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Zenn Scarlett

(Zenn Scarlett #1)

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  331 ratings  ·  140 reviews
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 fascinati
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Strange Chemistry (first published April 30th 2013)
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Average rating 3.44  · 
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Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
The first thing you’re likely to notice about Zenn Scarlett is that it’s unlike anything that is currently being published. The second thing you’ll notice about Zenn Scarlett is that its breathtaking originality is a very good thing indeed. There have been quite a few surprises from the Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry camp in the last year, and it seems that they'll just keep on coming.

In worldbuilding, Shoon reminded me of a kid with Play-Doh and an overactive imagination. It’s easy to feel the
Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
See this review and more on The Moonlight Library!

Back in the 90s/early 2000s, there was this surge in cinema of the family friendly ‘performance saves the day’ type movies. You know, where the poor downtrodden dance group/cheerleading squad/singing class/sports team needs to put on a performance to raise money to save the destruction of their hall/teacher/lessons because some greedy developer wants to knock down their building and replace it with hotels or whatever? And they have some vague pro
Faye, la Patata
An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any shape or form.

You want the truth? I'll give you the truth. The synopsis of Zenn Scarlett didn't suck me in - the cover did. If y'all follow my reviews, you must know by now how insanely obsessed I am with anything related to space. Paste a picture of the cosmos on the cover of your book, overlay or screen it with warm yellow-orange-red colours, and you got yourself a follower, my friend
Nerine Dorman
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don't even know where to start. This story just blew me away. I've worked in the veterinary industry so I'm totally passionate about animal care, and Christian Schoon writes with a voice of authenticity that left me with goose flesh.

FULL REVIEW (updated April 11, 2013):
This is one of those books that I knew the moment I read the blurb that I was going to love utterly and completely. And it goes down as one of my 2013 YA reads that I whole-heartedly recommend to anyone who’s into the genre.

Stuti Rai
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi

One white dove-y carries my pearl,
Two little dove-y's carry my pearls,
Third little dove-y,
Is that gold?
Fuck, just shoot this birdie down!
But stupid, useless stupid gun
You leave the birdie hurt?

A Week in the Daily Life of Zenn Scarlett.

Day 1:
Here's an alien animal. Watch me screw it up. Here's an animal. Watch me watch in wonder. Here's a guy. Watch me ignore him because he could be a possible friend. Obsess over the Rule. Thou shalt not make any friend because thou are extremely stupideth.

Ryan Snyder
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist, hmaybe
Ok. First and foremost, I want to say Wow. Just Wow. That was unlike anything I have read before- in a good way. An very very good way.

I love the fresh/original storyline. Zenn is a fascinating character with a huge heart for the alien animals her family cares for within the cloister. And I have to say I love all the creatures that were introduced to me in this book. You really have to exercise your imagination to picture the extra-terrestrial patients being described in the text. Every time a n
Kat (Lost in Neverland)
Feb 09, 2013 marked it as to-read

Aliens? Animals? Teenage animal-alien loving veterinarian? UM, YES.


This is my kind of book.
Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}
In early 2011, I read a book called THE GALACTIC GOURMET. THE GALACTIC GOURMET was about a renowned alien chef named Gurronsevas who was tasked with feeding other aliens.

What made this book special was White's imagination when it came to the aliens. Every alien was unique. Most didn’t even have vaguely “Earther” (to steal a word from ZENN) characteristics.

ZENN SCARLETT was severely lacking in exciting and unique aliens. Every alien could both breathe air and drink water. They were all mammals an
Katja Weinert
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I got an ARC of Zenn Scarlett in exchange for an honest review. I hadn't read any reviews of the book, but the blurb piqued my interest straight away.

The first chapter pulled me in with the world building, where we're immediately introduced to the hazards of living on Mars and meet a giant alien which provides the means for people to rapidly travel through space.

The book gets top marks for originality - exovet heroine, animals that help space-travel and the Kiran sunkillers who are so large that
Ingrid Jonach
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Hands up who wanted to be a vet when you were a kid? ME! And after reading ZENN SCARLETT I reckon I could treat an animal or two, as long as they were an alien animal!

Yes, I know the book is not scheduled for release for a few months, but I am in a position of privilege as I share the same publisher (disclaimer!).

I must say I was riveted as I followed the adventures of Zenn as she trained to become an exovet - a vet on Mars. YES - on MARS!

