Cherijo Grey Veil surgeon extraordinaire and clone has made up with her husband Duncan for his apparent betrayal that kept them both alive on the slave planet Catopsa. Duncan and Cherijo promptly get kidnapped by Dr. Joseph Grey Veil -- Cherijo's dad-- and sent back to Terra, so she can be his lab rat again. Then they get kidnapped from Joe by what appear to be Navajos living traditionally underground who are in fact half-breed human and aliens and some disabled people led by a man who turns out to be Cherijo's brother/ clone. These people have a professional shockball team that Cherijo becomes doctor for and Reever plays on.
Fortunately, at the end of this book, Cherijo's monster “father” is apparently killed. (But I wouldn't put it past him for him to be as near immortal as he made Cherijo.) At the end Cherijo and Reever do make it back to the Sunlace, the starship that her relatively healthy alien adopted family fly.
This report prepared by Julia Walter
Roc, Nov 2001, 6.99, 416 pp.
As they travel through space, Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil and her spouse, Perpetua ship Captain Duncan Reever are pleased over her pregnancy. However, her joy turns to sadness when she learns her cloned body's immunity system is killing the baby. She informs her husband she has a miscarriage. Cherijo knows she can never birth a child with anyone except perhaps her demented creator Joseph Grey Veil.
While Cherijo recovers, a meteor shower disables the Perptua beyond repair. Transferring to their other ship Truman may mean that Cherijo's creator who gave her that spacecraft may be able to track them via some undetected device. Soon the duo is forced to go underground to live among half-breeds. Duncan has no choice but to participate in the local version of SHOCKBALL even as Cherijo now knows you can hide, but at some time you must fight especially when the cause is personal.
SHOCKBALL, the fourth Stardoc tale, is an exhilarating science fiction space adventure. The zestful story line stays at warp speed even when introducing new readers to the lead characters. Cherijo is as fresh as ever as she undergoes new heartaches while her spouse has his own problems. Fans of futuristic outer space novels will want to take off with this tale and the three previous Stardoc books as all four stories take the audience where they rarely have been before.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner