Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon
Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon is the latest YA release from Strange Chemistry - an excellent feel-good sci-fi novel about an exoveterinary clinic on Mars that specializes in the treatment of alien animals. This is the first book in a series, it has a big cliff-hanger ending, but it also has enough closure to leave you feeling satisfied at the end. Oh, and that book cover. Wow.
The story follows young Zenn Scarlett and her training to become an exoveterinarian. The alien animals she cares for are amongst the weirdest, wildest and largest animals in the galaxy – it’s dangerous work but Zenn couldn't imagine doing anything else. Life in their small community on Mars is not without its issues, especially since Earth decided to cut itself off from all external contact. The town folk and the farmers are running out of resources, they are scared of the alien animals being housed so close to them, and the sooner they get rid of that exoveterinary clinic, the better.
Schoon has crafted a detailed and exciting futuristic world full of spectacular aliens and intergalactic travel. The early view we get from Zenn's perspective makes everything seem so grand and peaceful, but we quickly find out that this is a rather sheltered view and not reflective of how the world actually is. In the background we find out that the Martian societies have been abandoned by Earth, they are full of fear and loathing of just about everything, and their desperate position makes them easily manipulated. Zenn and her family cling to their idealism, they cling to hope, and the contrast between these two different world views was quite fascinating.
This novel has a very tight focus on Zenn, and while other characters are fleshed out with their own personalities and motivations, we don't get to view them in as much depth as we do Zenn. As a lead character I found Zenn to be equal parts likeable, interesting and frustrating. She is highly motivated, confident, intelligent, adept, and solely focused on her training, but this prevents the cultivation of any relationships around her. The death of her mother and subsequent actions of her father have made her independent and unwilling to let anyone else in, and because of this she treats most of her interactions with townsfolk as suspicious. You just want her to make friends with people, to have some fun, to be a teenage girl, and its frustrating to see that any progress in her character is followed by a reversion / reinforcement of her independence. She is likeable, the other characters like her too, and hopefully we get to see her grow as the series progresses.
Zenn Scarlett is right up there with Ender's Game, Partials and Katya's World as one of my favourite YA sci-fi novels. Zenn Scarlett is a book that I think will appeal to a broad range of readers, whether you're new to sci-fi or not.
This Zenn Scarlett book review was written by Ryan Lawler
All reviews for: Zenn Scarlett duology
Zenn Scarlett duology #1
Zenn Scarlett is a bright and occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. She specializes in the treatment...
Under Nameless Stars
Zenn Scarlett duology #2
After barely surviving a plot to destroy her school and its menagerie of alien patients, could things get worse for novice exoveterinarian Zenn Scarlett? Yes, they could: h...
Have you read Zenn Scarlett?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Zenn Scarlett reader reviews
9/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Ready Player One
They made me kill thousands, but I only have one target now.The Radch are conquerors to be feared - resist and they'll turn you into a 'corpse soldier' -...
George RR Martin
The Martian War
Kevin J Anderson
When the world was flat (And we were in love)
When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if...
Victor and Eli, due to a research project gone wrong, become ExtraOrdinaries (referred to as EO's from here on in) with supernatural powers. Ten years later Victor esca...
Echo Boy by Nestlé Smarties Book Prize winner Matt Haig is a stand-alone science/speculative-fiction novel set exactly 100 years in the future. It offers a vision of...
Breq is a soldier who used to be a warship. Once a weapon of conquest controlling thousands of minds, now she only has a single body and serves the emperor she swore to des...
Orson Scott Card
Jonathan L Howard
Steven L Kent
The Adventures of Nana Barb
The Maze Runner
When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he's not alone. He's surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade -...
A Wrinkle in Time
When Charles Wallace Murry goes searching through a 'wrinkle in time' for his lost father, he finds himself on an evil planet where all life is enslaved by a huge p...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Hig, bereaved and traumatised after global disaster, has three things to live for - his dog Jasper, his aggressive but helpful neighbour, and his Cessna aeroplane. He's just about surviving, so long as he only takes his beloved plane for short journeys, and saves his remaining fuel. But, just once, he picks up a message from another pilot, a...
Beren and Luthien
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien wil...
Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall - named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow. Here, young Tristran Thorn h...
While honeymooning in the Tower of Babel, Thomas Senlin loses his wife, Marya. The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel of the Silk Age. Immense as a mountain, the ancient...
The Ninth Rain
The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the real...
The Court of Broken Knives
Anna Smith Spark
They’ve finally looked at the graveyard of our Empire with open eyes. They’re fools and madmen and like the art of war. And their children go hungry while we pi...
With Blood Upon the Sand
Ceda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further t...