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Stardoc #1 [Mass Market Paperback]

S L Viehl
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
I bet Hippocrates never stepped one foot into a dump like this, I thought as I peered through the tavern's narrow entrance. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Feb. 22 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Viehl is an excellent writer. She creates real worlds, and real characters. Having moved into a new culture to be a teacher, a culture composed of at least 8 different cultures, all evolving rapidly, I easily identified with the primary character, Cherijo, as she pursues a professional career on a new planet, teeming with some 200 different species and cultures. Trying to serve the medical needs of 70,000 beings, ranging in size from a snail to a wooly mammoth, is an incredible challenge. This challenge takes what could be a somewhat boring premise- a novel about medical practice in the future- and turns it into a roller-coaster ride of a book, difficult to put down. Then Viehl adds in a number of suprises, up to the very end, as you try to discover just who Cherijo really is.
I write of the characters as they are human, because Viehl does such a good job of creating her characters. Science Fiction is sometimes accused of being technology driven- you slap a few people (or species) into a standard plot, throw in a few gimmicks, and you get instafiction. But all good science fiction has been character driven- with just a few things changed to help us understand one possible future, and our possible present. Viehl does this excellently, helping us undersand what it means to be human. And in a genre that often downplays the role of women and minorities, Viehl is to be commended for highlighting both- I don't read much science fiction where the hero is a female Native American.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Immature protagonist doing implausible medicine Feb. 19 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm a SF reading veteran, and I especially like female heroines. That being said, this is possibly the worst female heroine book I've read in the last 5 years.
Cherijo starts off and consistently displays many characteristics of immaturity only seen in teenagers, even though with 7 years of medical practice she must be in her mid thirties. Running away from home, crying at every hint of adversity, feeling certain of being in love after 2 dates, throwing a tantrum and breaking things frequently, physically attacking other people when she dislikes them, a heightened sense of tunnel vision where she can only see immediate benefits without the long term side effects, the list goes on and on.
As to the story value, the author is trying to create an ER-like environment of doctors treating patients amidst chaos. Unfortunately the plausibility of treament is ludicrous at best. Even though the author boasts 'medical experience' herself, it's obvious she has no idea how medicine or biology actually works. If the reader was science oriented, the suspension of disbelief is very difficult to maintain as the scenes are one non-sense after another. I admit however, that if you don't know anything about biology, and enjoy an ER-like TV show just for its atmosphere, you might be ok here.
An early example: Cherijo has no idea or experience on alien physiology, but insists on treating patients without learning about it first. That's like a florist suddenly wanting to take a turn as a surgeon in the ER. There's a machine with an extensive database that can help her immensely, but she REFUSES to use it because it's currently used by someone she personally dislikes. I mean, she should be in jail for gross negligence, not praised for insisting to work.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am actually a bit embarrassed to give this a five star rating, but cannot deny the fact that I tore through it in an un-put-downable frenzy, quickly picking up the sequel to continue my quest with Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil.
More Sci-Fi than any other genre, this series nonetheless crosses genre borders and has something for everyone; medical thriller, murder mystery, space travel sci-fi, weird aliens, and a bit of romance and comedy for its lighter moments.
This author has brought to us bookworms a series of novels that are purely mindlessly enjoyable reads, perfect for any occasion; travel, curling up on a cold night, staying up all night, whatever you choose. A far shot from great fiction, it still deserves a five star rating for capturing my wandering mind and even diverting me from my own writing.
Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil is a feisty well trained surgeon who flees her homeworld of Terra after finding that her father has not only betrayed her but endangered her by her very existence. She takes a quick shuttle from Terra to K2 where she has accepted a position as a doctor in their free clinic, immediately immersed in treating all types of alien life forms she has never before encountered. She begins her service there under the animosity and hostility of both the clinic's administrator and one of her fellow practitioners. Things go from bad to worse.
She meets and falls in love with Kao Torin, an alien who Chooses her; and also a fellow Terran named Duncan Reever who was raised off world, who she cannot seem to get along with at all. Other friends and enemies are formed among the habitants of K2 during her residency, including a previously undiscovered cluster of sentient beings that call themselves The Core.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of fun! July 14 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Aside from a slightly slow beginning (hence the four - it's really a 4.5) StarDoc is nothing but sheer scifi adventure. In the words of the immortal Furby, "Big fun!"
The first-person POV is something you don't often see in SF, and I love "hearing" Cherijo's asides and thoughts. She's smart, funny, kind of naive, and generally likable - and if you're willing to suspend disbelief, she will take you on a roller coaster ride you won't soon forget.
Most of the quibbles I've seen are coming from scientists and mathematicians (hmmm...) and I say forget them. This book is not focusing on perfecting technology - it's focusing on telling a story. The science contained within is classic SF galaxy-hopping stuff and it worked just fine for me. The nitpickers are just that: nitpickers. They're better off reading the "hard" sci-fi that focuses so intently on creating plausible, "good" science that it leaves the story with no soul. StarDoc, with its attention to character and humor, is like turning on the AC on a 110-degree day.
Now that I've picked up my paycheck I'm definitely off to get the next book in the series. Hooray for Cherijo!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth the Trouble of Buying it Used
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This review is from: Stardoc (Paperback)
Stardoc by S. Viehl

This is a series of 10 novels, and I hope we see more. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2011 by Dianne E. Socci-Tetro
1.0 out of 5 stars General Hospital in Space
If you're looking for good sci-fi, keep looking. If you're looking for a good drama, keep looking. This is a poorly written book. Read more
Published on July 7 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY GOOD READ!!!!!
I bought this book because I read BLADE DANCER and loved it. I only bought STARDOC because I didn't think I would like the book. Instead I loved it. Read more
Published on July 2 2004 by Elaine C McTyer
1.0 out of 5 stars Um . . . ick . . .
I've wanted to read this book for awhile, primarily because the plot -- a human doctor working in a colony of thousands of different alien species -- sounded like it could allow... Read more
Published on June 22 2004 by Jasper
5.0 out of 5 stars Medic To the Stars
Stardoc is the first novel in the Stardoc series. Cherijo Grey Viel is a physician and surgeon and has discovered an awful secret about her arrogant and manipulative, but... Read more
Published on May 4 2003 by Arthur W. Jordin
5.0 out of 5 stars Putting the Science Back into Science Fiction
What an excellent book! This novel combines a fast-moving, refreshingly
original plot with strong, well-defined characters and fascinating
science-fictional ideas to... Read more
Published on April 15 2003 by Aimee
5.0 out of 5 stars This author ROCKS!
To escape her father on Terra (Earth) Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil (a brilliant surgeon) applied for a position on Kevarzangia Two at a FreeClinic. Read more
Published on March 14 2003 by Detra Fitch
1.0 out of 5 stars Ugh...
I'm an avid science fiction reader, and I was very disappointed with this novel. The main character seems very immature at times, and everyone hates her for no particular reason. Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Actually pretty darn good
I am only an occasional fan of science-fiction. I like to pick up an interesting social sci-fi book once in awhile. Read more
Published on Dec 23 2002 by Steven W. Kendrick
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