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Stardoc #1


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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 consequences between human and alien relations...

394 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2000

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About the author

S.L. Viehl

30 books217 followers
Also see Lynn Viehl, Gena Hale, Jessica Hall and Rebecca Kelly.

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5 stars
1,139 (29%)
4 stars
1,345 (34%)
3 stars
944 (24%)
2 stars
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1 star
133 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 232 reviews
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
737 reviews1,262 followers
February 26, 2019
[4.5/5 stars] I freaking loved this book. And it is somewhat tragic that it sat on my shelves collecting dust for 16 years before I finally picked it up (16 years!!!! I can’t even wrap my head around that fully). The story may not have been the most original, creative, or exciting, but I tell you what – it was EXACTLY what I’ve been craving and I enjoyed it to pieces.

I love sci-fi books of all kinds – from the heavy militaristic battle novels filled with endless technical jargon to the fluffy feel-good space operas, but the ones that always seem to make me phone home are the ones with the most creative alien creations. I guess you could say I prefer the xenobiology sci-fis, and the more convincing the genetic makeups, the better. Not only did Stardoc include a vast array of aliens, but Viehl (who happens to be a retired surgeon for the army) upped the game even further by including medical treatment of these aliens (which means she really had to dig in to the specifics of their biological workings and how the environment affected them), and I ate up every single detail. Not only was it an amazing creative undertaking, but it also added an exciting medical drama angle that kept me turning pages late into the night. Superb.

If all that wasn’t enough, the story often sat on the verge of being a bonafide space opera (my favorite two words in spec-fic). The characters were well developed and their interpersonal drama balanced perfectly with the rest of the story and provided an excellent way to get emotionally invested. A vast majority of the story takes place on one planet, but there are so many dynamics that it didn’t ever feel stagnant (although I’m totally looking forward to more space travel and new aliens in future books).

There’s only one story component that kept me from giving Stardoc a full 5-star rating, and that was the inclusion of a very odd rape scene. Like, really odd. Mostly because of how it was handled – the author sort of showed her cards a bit for me on what’s to come, and I can sorta see what she was trying to do, but 100% the content wouldn’t fly in today’s market had it been written more recently. I don’t really want to spark a debate on rape scenes in books, so I’m going to leave it at that and suggest you just venture in aware it’s a component. It’s literally the only thing that kept Stardoc from hitting perfection for me on all accounts.

Series status: Enjoying this series has now become my #1 reading priority. I’ve already cracked the spine on the next book (and it’s awesome!).

Recommendations: I can’t endorse this book as the best sci-fi I’ve ever read, but it hit all the right notes for me and has become one of my new favorites. It includes and excellent mix of medical drama, aliens, relatable characters, and just a hint of mystery.

Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.com

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Survival (Species Imperative, #1) by Julie E. Czerneda Grimspace (Sirantha Jax, #1) by Ann Aguirre The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1) by Becky Chambers Perdition (Dred Chronicles, #1) by Ann Aguirre Fortune's Pawn (Paradox #1) by Rachel Bach
Profile Image for Jamie Collins.
1,434 reviews274 followers
August 9, 2015
This is shallow, hokey space opera, featuring enough alien species to populate several Mos Eisley Cantinas. The medical stuff is not badly done, once you shrug and accept that the doctor from earth can so easily handle alien physiology. This book contains possibly the weakest (although mercifully brief) attempt to explain faster-than-light travel that I've ever seen.

But the writing is not bad and I was rather enjoying the book until about halfway through, when it began to go rapidly downhill. There was a setup for a love triangle, but the romances were very poorly realized. Then I was annoyed by the rape scene that the heroine seemed to enjoy: "I'd never been more disgusted with myself, but there was nothing I could do. We were both young, healthy specimens. I had to try something else, quickly, before he used my physical response against me." Ick. Other than that scene, which is disturbing for the attitude rather than for explicit violence, the book is mild enough for older kids.

The ending is lackluster, and it segues into the opening scenes of the next book, a device I find almost as irritating as a cliffhanger.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
4 reviews1 follower
September 9, 2013
The first person perspective was lacking something in this book. Some plot points did not make sense. For the sake of anyone who still wants to read this book I won't go into details. Except for this next bit, because anyone reading the book should at least know what they're getting into.

