Review: Zenn Scarlett by C.J Schoon

About the Book:

When you’re studying to be exoveterinarian specializing in exotic, alien life forms, school… is a different kind of animal.

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…


Zenn Scarlett is a novel with an interesting premise and a gorgeous cover. I loved the idea of Zenn, who lived on a colonized Mars and worked for the Cloister helping alien animals. The first part of the book was very interesting science fiction, and reminded me of reading some of the greats.

That being said, after a while the book fell a bit flat. There wasn’t much of a forward-moving impulse to keep me going. It was more of a day-by-day account of Zenn’s life. I would have liked to see a bit more action, or at least some urgency in the mystery, but I didn’t find it.

Overall, it’s a very interesting read and Sci-fi fans will enjoy the lovely prose and the world Zenn lives in, just don’t expect a big adventure, because it just doesn’t arrive in this book. (Probably the sequel).


Note: This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review