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Endurance by S. L. Viehl

Review by Jojo

Spoilers for StarDoc and Beyond Varallan!

The World
Endurance, the third in the StarDoc series, takes place primarily aboard L.T.F Perpetua a former League ship taken over by the Hsktskts, a raiding, reptilian race. The rest takes place at the slave colony run by the Hsktskts.

The Characters
Old faces: Cherijo, obviously; Duncan Reever the linguistic; Jenner the cat; and Alunthri. For new faces we have a slew of Hsktskts, including one nicknamed Helen (after Helen of Troy) as well as a horde of slaves.

The Plot
This one seems even less held together than the last one. The theme is simple enough and the title says it all: Endurance. Itís a fine balancing act, to stay in the good graces of the horrible Hsktskts, one that Cherijo fails at, time and again. On top of that, there is a very bitter betrayal she must deal with and a sadistic Hsktskts research scientist that is very interested in her special abilities.

Soon enough, she falls in with an underground movement to free the slaves, and once again Cherijo finds herself in a situation where she can help save the day. After all, isnít that what heroes are for?

The Grade
Oh, the angst! Itís one thing after another and Iím surprised Cherijo makes it through this book. Were it me, I would have wanted to curl up and die. Or at least have a good, long depression. Not our genetically engineered doctor! I enjoyed the first half of this book more than the second, but still found it highly enjoyable. I am a bit upset with the resolution of the betrayal - I would have rather seen it drawn out a bit longer, but then I like angst that way.

3.75 out of 5 amulets for this one.


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