Sci-Fi, masterfully crafted alien species, action, romance, and light comedy
Reviewed in the United States on 27 October 2008
Genetically engineered Terran surgeon Cherijo Gray Veil-Reever now has a bounty of four million standard credits on her head. Cherijo, who now goes by the name Jarn of Akkabarr, her husband Duncan Reever, and their child Marel have taken shelter with Jarn's Joranian HouseClan for the time being, but Jarn worries that she's put her Jorenian family in jeopardy.
After betrayal by Duncan Reever's old friend Aleksei Davidov, Jarn and Duncan, are stranded outside the domed colony of Trellus, situated on an uninhabitable rock of a planet. They have thirty days to find the whereabouts of the Odnallak shape-shifter or Alek will destroy the entire colony, Jarn and Duncan with it. The Odnallak are hunted throughout the galaxies because their bone dust is a deadly poison; the reason every being wants the race destroyed.
Jarn takes residence with Mercy, who's claimed her as salvage and taken her to her residence which is Trellus's only House Of Ill Repute. Mercy's business manager and lover is an Omorr named Cataced (who goes by Cat). Duncan was claimed by Drefan, who runs the Games dome and simulates battles for entertainment.
Aside from having only thirty days to find the Odnallak, the inseparable couple discover another deadly threat to the quarantined colony of Trellus: a Sovant is loose among them, disguising itself as a colonist until it sheds its dead skin to move to the next host. Mercy and Drefan, along with a remarkable being named Swap, take up with Jarn and Duncan's cause, helping them complete their mission in return for their help to rid the planet of the Sovant and Davidov's unnecessary quarentine.
'Omega Games' is the eighth book in the StarDoc series. I can never wait until the release of the next book, then tear through the book so fast I'm left breathless and again waiting for the next release. S.L. Viehl has created the perfect sci-fi series (especially for women), combining Science fiction, medical mystery, superbly imagined aliens, unique planet environments, snappy dialogue, descriptive prose, high action, romance, and comedy, turning it all into a fantastically entertaining reading adventure. She still has a tendency to use slaves a lot in relation to Jarn and brutal game arenas in relation to Duncan, but in 'Omega Games' she has lightened up on this repetitive trend. In 'Rebel Ice', the sixth book, Cherijo was in a fatal accident and regenerated as Jarn of Akkabarr. I was very disappointed in that book because I liked Cherijo much better than the reincarnated Jarn. I still do. In 'Plague Of Memory', Viehl began combining the two personalities and in 'Omega Games' she continues to do so, much to my satisfaction bringing more and more of the original Cherijo back into Jarn's memory and personality.
'Omega Games' introduces a new society of aliens and Terrans living in a tightly-woven colony, like Jarn and Duncan arriving in a small town, and is a unique addition to the series. You'll greet old friends and meet new ones. I can't say enough about StarDoc and Viehl's distinctive contribution to the world of Space Opera novels. I highly recommend this book, as well as the prior seven novels of the series. Enjoy!!
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