StarDoc by S.L. Viehl
StardocDr. Cherijo Gray Veil has escaped Earth and her father. She has come to Kevarzangia Two (K2) to work at the Free Clinic on a colony planet. There she meets all types – mercenaries, engineers, botanists, administrators – she never knows who or what will walk, run, roll, slither, or glide into the Free Clinic. Her patients may be as small as a mushroom or over 7 feet tall. Their skin may be blue, green, furry, scaly, prickly, or smooth. Before leaving Earth Doctor Cherijo had never worked on an alien. Now she rarely works on humans.
Now her father is demanding her return. She refuses. She learned of his secret, illegal activities that affect her. She wants nothing to do with him or his projects. She wants to live her own life and prove her own worth. Of course that is difficult when one one of the other doctors takes an immediate dislike to her and undermines her every chance he gets. Her boss disapproves of her. She’s a Terran on a world that doesn’t trust Terrans. Life isn’t easy on K2.
Kao Torin is a bright spot in her life. He’s a blue Jorenian who looks at her with wonderful vacant eyes. He seems to know Cherijo as well as she knows herself. Then there’s Duncan Reever, the human telepath. He literally can read her mind. She makes a few other friends as well.
When one of her patients comes in from an agricultural accident and dies, Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil is frustratedly puzzled. There is no known reason why the researcher should have died. His official cause of death was a quick, virulent pneumonia. When other colonists start showing symptoms, she believes a plague may have settled on K2. Will anyone else believe her before it is too late?
StarDoc was a joy to read. It’s old fashioned space opera with a fresh voice to it. I mapped out the story from beginning to end by the first third. I was very, very wrong about most of my projections (of course she was able to prove and cure a plague of sorts). The strangest aliens were made believable.
The novel flows well between the Free Clinic and Cherijo’s personal life, intertwining them completely. The overshadowing menace from her father never leaves – leaving the opening for following novels. S.L. Viehl knows how to reach her reader’s thoughts and emotions through her characters in this book. StarDoc is good adventure and human – OK sentient beings’ – interactions. I highly recommend StarDoc. (Thanks, Mary, for making sure I read it.)
Notice: Strong sexual content, Suggestive dialogue or situations