Survival by Julie E Czerneda (Species Imperative 1)

Dr Mackenzie Winifred Elizabeth Wright Connor, called Mac by her friends and co-workers, studies Salmon at the Norcoast Salmon Research Facility or Base as they call it. One day her research is rudely interupted by a surprise visit by  the alien Brymn, the first Dhryn to visit earth. He is an archaeologist and linguist who studies the Chasm, a zone of space where all life is gone. Now there are reports of something similar, attacks that cleanses an area of all life.

Before long Base is attacked and Mac’s friend and co-worker Dr Emily “Em” Mamani Saramiento is kidnapped by invisible aliens. Brymn is incapacitated in the same attack but can reveal that they are the Ro, a race that has been attacking the Dhryn for ages, taking their children.

Brymn’s mysterious but not totally unattractive escort, Nikolai “Nik” Trojanowski from The Ministry of Extra-Sol Human Affairs starts to catch Mac’s interests.

Eventually the situation at Base becomes too unsafe for Brymn and Mac so that they have to leave for the protection of the Dhryns. Just leaving earth in secret while avoiding the invisible Ro is an adventure.

This is one of the most interesting alien species I have encountered so far. The characterisation and world building is also above average. The plot is great but I do miss some infodumps, maybe I am too used to David Weber. I think it’s a book I have to digest for a while.