RAPE is RAPE. There is no such thing as a "near rape". It doesn't matter a damn if the character was under some kind of alien influence. It's still rape, no matter who was responsible for it. No one who went through what the main character went through would say "he forced me to have sex with him" and then also say "I wasn't raped" not two pages later. She says, "I consented later," but physical reactions (not to mention simply giving up because he was stronger) do not constitute consent. Even before that happened, the writing of the interactions between Cherijo and Reever were problematic at best, with Reever holding Cherijo paralyzed once or twice with his psychic powers, and delving into her mind uninvited and unwanted. And he, the colony's official translator! I'm sure they would have laws about such things for species with mental powers. Growing up around aliens and not knowing human interaction is one thing, but he's just a creeper, and acts more "alien" than most of the real aliens.

No. I'm sorry, but while I can ignore a certain amount of bad or inexperienced writing if the story is compelling enough, I WILL NOT tolerate such cavalier writing when it comes to rape and women's agency.
Profile Image for Joey Cruz.
130 reviews6 followers
August 31, 2011
75% of Stardoc is a fantastic science fiction novel about a strong, engaging female protagonist taking on a global crisis with wit and resourcefulness.

The other 25% is a bad romance novel in which the only irritating character of the book is shoved down the readers' throats as a potential love interest after raping the main character (under the control of an alien intelligence), who realizes after the fact that she kind of liked it.

Doesn't matter how good the rest of it is when a major plot point turns the previously relatable protagonist into a bad stereotype acting out the writer's subversive sex fantasy.

I don't hate sex or romance in books. I just hate it when it's done wrong.

I was still willing to give the rest of the series a chance. This book ends with the protagonist leaving the planet (and that one irritating character) behind... right up until the last page, when the character -- screw it, his name is Reaver -- when Reaver surprises her by being on the ship when it leaves.

Read that: The worst character of the first book is the ONLY one that follows the protagonist into the next book.

I don't get three chapters into book two before I'm throwing it across the room and complaining to my wife about what this wonderful book she recommended to me turned into.

"They get married in one of the later books," she tells me.

I never pick up book two again.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Dianne.
1,601 reviews120 followers
April 1, 2023
Stardoc by S. Viehl
UPDATE 2023--- All are on e-books now.

This is a series of 10 novels, and I hope we see more. Not all of the books are still in print or have yet been turned into e-books. That is a shame, but it is a series that is well worth the trouble of trying to find them through the other seller’s option on Amazon. This is true Sci-Fi with an underlying theme of romance, but not cloying romance.

Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil is a remarkable Doctor. She leaves Earth to use her talents in another world with many different species and to escape her smothering father. But she also carries a secret, and this is one that is revealed fairly slowly over the course of several of the books.

The biggest question is, is she truly human and sentient?

Cherijo will fight many battles in the next few books; one of the biggest is proving her sentience and remaining far away from her ‘father’ and creator. She has many problems with several men in her life and will prove that while brilliant, she is sadly lacking in the male/female aspects of life. Sometimes this is humorous, and sometimes it is downright heartbreaking, as you will see if you read the series.

Each book continues to show us what a strong female protagonist she is, with a lovely sort of snarky attitude that absolutely works for her character. Sometimes she can come off as a “Mary-Sue” sort of character, but Ms. Viehl makes it work to be believable to the reader.

This is a highly enjoyable, very exciting series with a strong female protagonist, and I recommend this series to those who enjoy SciFi with a small dose of romance.
Profile Image for Lilia Ford.
Author 15 books185 followers
February 19, 2016

Sci-fi is my favorite genre, and thanks to a combination of action-heavy plots and my own tendency to speed-read, it's also the one I'm least likely to DNF. And no question I rushed right through this despite the length, and immediately picked up the second two books. I was initially intrigued because it was included on a list of sci-fi with 'strong female leads,' and in that the book delivers. The heroine and narrator, Cherijo Grey Veil, is an expert surgeon of Native American heritage, and the plot is full of exciting medical heroics set on a distant planet inhabited by dozens of different alien species. The book is at its strongest when it dramatizes how Cherijo's uncompromising ethics as a doctor guide her treatment, especially given that Earth is portrayed as dominated by a bigoted xenophobic culture that outlaws any alien 'contamination.'

