Saturday, March 10, 2007

Downbelow Station

Downbelow Station (Daw Book Collectors)

C.J. Cherryh

  —   $7.19   —   Book

product page


Fiction, Science Fiction

Cherryh does not do simple stories. As with most of her work, Downbelow Station is about one facet of a decades-spanning conflict, about the station and planet called Pell. The outer stations, Union, have been fighting with Earth Company over independence and trade. Pell Station, which has been neutral, is suddenly overset by refugees from deserted station, tipping a precarious life-support system into overload. What's worse is that at the same time that neutrality is becoming impossible, it also seems apparent that neither side is worth joining— and that both sides see Pell as something that must either be won or destroyed. Moreover, it's not just humans but Pell's native lifeform, Downers, who are gentle and hardworking, traits that could lead to their destruction in careless hands.

Cherryh weaves a complex tale with deep characters who have conflicting motivations. Translated, that means that this book is not for children; most teenagers, while able to follow the story, might well get bored. The key to this is the Lord of the Rings; anyone who has read and loved that is perfectly capable of enjoying Cherryh, though the focus is entirely different.

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