Book Review: Zenn Scarlett by Christian SchoonFriday, October 18, 2013
#1 in Zenn Scarlett series
Age: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Ebook, 304 pages
Published On: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
♥ Read an Excerpt ♥
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First Sentence: Wind clawed at the canvas tarp covering Zenn in the cargo bed of the ancient pickup truck.
Zenn Scarlett is a resourceful, determined 17-year-old girl working hard to make it through her novice year of exovet training. That means she's learning to care for alien creatures that are mostly large, generally dangerous and profoundly fascinating. Zenn's all-important end-of-term tests at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars are coming up, and, she's feeling confident of acing the exams. But when a series of inexplicable animal escapes and other disturbing events hit the school, Zenn finds herself being blamed for the problems. As if this isn't enough to deal with, her absent father has abruptly stopped communicating with her; Liam Tucker, a local towner boy, is acting unusually, annoyingly friendly; and, strangest of all: Zenn is worried she's started sharing the thoughts of the creatures around her. Which is impossible, of course. Nonetheless, she can't deny what she's feeling.
Now, with the help of Liam and Hamish, an eight-foot sentient insectoid also training at the clinic, Zenn must learn what's happened to her father, solve the mystery of who, if anyone, is sabotaging the cloister, and determine if she's actually sensing the consciousness of her alien patients... or just losing her mind. All without failing her novice year....~ taken from Goodreads
It's not a secret that I was looking forward to reading Zenn Scarlett. Colonization of other planets (especially Mars) is one of my favorite topics in science fiction novels. Add to that the fact that Christian Schoon kept teasing us in his comments and tweets by throwing out names of unusual animals featured in a book and you got one very excited bookworm (aka. me).
The amount of exotic animals did not disappoint me. There were rikkasets, crypto-plasmodial seepdemons, Greater Kiran sunkillers, yotes and many more. In fact, there were so many animals that sometimes I felt overwhelmed. New species kept appearing and I just could not picture how do they look like. And Christian Schoon does not rush his narration. Everything is slow, from worldbuilding to descriptions.
Through Zenn Scarlett's impatience there are some big lessons to be learned. When to be sure of yourself and when you need to take a break. And great view about aliens species and people's antipathy towards them. On a planet that is not your home world, who is really an alien?
A lot of things can be said about Zenn Scarlett. It's slow at the beginning and Zenn, main character, can be irritating with her mistakes and overconfidence. Still it's very original and if you're patient it pays of in the end because Zenn Scarlett is an intriguing start to a new series. I will be looking forward to the sequel Under Nameless Stars.
In The End...
If you like young adult science fiction novels with original plots, unusual animals and are patient reader who do not mind if story takes time to develop, then Zenn Scarlett is the book for you.
I try to have one quote featured in image for each book and although the quote on the pic above perfectly represent the book (in my opinion), it's not my favorite quote. The quote I liked the most was too long to fit. So I decided to share this little wisdom by Zenn's mother here:
"Sometimes, feeling afraid is how you know that you're doing something good and necessary. In fact, sometimes Zenn, doing the right thing is the scariest thing of all."