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 attitudes towards aliens, and suspected sabotage, will she be able to pass her tests to get one step closer to her dreams? And will the mind-melds she keeps having with the animals help or hinder her?
So, off to my review now. I've already said I loved it, but I'll say it again. I Loved It. This books was just the right amount of weird, with excellent descriptions of the all the aliens, so you can actually picture them perfectly. Upside of this, it makes for some amazing mental pictures whilst you're reading. Downside, I really, really want a rikkaset (a animal about the size of a cat, with violet tiger stripes and a cream body, a ringed tail, lynx ears, and big golden eyes. Rikkasets can also turn invisible and are as smart as chimps. Zenn's one, Katie, is learning sign language) odds are though, I won't get one :(
Zenn herself is a pretty great main character too. From the very beginning she is exceptional from those around her. She's possibly one of the youngest trainee exoveterinarians ever, she's training in a time when it's not popular to be an exo, as there is so much bad feeling towards aliens on Mars, she's dealing with the stresses of study for her exams (a huge workload, as you can imagine) along with her wierd mind-thing and sabotage of the cloister. And yet, she doesn't break down at any time, she just does what needs doing. Some might say that Schoon hasn't made her 'realistic' but I loved her. And her confusion was pretty clearly shown when she started thinking about Liam, a cute boy from town who seems to be pretty helpful whenever Zenn is concerned.
Now that you're all desperate to read it, it will be released on May 7th by Strange Chemistry, so you should definately all go buy it, or harass your local librarian until you get it. It really is worth it.
With the cliff-hanging ending I'm hankering for the next one in the series, which unfortunately does not as yet have a release date.
This book gets a 5.9 stars out of 5
Happy Reading (which if you read this book, you really will get)