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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
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.
A tiny snail walking across the floor of a reception area turns out to be a sentient alien coming in for his medical appointment. There's so much that's not logical about that! Cross-species romances seem to be common (apparently, humans are irresistible) and result in healthy human-alien hybrids. The heroine practices seat-of-her-pants surgery on aliens she's never even heard of before (and injects her own blood into an alien because he's dying of a disease that doesn't harm her?). Throughout the book, I kept thinking "This doesn't make sense."
Also, I never understood the motivation of any of the characters. Humans are apparently notorious bigots, except for every human we meet in the book. Aliens are just people dressed up in costume; they look but don't act alien. We read that the heroine falls in love, but we certainly don't see it. In fact, through most of the book we are TOLD, but we aren't SHOWN. It's hard to care about characters that you haven't gotten to know.
The book isn't horrible, but it's not a keeper. Some of the aliens are clever (actually, it could have been pretty funny, if it had been written as a comedy). But if you love science fiction with lots of aliens (as I do), you're much better off with David Brin or C.J. Cherryh.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of those books I so wanted to love. It has a lot going for it.Read more