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Beyond Varallan (Stardoc II) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews
Book 2 of 10 in the Stardoc Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

S. L. Viehl lives in Mount Dora, FL.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Roc (July 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451457935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451457936
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,122,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an emotional roller-coaster-- a fast-paced, page-tuning, can't-put-it-down even-though-it's-2a.m. absoulutely fabulous book! It rates higher than 5 stars! The story continues seamlessly from where the 1st book left off. (Be sure to read the first Stardoc-- it's also terrific and sets up the 2nd book.)
Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil is finding her place as a Healer on the Sunlace starship, but is wracked by guilt for the terrible danger she brings to her new family. The League won't let her alone; their mercenaries attack the ship at every turn. If that weren't bad enough, there's a killer stalking the ship, an unknown madman obsessed with Cherijo, and two men vying for her affections-- Xonea Torin, a hormonally-driven Clan warrior, and Duncan Reever, the enigmatic human who, after being raised among aliens, has little idea how to behave as a human.
Stardoc II: Beyond Varallan is a wonderfully plotted book, rich with detail and well-defined characters. In my opinion, it's a definite contender for the sf Hugo award! Run, do not walk, to the nearest bookstore and get both Stardoc books. You will not be disappointed.
Warning: My only complaint is that Stardoc II ends with Cherijo caught up in another impossible situation. My reaction was, "Nooooo! It can't end here! " I'm going crazy wondering what will happen next to Cheijo. I think Ms. Viehl should be chained to her word processor until the next book comes out!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As persuasive as Viehl can be within certain areas, outside those areas, her crafting is lazy and contrived. The author's use of medical jargon, for example, is absolutely convincing and the resulting suspension of disbelief is total. A good thing. On the other hand, compared to the reasoned and consistent treatment of space warfare by, say, Weber, or Drake, or even a romantic like McCaffrey, Viehl's conflicts are absolutely laughable. Where one might hope for at least a nod towards science or even a thoughtful pseudo-science, Viehl falls back on the light-switch school of writing. A bad thing. Evil interstellar mercenaries show up, abracadabra with a flip of the ol' switch, to harry the good guys and then, poof, are dismissed as readily when the plot need of the moment is served.
At one point the author walks us through a scene of planetary genocide. She wants us to empathize with the suffering of children and innocents. We're not talking about "light" fiction here. That being the case, it's hard to guess what Viehl was thinking when she turns to her description of the planet Ichthora, home, we're told, of the "Icky" people: reeking, slug-like, face-down-in-the-mud, bottom feeders (yet, inexplicably sentient -- contrary to everything known about evolution and biology) whom we are asked to believe can be impregnated by any other alien race that literally trips over them. In a Douglas Adams tale maybe this'd be funny, but this kind of throw away nonsense is out of place and completely at odds with the dramatic and serious tone Viehl adopts elsewhere.
Readers should be cautioned that there is a rape fantasy theme recurring throughout the Stardoc books. In Stardoc, the first book in the series, the heroine was subjected to a full-blown physical and psychic rape.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
And the plot thickens...Stardoc II: Beyond Varallan by S. L. Viehl. S. L. Viehl took Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil out of the frying pan and threw her into the fire! On board the Sunlace, Cherijo must deal with a jealous colleague, rogue killer, feelings of guilt. All while being hunted down by the League. As if that wasn't enough to deal with, Cherijo must contend with an escalating triangtle. This book is filled with surprising twists and turns that will leave you on the edge of your seat, biting your nails, and wondering WHODUNIT! From the beginning of the first book, to the end of this book, S. L. Viehl leaves you guessing. If you haven't read Stardo: A Novel, you should definitely pick it up. It's not a prerequisite in order to read Stardoc II, but it's a must-have just because it's darn good. S. L. Viehl brings back a cast of unigue and lovable characters to join the new cast. It's a page-turner, even to the last page, when you're wishing there were more pages to turn. S. L. Viehl leaves you guessing to and through the end and hopefully the next book will be just as tantalizing. We, readers from the South, HIGHLY, recommend this book. Go out and get it!
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By A Customer on December 14, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Everything StarDoc had, this first sequel has more. More non-stop, page-turning action. More thought-provoking ethical issues. More terrible adversity to be overcome. More colourful characters. More reasons to love Cherijo despite more moments of complete irrationality. More of Reever's compelling weirdness. More of everything that made the first book such a wonderful read.
There are, unfortunately, more of the flaws as well as the strengths. More impossibly bad luck for the heroine. More vaguely iffy science. More homogenous alien cultures. More plot twists that seem forced. More violence. More sex-related violence. If these things bothered you in the first book, I suggest putting this on your list of books-to-read-eventually-but-there's-no-rush. If, however, like me, you were so caught up in the action and fabulous characters of StarDoc that you barely registered the flaws, then you probably don't need to be told to hurry up and read this one.
So the science is only so-so. You can't expect hard science from space opera. Besides which, this book, like its predecessor, rides not on the science, but the characters. Cherijo is one of the most thoroughly likeable heroines I've come across. She's strong, noble and brave, but not annoyingly so. Certainly, as we see more in this book than in the first, she is not without flaws. Sometimes irrational, completely tactless, and with a decided lack of insight as to the natures of her relationships with some of the other characters. In this way, she is real. She's like your tough-talking friend, who, behind the loud mouth, is the most loyal and trustworthy person you know.
Reever is still strange, still unknowing of how to behave like a human, and, I'll admit it, I really like him.
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