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Stardoc Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2000
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Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story starts out as this; Dr. Cherijo Grey Vail leaves Earth to get away from her domineering father and accepts a position on a backwater planet. But not only does she have to adapt to working in a new and alien environment, she has a secret lurking in her past which may have some disastrous consequences.
This is a very entertaining book, with plenty of entertaining and well written characters (human and plenty of aliens too), in an environment which seems like something out of a M.A.S.H. unit. And the way the medical environment is treated by the author is amazing in detail (due, I'm sure, to the author's medical experience).
The plot twists and turns in this novel also add to the enjoyment, as it keeps you guessing. Now, there are some pretty obvious plot elements (such as the big nasty plague which is killing the colonists, however, the way this is resolved is unique), and the way humankind is portrayed is rather bleak (I like to think we would be a little more receptive of alien species). Also, the amount of influence that one person appears to have over an entire "League" of planets seems unusual (maybe the reason for this will become more apparent in the sequel). These are all minor quibbles however, and did not stop me from enjoying this book for a second.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something a little different, whether you are a regular reader of Sci-Fi or not. An excellent book!
So what's good about STARDOC? Well, it's a mildly amusing space opera that's unpretentious (no deep cosmic meaning and none claimed). There are lots of weird aliens. The author has a light touch and is not above throwing in some humor. The over-the-top array of alien species, while totally unbelievable, was presented in the somewhat tongue-in-cheek manner of the original STAR WARS movie. Ms. Viehl clearly knows her way around a medical clinic and an ER, giving that aspect of the preceedings a good measure of authenticity. It was interesting enough to keep me turning the pages all the way to the end. All in all, a nice, easy, fun book that didn't try to be any more that that.
What was disappointing? While STARDOC kept me turning pages all the way to the end, I wasn't that happy with what I had when I got there. The story is a cliche from start to finish and, though it's a character-driven story, even the characters have little depth. The only exceptions are the main character, who is pretty predictable herself, and a character named Duncan Reever. Further, the aliens that played the most crucial role were really nothing more than blue-skinned humans. I've long been disenchanted with the common use of humanoid aliens in scifi, but no more so than here, where there were already so many other possibilities. Even worse, though, is the idea of sex between humans and aliens. The notion of humans finding physically and emotionally compatible individuals among totally alien species is mind-bogglingly ludicrous. Authors that resort to such nonsense always are a letdown for me.
STARDOC is a book that I found mildly enjoyable to read, but it left me less than satisfied at the end, despite the fact that I understood that it was just the first installment in an ongoing series. The series has proven popular, but even though I didn't have any trouble staying with STARDOC to the end and it's been a while since I read it, it wasn't compelling or fun enough to send me out after any of the others in the series. Not yet, anyway.