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Stardoc #1 Mass Market Paperback – Jan 13 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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99 by Wayne Gretzky 99 by Wayne Gretzky

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Roc (MM); 1st thus edition (Jan. 13 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451457730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451457738
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 2.8 x 16.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,223,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The quality of SF within "Stardoc" will have me picking up "Endurance," and the rest of the Stardoc series at my next earliest opportunity. The heroine is a strong character, with a twist in her past sure to make you blink a few times. The plot itself is not just the "science fiction meets medical thriller" it first appears to be, and again, the plot twist in this regard is a good one.
Dr. Cherijo is a worthy character, with a strong personality (ie: stubbourn and headstrong), interesting neuroses, and strong and wonderful without being infallable and annoying. This is not a woman who weeps easily, nor is she a cold-hearted statue. The line is difficult to walk, but Viehl did so.

What the novel suffers from slightly - and the only reason I didn't give it a five-star rating - is the overabundance of aliens. While plot-centric, this tendancy to earth animals into aliens is somewhat frustrating (Spider-aliens, for example, who can spin webs, etc). Regardless of this shortcoming, however, I really enjoyed the book.

What is also suprising is the number of ethical or moral dilemmas that Viehl manages to toss into the mix: The rights of sentients, animal rights, racism. There's a lot in here that you don't normally find in your SF paperbacks.

Overall, this one is worth it - grab it and read it, but be prepared to fall in love with the heroine, and want more of her in the form of the rest of the series!
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By A Customer on Jan. 18 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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. Her romance is undeveloped and seems to just have happened suddenly, out of nowhere. At the same time, her lover is pretty one-dimensional. The main crisis in the novel, about the virus epidemic, is resolved instantly once Cherijo figures out what was causing it. It was as if the author had tired of the issue and just wanted to get on with the story... There were a lot of things that didn't make any sense. For example, in the middle of a pending virus outbreak, when Cherijo is doing research on the source of the virus, her boss sends her off on a mandatory vacation because he fears she has been working too hard. It's really ridiculous. And Reever, who apparently is supposed to be a sympathetic character, comes off as crazy and in need of some serious therapy. Don't read this if you like plot lines and characters that are at least reasonably logical and well-developed.
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