HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Zenn Scarlett (Strange Chemistry) by…
Loading...

Zenn Scarlett (Strange Chemistry)

by Christian Schoon

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
6312188,983 (3.64)None

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
I am sure a lot of people are like me and wanted to be a Veterinarian when they grew up or they dreamed of what it is like in space, they wanted a cat-like "talking" best-friend/pet... (okay, maybe not that last part.) I know that I would have wanted to BE Zenn when I was much younger. I am going to analyze my feelings in separate sections for this one, much like my review for Angelfall. As with anything there are some faults, but I was able to overlook them and love this book completely.

My expectations for this one were pretty high, as with any pretty cover I pick up. I hadn't expected it to move me as much as it did. At times, I will admit, it felt a little disjointed in Zenn's overall story. I would have liked a lot more background. I would absolutely love a prequel or a side-story. Maybe include some new creatures, Zenn's relationship with her parents, more Haymish, and MORE KATIE. Seriously. I loved Katie.

Katie was the ultimate character for me. She is a rikkaset, a cat-like creature that can speak and turn invisible by her light-reflecting fur. I am a cat lover. Probably like most cat lovers, I wish mine could talk. Katie is deaf, but knows sign language. She saved the day, as all cat-like creatures do.

The first few chapters feel incredibly long. There is so much detail. From the description of the color of the dust to all of her surroundings there is a lot to visualize. Zenn turns out to be incredibly observant and intelligent. In Zenn's world we meet giant beasts and alien insect beings that have language translators around their necks in order to communicate with others. This is where Hamish comes in. Schoon does a brilliant job at mastering social classes and humanity's curse to judge others by their appearance. Zenn doesn't conform to anyone else's views about different lifeforms and befriends Hamish by teaching him and helping him survive outside of his element. By the end of the first few chapters you really get a feel for Zenn's character. At times it can be a bit descriptive, but I enjoyed the uniqueness.

We are told near the beginning that Zenn's mother went missing and is assumed dead after being swallowed by one of the largest animals in the galaxy... But the story keeps you guessing. We see Zenn's feelings about her parents relationship before the accident happens, and her father's behavior afterwards-which is understandable. Zenn's determination to keep everyone out is also understandable, she tries to maintain her focus on her career as an exovet.

Liam is the "love interest". He is nice, and a bit mysterious.The romance doesn't happen until the very end... well sort of... Just the way I like it in young adult novels!

There are tons of elements to this book. In Zenn's eagerness to become an exovet she must go through rigorous training and take multiple tests in order to safely take care of animals on her own. We are introduced to many characters and witness Zenn learn life lessons... the hard way... to discover her true feelings about friendship, and ultimately what it is like to be a unique person and to have such a specific goal at a young age.

This was my first science-fiction novel...(!) I thought the world Zenn lived in was wonderful. Zenn, herself was inspiring. She defended herself and her beliefs on numerous occasions. I hope more people get to read this book, especially teens who are interested in living in outer space. ( )
  theindigoshelf | Mar 22, 2015 |
Thanks to Netgalley.com and Angry Robot for allowing me to read this title.

This was a very interesting read. I liked it, but it wasn't quite there for me with the descriptions to give me a great view of the world. I will watch for the next book and look forward to seeing what happens. There are definitely those who will love it. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
Please note that I did not finish reading this title these are just my thoughts as to why I didn't continue. No rating as I might decide to give it another try later.

I read through 31% of Zenn Scarlett and have decided to abandon the title for the time being. I was not enjoying the reading experience for various reasons and these are those reasons that I can point out up to the point when I stopped reading. The opening was very interesting/engaging by pulling me into the crisis of what occurred with Zenn's mother. However, quickly after when we switch to present time I had a big issue with everything. The style of the writing didn't read well to me. Some of the sentences seemed overlong, and the way the thoughts were structured seemed a chore to read. In several instances I stopped to read back over sections. I personally didn't like Zenn's personality, behavior, and general attitude - this made it hard for me to want to continue or care about what was going to happen in the story or to her. The biggest problem for me however was the large amount of 'information dumps' that were happening. I understand that the world/society/backstory needed to be setup but it was so heavily detailed that I felt like the story was completely living in the past rather than concerned with the present. The character Hamish became a convenient way for more information to be dumped on the reader.
  Pabkins | May 2, 2014 |
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.

Disclaimer: I was given a free eBook by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. ( )
  bookwormdreams | Oct 19, 2013 |
I don't use star ratings, so please read my review!

(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“Zenn Scarlett is a bright, determined, occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. That means she’s specializing in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars will find her working with alien patients from whalehounds the size of a hay barn to a baby Kiran Sunkiller, a colossal floating creature that will grow up to carry a whole sky-city on its back.

But after a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school and other near-disasters, the Cloister is in real danger of being shut down by a group of alien-hating officials. If that happens, Zenn knows only too well the grim fate awaiting the creatures she loves.