On his website, the author Christian Schoon describes
Rashika (is tired)
after reading

The reason I decided to request Zenn Scarlett was (not because of the pretty cover) because it reminded me of another book I had read ages ago. I read this book back when I was in middle school and I absolutely adored it, the problem was I forgot what it was called and so for the past 5 years I’ve been trying to find it without any luck. Sometimes I wonder if I can call the school up and ask them to print out a list of all th
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Starting with the obvious, the cover art for Zenn Scarlett is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I’m not big on SF in general, but I absolutely HAD to have this one because it’s ridiculously pretty. Yes, I will buy a copy for my shelf when it’s released on that fact alone. I’m a terrible human being, I know. And I’ve no doubt plenty of other readers will find it irresistibly shiny also. The magpies among us will be appeased. I’ve done some rummaging about to see who’s responsible for such gorgeousness, and i ...more
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, y
Kimberly Francisco
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this book pretty damn hard. It's so unique and imaginative and interesting. It's full of aliens and alien animals and relationships between the two that are just plain fascinating to read about. The main plotline is wrapped up within this volume, but the last chapter sets up the sequel (which is going to be a much bigger story that I am very excited about). Parts of this main plot were predictable, but that didn't bother me.

There are definitely some unpolished bits with the writing (over
Leontiy Cristea
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Leontiy by: 89
Zenn Scarlett, by Christian Schoon is the Strange Chemistry title for May—and damn if it’s not worth waiting for. This here is a very special book and I am very excited to tell you precisely why.

Zenn is a seventeen-year-old trainee exoveterinarian—an exovet. She doesn’t treat cats or dogs or budgerigars; she treats whalehounds, sunkillers and sandhogs. On Mars where she lives in the Ciscan Cloister with her (currently absent) father and uncle, Zenn is dedicating her life to the practise of atten
Kara Babcock
I am officially whelmed by this book. Exoveterinary studies sounds like a cool field, and all the strange animal descriptions reminded me of Animorphs, which I guess is always a good thing. Zenn Scarlett is a very whelming book, however: it is competent in every technical respect, but it does not inspire me or grab me. Christian Schoon’s imagination is rich, but his rendering of it on the page leaves something to be desired.

Our eponymous heroine is taking the tests needed to become an exovet nov
Kristina Vallaste
I received a note yesterday saying I have a package waiting for me in the post office, so today I went to get it. I love the cover and it's even prettier when I hold it in my hands! Can't wait to start reading it!

Zenn Scarlett is a book I won from a blog giveaway hosted by Escapism from Reality, and I really want to thank them for it! I absolutely love the cover (and I'm curious, what is that in the bottom left corner exactly?), plus the summary sounded promising, too. Still, I wa
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First off, may I just say I LOVED this book. It was amazing. And as Christian Schoon's debut work, it's certainly nothing to sneeze at.

Zenn Scarlett, a seventeen-year-old girl, lives on Mars in a religious cloister. Currently training to become an exoveterinarian (pretty much a vet for aliens - typically very large or very dangerous aliens) she has three tests to pass before she can go onto the next part of her training. With the cloister facing possible shutdown, due to the townspeople's attit
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: sci-fi lovers and animal lovers
I was lucky enough to be contacted to be a part of the blog tour for Zenn Scarlett. As soon as I read the summary, I knew I had to get my hands on this book! I've been looking for a fun, original sci-fi story, and Zenn Scarlett is just what I wanted.

Zenn Scarlett is a teenager living on Mars in one of the many colonies founded by early Earth settlers. She lives with her uncle, the head of the local exoveterinarian cloister, studying to be an exoveterinarian. But with a dwindling crop yield and t
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, for-review
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a vet. (I gave up on that idea the moment I saw our local vet spaying a dog. I don't have the guts for that.) Add to it my love for sci-fi, and there was no way this book could go wrong for me. I knew I'd love this book the moment I saw the cover and read the blurb. I didn't love it. I adore it.

As far as Zenn goes-you may be cool, but you'll never be I-cure-alien-animal-forms cool. I felt that Christian Schoon captured the voice of a teenage girl better than many
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013, netgalley

Zenn Scarlett had me at the cover. I know, I know. Such a shallow thing, but true. The cover is oustanding and I just needed to read this story, a SF different from the few I already read and, in a way, deeply refreshing.

