Brain Candy Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    The Powell's Playlist | September 25, 2015

    Caitlin Doughty: IMG Caitlin Doughty's Playlist for Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

    The soundtrack perfectly suited to facing your own mortality. ("My Way," "Wind beneath My Wings," and other popular funeral songs need not apply.)... Continue »
    1. $11.17 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Mass Market
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
10 Remote Warehouse Science Fiction and Fantasy- A to Z

City of Pearl


City of Pearl Cover

ISBN13: 9780060541699
ISBN10: 0060541695
All Product Details


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Three separate alien societies have claims on Cavanagh's Star. But the new arrivals — the gethes from Earth — now threaten the tenuous balance of a coveted world.

Environmental Hazard Enforcement officer Shan Frankland agreed to lead a mission to Cavanagh's Star, knowing that 150 years would elapse before she could finally return home. But her landing, with a small group of scientists and Marines, has not gone unnoticed by Aras, the planet's designated guardian. An eternally evolving world himself, this sad, powerful being has already obliterated millions of alien interlopers and their great cities to protect the fragile native population. Now Shan and her party — plus the small colony of fundamentalist humans who preceded them — could face a similar annihilation...or a fate far worse. Because Aras possesses a secret of the blood that would be disastrous if it fell into human hands — if the gethes survive the impending war their coming has inadvertently hastened.


"A stellar debut." Jack McDevitt, author of Deepsix


"[A] writer worth watching, in part because she shows enough resources that she might take off in just about any direction next time out." Locus


"Intensely satisfying...what makes City of Pearl such a good read is its unsentimentality and its clear sightedness." New York Review of Science Fiction

About the Author

Karen Traviss is a former defense correspondent and TV and newspaper journalist. She has worked in public relations for the police and local government, and has served in the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service and the Territorial Army. The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of City of Pearl, Crossing the Line, The World Before, Matriarch, Star Wars-Republic Commando: Hard Contact, Triple Zero, and Star Wars-Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines, she lives in Wiltshire, England.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

marsroever, July 14, 2009 (view all comments by marsroever)
I enjoyed reading this book. It has a feel of good old fashioned speculative science fiction. Some well-researched science mixed in with a good dose of 'what if'. There is a good development of main characters for believability and enough action and suspense to create a nice pace. I look forward to reading more in this series
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
rebelaessedai, November 1, 2008 (view all comments by rebelaessedai)
City of Pearl has been on my wish list for awhile now. Since I've been finding it difficult to get into books lately, I decided to pick it up and give it a try. I was not disappointed.
This year I seem to be reading a lot of alien contact books, and I think Traviss has done the best in that particular sub-genre so far. It's difficult to imagine what other species in the universe might be
like, and even harder to make them real to us as readers. I mean, think about it. You have to be able to relate to the characters you're reading about in some way, but with alien contact novels you also have to be able to make them fundamentally different from us, at least
enough that it seems they've evolved somewhere other than Earth.
Which brings me to Aras, one of the main characters of the novel. Aras is the guardian of Bezer'ej, a world inhabited by underwater creatures who are extremely sensitive to biological changes in their environment. Aras is the destroyer of a colony of isenj, another alien
race that polluted the planet, killing the bezeri. Aras is host to a bug that renders him immortal, a dangerous boon to any population of enterprising individuals.
And you guessed it... here come the humans to complicate things.
Luckily, the first group to show up believe as the wess'har- Aras' race, sans immortality- do. They don't believe in harming the landscape, and they try to use everything to its maximum capacity. One thing I found interesting with this group was that they are a Christian group, very fundamentalist, but in many ways they uphold the
teachings of Christ. I seem to rarely find positive views on religion in science fiction. I think perhaps that by getting back to nature, away from technology and corruption, they are able to live peacefully
in their small colony. Perhaps their synergy as a group is also related to their fight to survive and the need to work together.
But another spaceship lands, this time with Marines and scientists, inevitably on a mission to make a buck. True human form, no? Desperate to avoid the need to
wipe out the humans as he did the isenj, Aras has to find a way to protect the planet while keeping the peace, not to mention the land, intact. He also has to keep his secret from the humans. And war is about to strike, alliances made and perhaps lost along with lives.
The story unfolds with Aras and the leader of the scientific mission, Shan, developing a believable alien-human relationship, one they may all come to unknowingly rely upon. Aras has a plausible reason for feeling so close to humankind- one that also keeps him away from his own kind as an anomaly. His own journey, though, leads him to heartache the humankind cannot even touch, for all that they are human emotions as well. And Shan has her
own hands full trying to maintain scientists whose intellectual curiosity might lead the to the mission's ultimate destruction.
City of Pearl is both a philosophical novel full of hope and an exploration of character. It's one of the first times I have discovered that one of the main characters- a strong female lead- is mostly unlikeable and yet oddly sympathetic. Those are always the best
characters, the ones who are flawed but who draw you in nonetheless.
Although I find it a bit preachy in places- veganism and earth preservation being main themes of the book- it is overall a story about issues near and dear to me: loneliness, empathy, and the strength of the human heart. A strong 9/10.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

Traviss, Karen
Harper Voyager
by Karen Traviss
by Karen Traviss
Science Fiction - Space Opera
Science Fiction - Adventure
Science / General
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Space Opera
Edition Description:
Mass Market PB
The Wess'har Wars
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.5 x 5.5 in 4.88 oz

Other books you might like

  1. Morgawr: The Voyage of the Jerle... Used Mass Market $3.95
  2. Honor Among Enemies :Honor... Used Mass Market $4.50
  3. War for the Oaks
    Used Trade Paper $7.95
  4. The Redemption of Althalus Used Mass Market $3.95
  5. Dirge Used Mass Market $3.50
  6. The Companions Used Mass Market $4.95

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Adventure

City of Pearl New Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.99 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Eos - English 9780060541699 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A stellar debut."
"Review" by , "[A] writer worth watching, in part because she shows enough resources that she might take off in just about any direction next time out."
"Review" by , "Intensely satisfying...what makes City of Pearl such a good read is its unsentimentality and its clear sightedness."
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at