Omega Games by S.L. Viehl

Omega Games is a continuation of her StarDoc series, only two books after she made the main character undergo a major change. Personally, I’d recommend reading the series from the beginning if you haven’t because it’s pure space opera candy, with some medical science tossed in. And the things that make you question the handwavium? They’re actually resolved within the text of the later books. StarDoc is fun with the focus being on Cherijo, a headstrong medical doctor who manages to get mixed up in absolutely everything and is being chased across the galaxy for somewhat valid reasons. (Can you tell I like them? ;))

Anyway, specific to Omega Games, besides being a wonderful read, the way she’s changed Cherijo’s character really comes through in this novel. It opens a new dimension to her nature that I enjoyed experiencing. She’s a bit less head strong, but just as stubborn, and her priorities are shifted so that it keeps the reader…and poor Duncan, her husband…on less firm ground. With Cherijo old style, I’d come to the point that I could predict what she would do and how she would react. This didn’t mean she was predictable in a negative sense because there’s a world of ways she could use the triggers, but more that her characterization was solid, consistent, and reliable. With the new Cherijo, there are unexplored depths based on her experiences when suffering from full amnesia and her experiences now when faced with people who expect her to be someone she doesn’t completely remember being. It’s a fascinating counter play that leaves me just a bit off-balance, right there alongside all the other characters that had come to know Cherijo very well.

Which makes it sound like this is a huge character fest without the tumultuous disasters that characterize the series, an impression as false as expecting the new Cherijo to be a carbon copy of the old. There are spaceship fights, divided loyalties, kidnappings, and more to round out the character experiences, making Omega Games a wonderful combination of the space opera candy I’ve grown to love and something with a little more to chew on. As usual, there’s something going on that isn’t what it seems, so talking specifics will lead to spoilers. It’s enough to say that I really enjoyed reading this novel and it bodes well for the continuation of the series.

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