Once the rush of the plot was over, however, there were aspects that fell short, and the problems got more serious as the series continued. The romance aspect was especially unsatisfying: Considering the fact that the heroine is in love with a blue-skinned alien, I had hopes that it would do something new and insightful with that kind of cross-species encounter. Instead, we get a nascent (and mostly generic) love triangle with a blond human male (whom the heroine is clearly destined to end up with) and a boatload of relationship melodrama, including tiresome Alpha male harassment and invasive behavior that would not be out of place in a 1980s gothic romance.

That problem hints at what was ultimately the biggest disappointment for me: both the romance and Cherijo's job appear to set up what I'd hoped would be a genuine and thoughtful encounter with beings who are deeply, justifiably alien. But despite Cherijo's commitment to providing medical care for all, her attitude remains resolutely 'human-centric' in a way that never seems to be challenged by the author. To pick a minor but characteristic example, a particularly disagreeable alien co-worker is described as foul-smelling and unattractive, characterizations consistently supported by the text, without any sense that scent or looks might be species specific. Creatures seem bizarre or accessible, likable or not, attractive or not, entirely on human terms, without ever suggesting that humans may be too biased or inexperienced to cope with that level of difference. In that context, the heroine's consistent condemnation of Earth's bigoted policies start to feel like (the usual) cover for a failure to acknowledge one's own biases.

I emphasize this because I have read other sci-fi books--Tanya Huff's Valor's Choice for example--that effectively use the alien theme to explore human bias, both the conditions under which we embrace the alien and those times when we fail. The result here ends up feeling far too close to the saloon scene in Star Wars, with aliens providing a colorfully bizarre, sometimes amusing backdrop to a story (justifiably) dominated by those who look and act human. All of these problems persist into the second and third volumes, enough that I do not plan to continue with the series.

Bottom line: I love sci-fi because more than any other genre it combines action-heavy plots with allegory--thoughtful, insightful explorations of complex ideas. This book succeeded on the first count, featuring plenty of exciting actions scenes by a heroic surgeon, but for me at least failed to do justice to the larger themes it raised.
Profile Image for Emma.
2,511 reviews856 followers
August 15, 2022
Considering this was first published in 1998 or so, this book hasn’t dated at all. I loved it! All the different species, the characters good and bad- the plot- I was blown away. Definitely mean to continue this series.
Profile Image for Amanda.
1,389 reviews33 followers
August 3, 2007
I hated this book. It starts out with such promise, and the writing is good, but then it goes so bad.

Rape is not sexy, does not express love and is never acceptable. I loathe the fact that Cherijo finds her rapist such a sympathetic character. It's just grotesque that in later books she goes on to happily marry her rapist. Ugh.

S. J. Viehl is an excellent writer but has some real issues mixing sex, love and violence. I think it reflects something that seems to be popular now with all these vampire books being published. I don't get it, but it's obviously ringing some bells somewhere, because damn, they obviously sell.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Felicia.
Author 46 books128k followers
May 9, 2012
I mean....not really that well written, it was just silly sometimes but I kinda enjoyed the mind-candy ride :D
Profile Image for Martina the Book Fairy.
241 reviews32 followers
January 23, 2010
Stardoc falls most clearly into the genre of sci-fi, but it does have elements of both romance and psychic power, as well as all the aliens you could possibly imagine!

Stardoc is set in the indeterminate future - a future where Earth (called Terra in this series) has joined an alliance of space-faring civilizations. Doctor Cherijo Grey Veil is a brilliant surgeon of approx 30 years of age. Driven by a (unknown to the reader) secret she discovers about her over-domineering father, she leaves Terra to accept a physician position at Kevarzangia Two's FreeClinic.

Kevarzangia Two is home to over 200 different species with Terrans making up less than 1%, so Cherijo must proove herself as each medical emergency gives her the challenge of treating new species and diseases. However, Cherijo's biggest two challenges are yet to come. A mysterious illness breaks out that seems to affect all species except Cherijo herself and her father is trying unrelentlessly to drag her back home no matter what the circumstances.

I LOVED this book! I've always been a fan of space operas such as those written by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon. Throw in some space romance like Linnea Sinclair and you've got a winner, IMO. I'll definitely be picking up further books in this series.

