Fifth in her excellent Stardoc series, S. L. Viehl's ETERNITY ROW packs a powerful punch without losing any of the charismatic edginess of her previous books.

Not only does Dr. Cherijo Torin have to hide from her father/creator, her dead foster mother is now messing up her mind. Mama Maggie has secrets she wants to share with Cherijo but after learning her father's secrets, Cherijo doesn't want to hear it. If being a primary medic to aliens running away from the League isn't enough stress, Cherijo and Duncan have to contend with their precocious toddler, Marel, being underfoot and popping up in unexpected places.

From Cherijo unintentionally giving Squilyp the idea of a mail-order bride, to Hawk's physical breakdown, to Dhreen's planet of undying mortally injured beings, fate brings Cherijo to Maggie's world and a confrontation with her destiny.

Ms. Viehl delivers gritty realism tempered with new compassion in a fast-paced, alien-packed adventure. Unraveling the mysteries while decoding alien motivations makes this an all-night read. (Sep., 416 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kelly Rae Cooper