Plague of Memory by S.L. Viehl
Plague of MemoryOnce she was known as Dr. Cherijo Torin. But after her memory wipe and new identity, she now calls herself Jarn. Although she remembers all her previous skills and medical knowledge, all personal information is lost. She instinctively recognizes Marel as her daughter and accepts Duncan Reeve as her husband. They have joined her Clan on the Jorenian space ship.
The Hsktskt have a plague attacking one of their planets. All of the Hsktskt are being affected and it drives them to suicide. They have requested the great Dr. Torin to come heal them. In return they promise to give up being the galaxy’s slavers. It has to be Dr. Torin She has delivered their babies and healed them when she was on one of their slave colony ships. She’s the only one they trust to heal them.
She goes down to the planet. There she meets an old friend. Jarn and Dr. ChoVa, the Hsktskt physician, start examining the patients with the plague. The only way they have of slowing it is to put the patient in cryofreeze. The patient still dies just more slowly as the tissues die from being frozen. The hospital is attacked and the two women are kidnapped. There are Hsktskt without families that have been expelled from society. Now they have banded together in outlaw tribes. They want the two doctors for hostages to take over the planet and society themselves.
As usual, nothing is easy for Jarn or Dr. Cherijo Torin. Plague of Memory starts poignantly as Jarn tries to convince people she is no longer the Cherijo her husband and friends knew before. She is now Jarn, with no memories of the woman she was. But her old friend, the Master Healer on the Jorenian ship, as well as all her former shipmates, keep trying to revive her memory. Because of the injuries she suffered, she may never get them back.
S.L. Viehl has used the last two books in the StarDoc series to taker her extraordinary character and subtly change her into a softer character that hasn’t lost any strength. Plague of Memory is an outstanding book that combines Cherijo/Jarn’s new acceptance and a strong action science fiction tale. The StarDoc series remains true to its adventure roots and continues to examine the characters as they grow.
While a reader would be best served going back and starting with the first book in the series, Plague of Memory has enough background explanation that it can stand on its own as well. The title is telling. Jarn doesn’t want Cherijo’s memories. She doesn’t like what she has learned about the woman. But she may not be able to escape past after all.
Notice: Graphic violence, Suggestive dialogue or situations