Similar series:
* Vatta's War series by Elizabeth Moon
* Serrano/Suiza series by Elizabeth Moon
* Dinosaur Planet series by Anne McCaffrey (with E. Moon & J. L. Nye)
* Freedom series by Anne McCaffrey
Profile Image for Cathy .
1,944 reviews52 followers
October 9, 2010
I liked the style. It felt a lot like an old Star Trek novel in a lot of ways. The various aliens and supporting characters were quite good (especially her cat, Jenner, I'm not just a dog person). But I had a lot of issues with the emotional decisions. Somehow, although Terrans are fanatical bigots, and she was raised by one of the worst, Cherijo is completely open-minded to the point that she never even questions whether or not getting involved with a member of another species is ok. She's a weird mix of immature and inexperienced and confident and in control. Some of that makes sense considering her background, but when and where is just too convenient and inconsistent with how a real person would behave. The main romance is very rushed and hard to get behind. And then there's the violence. I can deal with what happened in light of what we find out later in the book. But I can't accept that she enjoyed it. There's really no excuse for that. And despite the outside influences, the same man continues to press his attention on her with undo influence, it isn't sexy or fun. She gets mad at him, but for the wrong reasons and in the wrong ways. I just don't understand. I'm hoping to see a reason for it in the next book, similar to the reason why the big violent scene wasn't his fault, but I'm leery. Sorry that that's a bit confusing, I'm trying not to spoil anything.
Profile Image for Emma.
555 reviews22 followers
June 2, 2019
Okay, das war unterhaltsam. So richtig unterhaltsam. Wie die Lieblings-Arzt-Serie aus dem Vorabendprogramm, nur auf einem fernen Planeten mit lauter Aliens und einer abrundenden Geheimnis-Geschichte, bei dem auch die Liebe nicht zu kurz kommt. Wirklich, "Stardoc" hat mich rundum überzeugt! So sehr, dass ich es jetzt innerhalb von 24 Stunden ausgelesen habe, obwohl ich eigentlich ganz andere Dinge geplant hatte.

Der Klappentext ist etwas verwirrend und ganz fehlerlos ist das Buch nicht. Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil sucht nach einem Piloten, der sie von Terra wegbringt und man erfährt rasch, dass sie vor ihrem Vater flieht, aber nicht, was er ihr angetan hat. Das bleibt lange Zeit ominös und als das Geheimnis dann aufgedeckt wird, geschieht es sehr nebenbei und wird gefühlsmäßig nicht wirklich nahe gebracht. Aus Plotsicht lässt das etwas zu wünschen übrig, dafür ist die Geschichte mit Cherijo auf K2 herrlich! S.L. Viehl hat sehr viel Spaß daran, Aliens und Krankengeschichten zu erfinden und man bekommt eine Menge Ambulanz-Feeling. Noch dazu gibt es als zweiten großen Plotstrang (neben Cherijos Geheimnis, das etwas stiefmütterlich behandelt wird) die titelgebende Seuche und das war wirklich interessant. Ich hatte zwar schon lange die Vermutung, was der Auslöser wirklich war, aber nur, weil ich mit einer ähnlichen Idee selbst schon lange spiele.

Was letztlich den fünften Stern einer perfekten Bewertung gekostet hat, waren einige Unstimmigkeiten und Unzulänglichkeiten, wie das Tempo, in dem Cherijos Geheimnis offenbart wird oder einige andere Stellen, an denen nicht weiter auf ihre Emotion eingegangen wird. Auch ein bestimmtes Ereignis wird etwas spröde behandelt und hinterlässt bei mir einen bitteren Nachgeschmack (Achtung, Spoiler):
Andere werden das Buch aufgrund dieser Stelle vielleicht harrscher beurteilen, wieder andere gar kein Problem damit sehen ... mich beschäftigt sie, aber dennoch habe ich das Lesen des restlichen Buches sehr genossen und werde jetzt mal Band 2 aufstöbern und eventuell noch diesen Monat weiterlesen. Denn obwohl mein Herz auch ein kleines bisschen gebrochen ist, habe ich die Welt und ihre Charaktere doch in mein Herz geschlossen und bin gespannt, wohin die Reise des Stardoc noch überall führen wird.
Profile Image for Tez.
845 reviews219 followers
February 7, 2010
Dr Cherijo Grey Veil may be an expert surgeon on Terra, but has a steep learning curve on K-2. Most of her Trauma patients are of species she's never encountered before, and her fellow doctors aren't all playing nice. But these are nothing compared to the contagion destroying lives before Cherijo can even identify what it is, and how to treat it.

