Book Review: Alliance Rising (Alliance-Union Universe #1) by C.J. Cherryh

Alliance Rising (Alliance-Union Universe #1) by C.J. Cherryh
My rating: 5 stars (🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟)
Publisher: Tor

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.

Summary:  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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