Eternity Row by S.L. Viehl
Eternity RowBack on the Sunlace, Dr. Cherijo Grey, her husband Duncan Reever, and their precocious daughter Marel are traveling to find three planets for different missions. They met Hawk when they were last on Earth. He is half human and half Taercal. Now that his mother is dead, he’s been promised to be taken to his father’s planet, Taerca. Dhreen, the pilot who first helped Cherijo escape Earth, needs to return to his planet Oenrall. They have a major health crisis that Dhreen has been trying to find a cure for. They also need to find the mythical planet Jxinok. The woman who raised Cherijo, Maggie, wasn’t human but an alien. Maggie has called Cherijo to her to learn more secrets.
Before they get to those planets, they first need to travel with Cherijo’s Jorenian Clan Family on the Sunlace. There’s a new psychiatric intern who keeps following Cherijo. Marel keeps slipping away from her babysitter and showing up where she wants. All too often Cherijo is in Medical or Surgery when Marel pokes her head out to smile at her mother. Her Clan Brother and captain of the ship, Xonea, and Duncan work hard to remain civil to each other. Then both Cherijo and Duncan are forceful, opinionated people, putting strains on their marriage. It’s not easy being a superhuman, but Cherijo has to keep going
Of course nothing is at it seems. Dhreen gets injured and loses his memory. They pick up refugees from a space battle that still want to kill each other. Of course most of the beings in the known universe are trying to capture Cherijo for her biology or because of a serious grievance.
S.L. Viehl’s Eternity Row is another strong book in the series. Since I already knew the characters I was quickly pulled into this book. As a story it stands well on its own, but the relationships between the characters rely on the history built up in the earlier books in the series.
The action is non-stop yet Eternity Row is about families and relationships. Cherijo and Duncan are in a stable place so can actually have a “normal” marriage for a while. So of course they argue, storm off, and make up. Marel is two, vocal, busy, and attached to her parents. Omarr, Cherijo’s boss, is wanting to find a wife. Dhreen is wanting to reject his fiancee. The Jorenians are very strong in their family values, including Cherijo in their family. These relationships are the strength behind the novel. The action throughout is the extra bonus.
Eternity Row is science fiction because it happens in space with lots of aliens around. But Viehl knows her characters and uses them well. She could have used a setting in present day Earth. But then we wouldn’t have the fun of watching an alien fly around in the skies of his planet.
Notice: Non-graphic violence, Suggestive dialogue or situations