Reading this book I actually felt how strange it was. The world building was simply amazing, different, and I could not keep myself from loving creatures like rikkasets or stonehorses. Schoon's imagination conquered me and Zenn Scarlett is sure to be one of the most original
usagi ☆ミ
So, "Zenn Scarlett". I'm still not entirely how to shelve this book in terms of genre - is it YA, or MG? Or is it riding the fine line between them? While this was a really solid debut for Schoon, I think it needed at least one or two more edits before getting to the ARC stage of things because a lot of things needed clarification. While I'm happy this book is yet another we can add to the space western canon within MG/YA, at the same time, I just wish it'd been clearer. Nevertheless, I did have ...more
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Via Book Reviews by Niki Hawkes at

Because I thoroughly enjoy reading about animals, space, and people learning about things that don’t exist in our reality, I actually enjoyed several elements of this novel. The creatures Zenn took care of were creative and interesting, and I liked how each one had unique biological makeups and temperaments. The medical references on how to treat each animal were also fascinating – I was convinced that either the author knew a bit about veteri
Tsana Dolichva
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zenn Scarlett is the début novel by Christian Schoon. The titular character is a seventeen year old girl living on Mars who is studying to become an exoveterinarian — a vet for alien animals (although they do treat Earthly animals too).

Zenn lives in a sort of veterinary abbey with her uncle, a nun and a small number of other workers. I wasn't entirely clear why there was a religious order dedicated to caring for alien life forms, but I hope we'll learn more about that in the sequel. Most of the
Feb 14, 2013 rated it liked it

*A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review*
*A big thanks to Strange Chemistry for providing me with this book*

This was definitely a case of 'it's not you, it's me' with this book. The writing was flawless, the world building was excellent, the characters were easy to sympathise with, but my main issue was the realisation that I really don't like alien based fiction. At all. I hadn't read anything which featured 'proper' aliens before i.e not robots or different peo
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Zenn Scarlett for a number of reasons:

The characters were brilliant. Being set on Mars there was a mixture of human and alien characters and all were described and portrayed with skill and finesse. I knew what they all looked like, even the more unusual ones, thanks to Schoon’s descriptions which built up as you went along. There were no real info-dumps of ‘this type of alien looks like this and acts like this’, just drip-feedings of history and phsysical descriptions through the action
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Thank you to Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry for sending me an advance copy of Zenn Scarlett through NetGalley. In no way did this affect my opinion of the book.

Although perhaps not one of the best books I have read this year, Zenn Scarlett was certainly one of the most interesting. From the start of the novel, you can already tell that there's going to be some amazing world building going on, with the descriptions of the alien lifeforms being quite thorough. In sci-fi (and high fantasy as well, f
Christal (Badass Book Reviews)
See this review and others like it at!

Zenn Scarlett was a cute and fun read, but the story did feel a little disjointed at times. There was a lot going on and it didn't really come together until the end, making the middle feel a little meandering. Overall, the characters and the original premise were enough to overcome the shaky plot and make this an enjoyable read.

The world building in this novel was wonderful. I loved learning about all the different lifeforms and seeing
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it

Before this book I was adamant I DO NOT read Sci-Fi. Then the opportunity to review this book’s ARC popped up in my inbox. I was instantly drawn in by the cover (have you seen it? The burst of colours on the cover is… Wow)… Then I read the blurb and it reminded me of Men in Black and I was forced to evaluate exactly why I don’t like/read Sci-Fi… I couldn’t come up with a good enough reason… I mean, I’ve read books about Vampires, Werewolves and Witches so why not this? How could
Eve (Functioning Insanity Reviews)
Zenn Scarlett is another ARC I received from NetGalley and the publishers Angry Robot. This book came out Tuesday, May 7th, I'm a bit behind because of my lack of ability to sit down for more than 30 minutes to type. But here goes, my thoughts on this sci-fi book.

The story is about Zenn Scarlett, a 17 year old working to make it through her novice year to become an exovet. What is this you ask? Well as they live on Mars (way in the future, terra-forming sections and all way cool), she is learn
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See similar books…
Hi there. I'm a science fiction author and TV scriptwriter who something something worked at Disney blah blah blah and played in some rock bands and something something started writing novels. OK, enough of that for now. Instead, here's what some early reviewers had to say about Zenn's newest adventure:

**** “…Under Nameless Stars is a wonderful sequel… The world building continues to be excellent

Other books in the series

Zenn Scarlett (2 books)
  • Under Nameless Stars (Zenn Scarlett, #2)

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