*I received this book as an eARC from Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
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Title: Zenn Scarlett
Author: Christian Schoon
Year Published: 2013
Synopsis: 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....
Why?: This sounds like it will be a really interesting sci-fi novel. Aliens, life on Mars, and a teenage girl dealing with strange connections to the animals? I mean, what's not exciting about that? Plus, I'm really interested to see how Schoon describes the Martian way of life, as well as all of these large, dangerous, and fascinating alien creatures. And I'm all about space books. Anything from Across the Universe to Glow to the John Carter books, you've got me hooked if you're setting everything up in space.
Expectations: I expect a pretty epic story, filled with a lot of stunning imagery and cool creatures. Plus, the trials and tribulations of trying to go to school while trying to solve a mystery (or several mysteries). I'm expecting quite a lot from this book, and I really hope it delivers.
Judging a book by its cover: I love the cover. It looks like it could be an Earthen girl sitting and looking at the sky, so that's a little misleading. But space is really emphasized, and I really like that. I would probably pick this up off of a shelf if I saw it in a library or book store.