Now, she must unravel the baffling events plaguing her school, before someone is hurt or killed, before everything she cares about is ripped away from her and her family forever. To solve this mystery – and live to tell about it – Zenn will have to put her new exovet skills to work in ways she never imagined, and in the process learn just how powerful compassion and empathy can be.”

This novel begins with a bang—quite literally—with a scene involving her mother and a disastrous procedure on a massive alien life form. After that, though, the book slows down considerably. Much of what follows is focused on Zenn’s training and the evaluation of her fitness to become an exovet. The author has definitely cooked up some interesting procedures and some intriguing alien animals, but I feel that this part of the story went on too long. Mostly it’s just that there’s not a lot of tension to be found in the mundane activities of taking care of animals.

There’s a secondary story that perhaps should have been pushed into greater prominence: the political situation between Mars and Earth. It’s this conflict that lies at the heart of a lot of what takes place with regards to the clinic and its inhabitants, but it seems like Schoon is too focused on creating weird creatures to give this plotline the time and space that might help it to shine. It also would have made it easier to draw on the question of what constitutes an alien, which was touched on here with thought-provoking results.

That said, Schoon does an excellent job at creating those aliens, especially the more intelligent ones. Zenn has a little cat-like creature called a rikkaset as a pet, and they communicate with each other via sign language. The other notable character is Hamish, a giant insectoid alien who is scrupulously polite and gets some funny moments while trying to understand human culture.

The last third of the book picks up the pace, and eventually dramatic things start happening. It feels a little rushed, given that it starts so late in the story, but Schoon manages to pull things together and make the final chapters memorable. All in all, it makes for a fairly solid story, and I think I would have liked it even more if the pacing had been evened out a little more.

Overall, this is a good novel for teen readers. There are plenty of alien beings, some mystery, some politics, and some adventure—there’s something for everyone. It takes a little while to find its momentum, but it gets its footing eventually and starts turning into a very interesting science fiction saga. Zenn Scarlett has a few hiccups, but the author shows enough promise that I’ll probably pick up the next book when it comes out.

This review originally appeared on Owlcat Mountain on July 11, 2013.
http://www.owlcatmountain.com/zenn-scarlett/
  shelfreflection | Jul 11, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
I really wanted to like this book. Not only am I excited by Strange Chemistry as an imprint, but given my long-standing fascination with both fictional and mythological creatures, the exovet angle was one I found deeply appealing. And on that front at least, the story is somewhat of a success: Schoon has invented a range of interesting creatures, and his lively, informed descriptions of their habits, bodies and habitats meant I could picture each one with ease. The climactic action sequence was exciting, too, and after having spent most of the novel as witness to Zenn's many failures, it was satisfying to see her exhibit both bravery and competence. . . . If you don't care about worldbuilding, continuity or bad dialogue and just want a quick, easy YA read with a lone female heroine and lots of interesting creatures, then you could probably do worse.
added by karenb | editStrange Horizons, Foz Meadows (May 15, 2013)
 
This appears to be the first of a series and has all the right ingredients to capture the imagination of a mid-teen reader and many will be able to relate to Zenn’s problems. They are unlikely to notice the issues about the plot that an adult reader might spot, the main one being why would an alien species bring a pet, however exotic, all the way to Mars for veterinary treatment? . . . This aside, the characters are engaging, the dangers real and setting believable. I look forward to seeing how the series progresses.
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Zenn Scarlett is a bright, determined, occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. That means she’s specializing in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars will find her working with alien patients from whalehounds the size of a hay barn to a baby Kiran Sunkiller, a colossal floating creature that will grow up to carry a whole sky-city on its back.

But after a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school and other near-disasters, the Cloister is in real danger of being shut down by a group of alien-hating officials. If that happens, Zenn knows only too well the grim fate awaiting the creatures she loves.

Now, she must unravel the baffling events plaguing her school, before someone is hurt or killed, before everything she cares about is ripped away from her and her family forever. To solve this mystery – and live to tell about it – Zenn will have to put her new exovet skills to work in ways she never imagined, and in the process learn just how powerful compassion and empathy can be.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Zenn Scarlett is a bright, determined, occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. That means she's specializing in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars will find her working with alien patients from whalehounds the size of a hay barn to a baby Kiran Sunkiller, a colossal floating creature that will grow up to carry a whole sky-city on its back. But after a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school and other near-disasters, the Cloister is in real danger of being shut down by a group of alien-hating officials. If that happens, Zenn knows only too well the grim fate awaiting the creatures she loves. Now, she must unravel the baffling events plaguing her school, before someone is hurt or killed, before everything she cares about is ripped away from her and her family forever. To solve this mystery -- and live to tell about it -- Zenn will have to put her new exovet skills to work in ways she never imagined, and in the process learn just how powerful compassion and empathy can be.… (more)

LibraryThing Author

Christian Schoon is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
7 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.64)
0.5
1
1.5
2 1
2.5
3 5
3.5 2
4 3
4.5
5 3

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,166,586 books! | Top bar: Always visible