The contagion should be the final climax, but instead there's more to come. And are the earlier scenes with all her different patients really necessary? I get the feeling pantsing came before plotting, resulting in a little lack of focus. Family? Lovers? Patients? Politics? Altogether they make the story feel longer than perhaps it should be.

But StarDoc is a true page-turner. The trauma cases are by far the breadwinners, but there are likable characters in Ana Hansen, Alunthri, and of course Jenner. The family and politics issues often seem repeated, and the romances are just awkward. Normally I don't share spoilers, but in this case there's something that a lot of readers like to be forewarned about: a rape scene.

Overall, StarDoc is rather engrossing, and leaves me wanting the rest of the series, but this is problematic as most of the books are out-of-print.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for torin_kylara.
202 reviews1 follower
July 22, 2019
This book came so close to making 4.5 stars. I love the atmosphere. I love the characterization. I love the aliens. I love the epidemic. I love almost everything about this book. Problem? Reever. Wth Reever? Worst storyline that is supposed to lead to an endgame scenario. I love Cherijo and I have no idea why she would ever want to end up with Reever.

So, essentially, if you read this book, you will love it, with one caveat. I think I still recommend it, and I'm still going to read at least book 2 to see where Viehl is trying to take this Reever storyline, but I don't have such high hopes anymore, so that makes me sad. Fingers crossed book 2 can turn it around.
Profile Image for Jensownzoo.
320 reviews27 followers
November 9, 2008
I really enjoy this series. I like all the medical details about treating alien species (perhaps because I am a veterinarian?). Love how matter-of-fact each alien species is treated--no look-at-me-I'm-an-alien! type of exposition. The first book is my favorite because the main character is still trying to find her place in the world.
Profile Image for Rhuddem Gwelin.
Author 6 books21 followers
November 25, 2019
The whole time I was reading this I was wondering why it was called 'Stardog'. It was only when I searched for it here and it didn't come up that I looked again and saw that it doc not dog. Duh. I quite enjoyed this until the rape that she enjoyed and then it lost most of its stars. The aliens were fun and the anti-racist message saved it from disaster but I didn't much like the main character or either of the love-interest guys and I'm not into hospital series even if they're on a faraway planet, so no, this didn't make a big hit with me and I won't continue the series.
Profile Image for Amber Dawn.
36 reviews1 follower
October 27, 2012
All in all this is a fun science fiction book with an interesting and different plot - lady doctor with over-controlling father on xenophobic Terra takes a job on a space outpost and has to deal with medical emergencies in uncountable species, as well as difficult co-workers and culture shock. There is one thing about the book that really, really bothered me though, and this is, (mentioned in many other reviews, but I want to be tasteful and keep spoilers hidden)
Profile Image for Jai.
621 reviews118 followers
August 23, 2008
Cherijo Grey Veil is a brilliant Terran surgeon who discovers something about her father that causes her to run away and take an assignment at a free clinic light years away from his influence in Kevarzangia Two. Because of the racism of the Terrans and her sheltered life in Terra, Cherijo has never met many aliens before. Let alone treat them. This is the first book in a series, but the story felt self contained - no giant cliffhanger, thank goodness. And while this is a science fiction novel, it wasn't hard science fiction, which made it a fun, satisfying read for me. There were no difficult lessons, just a straight story about a young woman's fight for her independence. I think I've found an author who I can expect page-turning and fun science fiction from.

More detailed review here - http://janicu.livejournal.com/10491.html
Profile Image for Carolyn F..
3,425 reviews51 followers
January 8, 2011
This cover is more embarrassing than any bodice ripper I've read. The picture does follow the story, but it's still pretty awful. Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil at 30 is running away from home to another part of the galaxy. There she meets some wonderful and not so wonderful people and falls in love with another alien (since she's from Terran/Earth that makes her an alien right?). The only problem I have is a fellow Terran named Reever. He seems to have no common sense - she's with someone, stop following her around and trying to kiss her. And when tragedy strikes, he gives her just a short time before he's back again. Even saying all that, she's pretty cruel to him.

