Under Nameless Stars (Zenn Scarlett, #2)
Zenn Scarlett’s novice year of exoveterinarian training on Mars isn’t quite going to plan…After barely surviving a plot to destroy her school and its menagerie of alien patients, could things at the Ciscan cloister get any worse? Yes. Yes they could: Zenn’s absent father Warra Scarlett has suddenly ceased all communication with her. Desperate to learn what’s become of him, Zenn stows away aboard the Helen of Troy, a starliner powered by one of the immense, dimension-jumping beasts known as Indra.With her is Liam Tucker, a towner boy who is either very fond of her, very dangerous to her, or both. On the verge of learning the truth about her dad, Zenn’s quest suddenly catapults her and Liam thousands of light years beyond known space, and into the dark heart of a monstrous conspiracy. Braving a gauntlet of lethal environments and unearthly life forms, her courage and exovet skills will now be tested as never before.With the fate of entire worlds hanging in the balance, Zenn is racing headlong into trouble… again.

Under Nameless Stars (Zenn Scarlett, #2) Details

TitleUnder Nameless Stars (Zenn Scarlett, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 1st, 2014
PublisherStrange Chemistry
ISBN-139781908844873
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Science Fiction, Aliens

Under Nameless Stars (Zenn Scarlett, #2) Review

  • Kribu
    January 1, 1970
    Three stars, like for the first book, but where Zenn Scarlett was more a 2.5 rounded up, I think this one deserves a solid three. I liked it, I just didn't "really like it".Right. It might take me a bit to get my thoughts in order for this one, because while Under Nameless Stars is more exciting than the first book, I had problems with it that I'm not really sure I can quite put my finger on. I'll do my best, though.Under Nameless Stars follows the events of Zenn Scarlett without any real break Three stars, like for the first book, but where Zenn Scarlett was more a 2.5 rounded up, I think this one deserves a solid three. I liked it, I just didn't "really like it".Right. It might take me a bit to get my thoughts in order for this one, because while Under Nameless Stars is more exciting than the first book, I had problems with it that I'm not really sure I can quite put my finger on. I'll do my best, though.Under Nameless Stars follows the events of Zenn Scarlett without any real break - it's basically set immediately where the first book leaves off, so for anyone considering this one - I'd definitely suggest reading the first book first. There's a recap but frankly while I'd read the first book and not even too long ago, I still struggled a little, even with the recap, to remember all the pertinent details and get myself up to speed again.Unlike the first book, which was set completely on Mars and largely dealt with Zenn's exoveterinarian studies, with only a hint here and there that some bigger plot was afoot, this one is considerably more adventurous: Zenn has stowed away on a starliner where she meets all kinds of new people, then plot gets kicked up a gear or two and some reasonably exciting stuff happens, and then it all gets tied up nicely.I liked the adventure part. Once things actually started happening, about a fifth or a quarter into the book, the pace held up well and I was pretty interested in what was going on, why it was going on, and what it would all lead to.I also liked the ending well enough - it was all a little too perfect, a little too neat, but it fit the book and the style.And I liked the romance (view spoiler)[or lack of it - well, there's a very, very little bit of it, but I appreciated how, while Zenn likes Liam, she doesn't really feel strongly enough about him or about romance in general to rush off and away with him, leaving her own dreams behind. I appreciated her decision to stay on Mars, continue with her studies and her work, and to learn to know herself and gather the life experience she's lacking, before she can turn to romance. She doesn't throw her own plans away for a boy she barely knows, no matter that he's kinda cute and has been helpful. (hide spoiler)]All that said, there were also things that didn't work for me.Both of these books have a lot of imagination poured into them. