Friday, April 10, 2015

Review Me Twice: Stardoc by S L Viehl

At first glance, when I pulled this book off the holds shelf at my library, I thought it had to have been published in the 1970s. Back in the decade where "star-" was a prefix that magically made any topic exponentially cooler. And my copy is in pretty sorry shape... "well-loved," you might say. But actually, it was published in 2000.

It's... better than I expected. I thought it would be horribly cheesy and overwrought and medically unsound, but this is definitely an instance of a time you should not judge a book by its (1970s-sci-fi-ish) cover.

Sometimes the first-person narration sounds a little haughty... but Cherijo Grey Veil (our protagonist) has good reasons to think like a dictionary, like isolation from peers from a young age, intense academic study forced upon her by her father, etc. And I admit to thinking with a large vocabulary sometimes, so it's not like it's impossible. It just sounds a little awkward every once in a while.

The alien names and words take a little getting used to, but I think that's part of the experience. Cherijo is getting used to them too. And they're not impossible (though the charge nurse at the FreeClinic has a name I never could sort out how to pronounce in my head).

All in all, I think Stardoc was fun to read. I don't think I'll run out and grab the next book in the series, but I might go back and read them someday, if I run across them.

When I first read this series, I actually read the third one, not realizing it was the third one in the series.  Let me tell you, it's not the type of series that you can jump in at book three and know what's going on.  But I liked it enough to go back and pick up the first two books in the series and figure out what the hell was going on.

You get a strong female lead, who is just a little more genteically badass, making it her fit right into the sci-fi world she lives in.  And it's very sci-fi her world.  She is a doctor who heals aliens of every sort and travels to another wold.

I have read (almost) the whole series, and her asshole father becomes a big deal as it goes on, along with Duncan Reever (the linguist she continually runs into).  I'm not going to sit here and tell you it's an intellectually stimulating story, but it's fun with good characters and is a fast read.

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