Saturday, September 29, 2012

Beyond Varallan by S. L. Viehl

From Goodreads:

Dr. Cherijo is living the perfect life--if you think that finding out you're a clone, then being declared "non-sentient" by your father/creator is your idea of perfect. Things could be worse. But when the Human League comes after her, with bounty hunters of every race trying to bring her in, Cherijo figures it can't get any worse...

Until someone begins stalking her dreams.

This little blurb does not do this story justice. This is the second book in the Star Doc series of which there are 10 books. It is a wonderful cross of space opera, ER drama and murder mystery all rolled into one.

Cherijo is a fantastic character, she's just a spitfire that isn't going to take anything off of anyone. First and foremost she is a healer, but she's going to give as good as she gets, and sometimes better! The secondary characters are all well done too. Most of the time Cherijo is surrounded by aliens, and Viehl does a wonderful job of reminding you what their characteristics are as part of their actions, so it's not just descriptions, but you can truly picture their movements and personalities. I especially like the development of the relationship between Cherijo and the resident Squilyp, who is about as alien as you can get, yet still a character we can relate to and feel for.

I mention that it's like an ER drama, the story is packed with medical references. I'm not sure how real they are, but the author does have a background in the medical trauma field, from her author's note. Far from being a detractor, I feel like they really help make Cherijo and the procedures she's performing more real, and give her credibility. There is so much action here, so many twists and turns where one minute things are looking up only to nose dive deeper into trouble than before. This episode ended completely unexpectedly to me, and my heart just plummeted for her at how things stand. Surely there has to be another turn for the better! But for that I will have to read the next book!

S. L. Viehl is also Lynn Viehl, of the Paranormal Darkyn series, also featuring a main character in the medical profession in the first book, who is a recurring character through the series. I highly recommend both Star Doc, and the Darkyn, and I'm so glad I have many more Viehl books to read!

Please visit Viehl's blog Paperback Writer to learn more about the author and her work.

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