, 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, as there were a few too many factions in play, and because it is the first "to be continued" book in this universe (unlike the Foreigner series which is understood to be ongoing). I'm eagerly awaiting the next entry, as it's going to be exciting!

  10. 4 out of 5

    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 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 invested in the characters and want to see where they all go next. I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeannine

    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 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 "Don't tell, show" was not followed, 'cause there is a whole lot of telling going on. It was all pertinent information, no padding, but quite a slog. Things don't actually start to hum along with an actual plot until you are over halfway through the book, and then it does take off. Whew, what a relief. If you are a fan, you will want to read it, just be prepared for a lot of data. If you are new to the series, this is NOT the title to start with. First half, disappointing. Second half, great stuff.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Collins

    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 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 about efforts to unionize the merchanter family ships in the face of what I guess will be fierce opposition from Earth Company. I recently read and enjoyed Finity's End, one of her older novels about the ship which is spearheading the unionization efforts in this book. Glancing over the other (overwhelmingly positive) reviews, I see that this ends in a cliffhanger, so I'd have been angry about that, anyway.

  13. 5 out of 5

    John

    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

  14. 5 out of 5

    Todd Moody

    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 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 for the last twenty years in order to build Rights of Man, and things are coming to a head. With a touch of romance and a very satisfying ending I give this my highest recommendation!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    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 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 first interstellar stations. There is a little adventure, a moderate amount of romance, and a lot of talk about economics. I know how that sounds, but the drama is tense—even in the economics talk. Even though this is a prequel, it is not where I would recommend a new reader to start the merchanter books. Downbelow Station is still the best starting place. Note that most of Cherryh’s merchanter stories can be read as stand-alone works. FYI: Jane Fancher is Cherryh’s longtime partner, and I wonder whether she as been a silent collaborator on any of the earlier works. I look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell

    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 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 the book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Leather

    I read 50 pages of "Alliance Rising" : 50 awful pages of info dump without any interesting character. Downbelow Station is (was?) one of my favorite Space Opera book, and I've read all the others Alliance / Union books with great pleasure. I don't understand : has this book been ghostwritten by David Weber? I read 50 pages of "Alliance Rising" : 50 awful pages of info dump without any interesting character. Downbelow Station is (was?) one of my favorite Space Opera book, and I've read all the others Alliance / Union books with great pleasure. I don't understand : has this book been ghostwritten by David Weber?

  18. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    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 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 world depicted in the novel. And this was my problem with the first part of the book; the chapters switched between several of the main characters and gave each of them space to ponder the situation on Alpha Station, the relationship between Alpha Station and the other planets and space stations in this part of the universe, the relationship between Alpha Station and Sol, and other situations that arise. This provides the reader with a refresher course on the Alliance-Union universe, which was handy since it has been so long since I read Downbelow Station, Finity's End or Cyteen and I skipped Regenesis, the sequel to Cyteen because I wasn't really wowed by Cyteen. But sometimes I just don't have the patience to read pages and pages of one character's thoughts about whatever is happening at that point in the plot. When the different players meet each other and begin to interact and have dialog though, this book really takes off. Cherryh's dialog and interpersonal dynamics between the characters are some of the best I've read anywhere - in genre fiction or mainstream, and is one of the main things I enjoy about her books. Her outstanding Foreigner series is one of my all time favorite series because of the strength of the characterizations and the interactions between Bren and his Atevi household. No one does it better. I did not include a plot summary here, because you can look up at the top of the page and get that. After what seemed to be a slow start, the story really drew me in and I stayed up way too late last night because I had to finish it so I knew What Happened. And I'm now looking forward to a sequel that I hope she and Fancher will be working on after they turn in the next Foreigner book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Buzz H.

    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 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 only by sublight traders, but is on the verge of finding viable jump routes between Earth and Barnard's Star/Alpha Station. This book has not been helpful to my sleep schedule! That's to say that I strongly recommend it. :-) If you've not read any of Ms. Cherry's Alliance/Union books before I would recommend reading Hugo Award-winning Downbelow Station before Alliance Rising so that you have more context for events.

  20. 5 out of 5

    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 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 either a main character or a more compelling mystery, there's not much to maintain a reader's interest.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Trachta

    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 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 mistake (I believe there’s lots of room there for stories and would love to see Ms. Cherryh or an “authorized” other writer fill in the back stories). Now we have a little more of the “story” of how the Beyond grew and how the Earth Company “is”. Storytelling wise this is a different book in that there a multiple stories being told at the same time, intertwining with each other to give us the complete story. This makes opening a little more disjointed at first but makes for a great story in the end; to help you there are three primary sides, Alpha Station merchanters (told from Galway’s Ross’s perspective [another Ross? I was reminded up Merchanters Luck but really...]), Finity’s End (the captain, JR Neihart), and Station Master Abrezio. While this is a different style for Ms Cherryh it becomes more and more interesting due to storyline bringing the parties together; this is the mark of a master story teller, especially when everything comes together in the last few pages and the story wraps up neatly! For me an easy call to 5 stars. That said there’s much I’d like to see Ms Cherryh bring out in at least two more books on this subject; one dealing with the return of Galway, one with the true start of the Company War (there needs to be something to join Alliance Rising to Hard Time/Devil to the Belt series, what happened to Fletcher Neihart (so much was implied in Finity’s End and seeing “him” here it needs to be told), and at a minimum give us Signy Mallory’s back story... yes, I’m hoping this is the restart of work on the Alliance-Union series because Alliance Rising is a good story that rekindles the desire for the storyline.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joel Finkle

    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 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 Rising is a very satisfying book of politics and a little technology: it's the earliest story chronologically in her Union/Alliance books (although others recount information before this -- it's an impossible future that required stellar probes starting in 2005). I don't know that it's Jane Fancher's contributions, but this seemed a little softer, even a little romantic at times. Good story, sticks the landing, and fills in some gaps in how the Alliance gets started. Looking forward to the next book, to find out what happens to the characters separated in this one.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joe Slavinsky

    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 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" series, I can understand her need for a change of pace, particularly since she's writing this series with her partner.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    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 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 sequels

  25. 4 out of 5

    Adele

    The world-building is amazing - no question. The problem is three-quarters of this book felt like nothing but world-building. I was interested throughout, but I wasn't really emotionally invested. The last 100 pages or so got exciting and things started to happen, but even then there was a distance. Lots and lots of conversations and the inner thoughts of people speculating about events and other people. I love conversations and inner thoughts, but apparently even I have my limits and Alliance R The world-building is amazing - no question. The problem is three-quarters of this book felt like nothing but world-building. I was interested throughout, but I wasn't really emotionally invested. The last 100 pages or so got exciting and things started to happen, but even then there was a distance. Lots and lots of conversations and the inner thoughts of people speculating about events and other people. I love conversations and inner thoughts, but apparently even I have my limits and Alliance Rising exceeded them.

  26. 5 out of 5

    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. 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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    James

    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. 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.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gordon Green

    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. 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.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sheron McCartha

    Enjoyable Cherryh, but not the best. A lot of internal dialog and action a bit confused. Still my favorite author.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Absolutely loved it. Except now we’ll have to wait 2-3 years to find out what happened to Galway

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