I love this book and plan on reading the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Anna.
Author 47 books97 followers
December 6, 2017
Quite a bit of this book reads like James Herriot in space. (I guess more modern readers might instead say this is a medical drama in space.) And I have to admit that --- plus the sheer number of characters --- got a bit tedious at times.

Otherwise, though, the story was fascinating with a strong hook and a likable protagonist. S.L. Viehl did an excellent job of teasing us with the backstory, and the front story is also a good one. The price was right too, making this one of the few books I bought this month rather than snagging via the library.
Profile Image for Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method).
1,669 reviews477 followers
May 18, 2018
Oooph. I love S.L. Viehl and the story and the writing were just as impeccable as the last book she wrote. BUT there's a gratuitous [Trigger Warning] rape scene that really didn't need to be included that gets this book downgraded for me.
Profile Image for Karen.
1,860 reviews38 followers
April 15, 2023
I enjoyed this mainly because of the main character is a brilliant surgeon.
Profile Image for Becky.
264 reviews125 followers
July 16, 2013
I knew better. I mean I should have known better. It was sci-fi after all. And that weird sci-fi where they try to explain the ecology of whole worlds and the mechanics of space travel and black holes and everything is incomprehensible to my tiny brain. Not only was it sci-fi, but it was a medical sci-fi soap opera which makes it even worse.

I don't care to know what a lascalpel (Laser scalpel) is, because it doesn't exist in real life and is therefore moot.
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It had such potential too. The first fifteen pages are about a young doctor, attempting to escape Earth (Terra) and hiring out a pilot hanging out in a derelict bar downtown to get her off world. What's she running from? Where's she headed? It has all the makings of a good story right? I thought so too.
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But then it's like four hundred pages of weird scientific terminology that's not even real, and a lot of medical explanations for beings that don't exist. In between all that there's plenty of planet politics which are completely boring, and our MC screaming at people a bunch. She gets mistreated a lot, told to shut up a lot, nobody ever believes her, and then she swoops in a saves the day even though her temper is so out of control that she physically attacks people sometimes. So yeah, there's our main girl in all her pride and glory.
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Yeah, she's one of those Mary Sue's that feels entitled to special treatment. And every guy she meets proposes. That's legit.
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I was annoyed about quite a few things, but it's not like the book didn't have some redeeming qualities. I mean the romantical part held my attention for maybe five minutes.

Anyway, just wasn't for me, even though it's got good ratings and came highly recommended.

Profile Image for Erica Anderson.
Author 4 books17 followers
July 16, 2010
I've been on a SFR reading jag lately and just "discovered" S.L. Viehl, who has a pretty extensive backlist focused on the character of Cherijo Grey Veil, an interstellar physician. Stardoc is the first book in the series, basically a fast-paced melding of medicine and science fiction--ER with aliens.

I picked up Stardoc because I'm a fan of romance, SF, and fiction that involves medicine or medical mysteries (Ariana Franklin's series about a medieval forensic investigator is on my auto-buy list).

The heroine, due to a conflict with her incredibly overbearing father, leaves home for the frontier colony planet of K-2, where she encounters medical challenges in the form of over 200 different species. I really enjoyed the parts of the book that took place at the clinic as Cherijo tries to get a handle on alien physiology.

But I found Cherijo herself a less-than-sympathetic heroine. She seems pretty darn tempermental and reminded me of why I don't care for the Anita Blake books--like Anita, she's always on the verge of shooting/hitting/beating someone or stomping off in a huff.

Although Stardoc has been classified as SFR by some readers, I consider it SF with romantic elements. There's a love interest, but this potentially fascinating character is incompletely developed. And I was mystified by his attraction to the heroine, who seems to forget he exists with alarming regularity.

While not a keeper for me, I enjoyed the premise of Stardoc and found the book to be a fast-paced read with a ton of interesting characters, many of whom I'd like to spend more time with, such as the compelling Duncan Reever.
Profile Image for Coucher de soleil.
283 reviews13 followers
January 23, 2018
I really enjoyed this one.

The main character, Cherijo Grey Veil, is opinionated and sassy. So is her cat for that matter -you'll see what I mean if you read the book. :) Utterly dedicated to her profession as a surgeon, she takes no prisoners and does not suffer fools gladly. Personally, I found her very refreshing. The plot is very interesting and exciting -I read this one very quickly!

