Rebel Ice: A Stardoc Novel (Stardoc)
by S.L. Viehl
Review by Jeffrey Lyons
Roc Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 0451460626
Date: 03 January, 2006 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Terran physician Dr. Cherijo Torin's ship crash-landed on the planet two years prior to this story. She found herself among the Iisleg, women with healing skills whose chief responsibility is to remove the dead bodies from the battlefields. Cherijo has lost her memory and now goes by the name Jarn but she still remembers her pre-accident medical training, which she puts to use blindly in her new environment much to the amazement of the other healers.
In the meantime her husband, the renowned linguist Duncan Reever, begins a desperate search for his loving wife. He tracks her to Akkabarr and uses all his resources, unscrupulous and otherwise, to find her and bring her home to Terra. When he locates her she has no interest in going with this stranger who claims to be her husband because she has become loyal to the rebellion.
This novel would best be enjoyed if it were read with the other books in the StarDoc series. Unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of reading the other books so I found myself lost on more than one occasion. Science Fiction is notorious for using new and inventive, made-up words, species, and cultures and there is a lot of that in this book. That is not a bad thing but it is a challenge to read this book out of context.
Still, this is a wonderful piece of space opera with a wide array of characters from good to evil to downright bizarre. It is sometimes amusing and always entertaining. There's a satisfying mix of high fantasy and futuristic Sci-Fi, something that is harder and harder to find these days. I'll admit that I wanted to jump into the book and strangle some of those warriors for the way they treated females. It's a significant part of the book's success but it certainly made my blood boil. Perhaps that was the intent.