Stardoc (Stardoc Series #1)

Stardoc (Stardoc Series #1)

4.4 37
by S. L. Viehl
     
 

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Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil leaves Earth and accepts a position as a physician at Kevarzanga-2's FreeClinic. Her surgical skills are desperately needed on a hostile frontier world with over 200 sentient species--and her understanding of alien physiology is nothing short of miraculous. But the truth behind her expertise is a secret which, if discovered, could have disastrous

Overview

Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil leaves Earth and accepts a position as a physician at Kevarzanga-2's FreeClinic. Her surgical skills are desperately needed on a hostile frontier world with over 200 sentient species--and her understanding of alien physiology is nothing short of miraculous. But the truth behind her expertise is a secret which, if discovered, could have disastrous consequences between human and alien relations...

Editorial Reviews

Victoria Strauss
Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil is fed up with her life on Earth and with her cold, domineering father, Dr. Joseph Grey Veil. So she takes the first off-planet medical job she can find: a post in the Trauma FreeClinic on Kevarzangia Two, a world colonized by 200 different alien species, where human beings are definitely in the minority. She has never treated an alien in her life, but she's a talented doctor, and figures she'll wing it.

Arriving on K-2, Cherijo finds that her scant knowledge of alien medicine is only the beginning of her problems. Her boss hates her, and other colleagues are mistrustful. She runs afoul of various local customs, in part because she's too impatient to follow the rules (much as she hates her arrogant father, she has a hefty share of his physician's ego). The colony's chief linguist -- a handsome but creepy human named Reever -- has an annoying habit of trying to invade her mind with his telepathic powers. And her father, furious at her precipitous departure, is doing everything he can short of kidnapping to get her back.

Despite these difficulties, Cherijo manages to surmount medical challenges and make friends. But just as she's beginning to feel at home on K-2, a mysterious epidemic strikes the colony. Desperately, Cherijo races against time to find a cure. But there are many forces arrayed against her: the hostility of the powers that be on Earth, the fear and anger of the bewildered colonists -- and a terrible secret in her own past, which the epidemic may force her to reveal.

If you're one of those people who likes real science in your science fiction, Stardoc is probably not for you. This is SF in the Star Trek vein, with universal translators, alien races that breathe the same air and eat the same food, and some vague discussion of "molecular structure modification" to explain space travel. But if you're willing to suspend your disbelief and enter into the spirit of the thing, Stardoc is a rousing good yarn, with plenty of plot twists, inventive scene-setting, and quirky characters to keep readers thoroughly entertained. The convincing medical details (drawn from Viehl's own trauma centre experience) help to ground the more fantastic aspects of alien physiognomy so that they don't seem totally off the wall, and Cherijo's tart first-person narration gives the story a nicely sarcastic bite.

Viehl takes on some serious themes, including the extreme xenophobia of Earth, which has led to the passage of restrictive species-ist laws, and the question of what exactly makes a being sentient. But mostly Stardoc is a fun adventure story, with an appealing heroine, a lot of action, a sly sense of humour, and wonders aplenty. A sequel is scheduled for July; I'll be looking forward to it.
SFSite.com

VOYA
Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil leaves Terra in a hurry, fleeing her overbearing father and some uncomfortable revelations about her origin. Landing on Kevarzangia2, a lush, Earthlike planet, she is swept immediately into her new job as a physician. She faces plenty of challengesthe obvious dislike of her chief, Dr. Mayer, the outright animosity of Phorap Rogan, an incompetent colleague, and the fact that she must treat aliens of all descriptions when her only experience has been with humans. Overcoming all these obstacles, Cherijo manages to fall in love with the blueskinned, whiteeyed Jorenian, forestall an epidemic, tangle with a mindreading linguist, lose her lover, and create a diplomatic rift between the Jorenians and the League. Viehl's plotting is swift and skillful, and the scenes in the trauma unit are especially riveting and well written. Characterization is more problematic. Dr. Cherijo is subject to frequent, irritating tantrums; her Jorenian lover, clearly an interstellar Mr. Nice Guy, never comes to life; and her horrid father bears a definite resemblance to an updated version of Simon LeGree. Most questionable, however, is a scene in which Cherijo is raped by Duncan Reever, the linguist who is possessed by a foreign entity at the time of the attack. The implication is clear that despite the fact that this is forced, unwanted sex, the good doctor really wants it underneath all her protests. Surely a perpetuation of the "women really want it" myth is not a good thing to aim at the adolescents who will comprise the majority of the audience for this book. Despite this rather serious flaw, the book is involving, with enough solid supporting characters to maintain plot complexityandinterest. Readers of this first installment will anxiously await the promised sequel. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P S A/YA (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2000, Penguin, Ages 16 to Adult, 394p, $6.99 pb. Reviewer: Ann Welton

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451457738
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
01/28/2000
Series:
Stardoc Series, #1
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
4.48(w) x 6.56(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Stardoc (Stardoc Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I catalog hundreds of books each year and write summaries for many of them. It is rare for me to get excited about many of the fiction books many of which lack substance and a story line that can keep me enthralled. In Ms. Veihl I am excited to find an author with imagination and the writing skills to put them into words. This first novel was a treat for a science fiction fan looking for a good plot, interesting characters and a relaxing way to spend a few good evenings.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Stardoc' is the first in a continuing series of novels featuring the adventures of Doctor Cherijo Grey Veil after she flees Earth to prevent a terrible family secret from destroying her. The first several chapters are like James White at the top of his form, as Cherijo struggles with a new job as a physician with the Free Clinic on Kevarzangia Two -- relying only on her wits and her medical genius to cope with a flood of exotically alien patients. Cherijo develops into an engaging character, and faces dangers to herself and her adopted world with courage and delightful humour. Twist follows twist, each utterly unexpected but flawlessly set up, culminating in an ending that's just right. The devastating revelation on the final page leaves the reader wailing for the next book: which, luckily, is readily available: 'Beyond Varallan.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sheila Viehl takes us on a new adventure which is an engrossing first novel. The main character Cherijo is a strong and likeable character. The wide range of races which inhabit this planet will surprise and keep you entertained up until the end of the story and leave you wanting more. You will learn to like Cherijo and her menage and want to hear more about them. I can't wait for the next edition. I recommend it highly.
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I've recently overcome a reading slump thanks to the quality of writing displayed in this book. The characters are easy to hate and love and the plot is very in depth. Viehl has created a vibrant world in this series with just enough description to make it "real"; and pulls the reader in with a relatable protagonist who is suffering from problems many people deal with in their lives (And ones we rarely see). Only she is very far in the future.
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EffieTX More than 1 year ago
Its really pretty good...
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