The only criticism I could bring to this particular novel would be the source of the 'plague' on K2 (I'm trying not to spoil everyone here) which I felt did not entirely plotwise, as well as the scene between Duncan and Cherijo while Duncan is 'infected' with the plague. Both aspects do not entirely work, in particular since the answer to the source of the plague (and its cure) seemed to me to involve a bit too much 'miracle' or hocus-pocus to *feel* believable to me. As for the scene with Duncan, it (i) seemed to come out of nowever and serve relatively little purpose in terms of advancing the plot (I hesitate to use the term 'gratuitous' here but it does fit), (ii) should have resulted in considerable psychological sequelae on Cherijo's part (which it did not), (iii) really bothered me both because it wasn't required for the plot AND because rape really *REALLY* isn't sexy.

All in all however, I enjoyed this one and would recommend the rest of the series, although you may have some trouble finding some of the books (i.e. some books are annoyingly out of print).

(I'm being generous with this first book despite that one really big red flad mentioned above, because I really enjoyed the later books in the series as well as enjoying the rest of this one.)
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for WillowBe.
431 reviews7 followers
January 14, 2010
I liked it, but the romance between Kao and Cherijo was really rushed, and quite unbelievable to me. It was obvious that the author's true interest was between Reever and Cherijo. I mean, their sex is much more explicit.

Also, i think this is the only novel I have ever read where a rape was ultimately redeemed as "OK" more or less. I am a kinky, sick girl, so I have to admit I kind of liked it. Never-the-less, I couldn't understane WHY this was important to the narrative, what it taught us about Cherijo, except, well, I didn't know she was attracted to Reever until that point. But when Cheri magnanimously decides that "Reever was as much a victim as me". Well, that tied things up neatly, didn't it? Perhaps the pounding she gave Reever was her revenge? Restored her from victimhood? Thing is, Reever keeps grabbing her and forcing unwanted links on her for dubious reasons. This obviously a person with boundary issues. Why not take it a few more steps and do it BD, bec I think that is what REever really leans toward, and Cheri is very experienced at being dominated. And is it just me, but is there a bit of a sexual subtext in her relationship with her dad? Why not make it explicit, however, for Dad, it's more like auto-eroticism, since he does not see her as a person in her own right.

So, I liked the pairing, it just lacked a few more paragraphs or scenes to convince me of the authenticity of her relationship with either of these romantic leads. Still, it was a pretty good book.

It did add interesting abstract questions about
Profile Image for Amelia.
363 reviews11 followers
March 25, 2016
So here we have an epic space opera built around a single female protagonist, Dr. Cherijo Grey Vail. She is bright and driven and has all those good traits of a strong educated character. However, life keeps throwing her big curveballs. Very big.

So, she secretly leaves her secure job and life on her home planet and runs away from... something (that unfolds throughout the book) and takes a job in a far space quadrant on a relatively newly settled planet full of interesting and varied settlers of all sorts. If you like science fiction that is full of a variety of sentient alien life forms, this is the book for you!

The good doctor takes up a position as a trauma doc in a not very well staffed trauma center and all hell breaks loose. Seriously. More than once. This book is never dull! And her life is not dull, either. The story is packed with plot twists and turns and surprising events. It's well written and fascinating. The reader never knows what is going to happen next, for sure.

Stardoc by S.L. Viehl. Try it! You will like it. I look forward to reading the others in the series.
Profile Image for Tony Hisgett.
2,610 reviews26 followers
June 11, 2017
I really enjoyed the first half of this book, but then it began to lose focus and the whole contagion story dragged on too long and became a bit boring. The problem then, is that I was no longer enthralled enough with the story to overlook some of the more annoying and illogical aspects of the book. Fortunately, a cure for the epidemic was in sight the interest picked up and it again became quite a good SciFi yarn.

The reason I only gave 3 stars, was I was fed up with the ‘ Reever’ person and still don’t understand what the author is trying to achieve with this appalling character, not content with mental rape and physical rape, the author keeps insinuating him into all aspects of Cherijo’s life, often causing physical and emotional distress. I have the horrible feeling that the author somehow thinks we should feel sorry for him, even worse I think she is lining him up as some weird sort of romantic interest for Cherijo. If that happens I will stop reading the books.
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