Silent Songs by A. C. Crispin and Kathleen O’Malley
Tessa is the human on the planet Trinity who is the Interraltor with the natives. The Grus are one species, the ones Tessa works with the most. The biggest problem is that the White Wings’ cry permanently deafens humans. Before they learned to wear sound nullifiers contact could not be made. Tessa, who is deaf, was able to not only relate to them, but help discover another intelligent species on Trinity. This story is related in an earlier Starbridge book, Silent Dances.
Now Trinity is under attack by a new species. This people conquers any other race or species it meets, turning them into slaves and food. The Anurans need more space for their burgeoning population. Trinity offers an ideal location for them. They cannot understand the resistance of the people on Trinity once they have proven their superiority. The Anurans with their double brains can dominate, cause pain without damage, resist telepathic messages, tune out the Grus, and otherwise take over and enslave.
This novel is interesting as it changes viewpoints. It is fairly well divided between Tessa and her group’s perspective and the Anurans’ perspective. We see the reasoning and feelings of those who conquer to stay alive and those who fight the conquerors to retain their own lifestyle and lives. We are taken into the thoughts of some of the captives as they are enslaved – the frustration, the pain, the despondence, and breakdown of any resistance.
I recommend the Starbridge series, especially the first novel, Starbridge. While I liked this book, it should not be read before Silent Dances. The other in the series are on other worlds and help explain the overall storyline and philosophies, but are not necessary just to enjoy these two. Still, read them all.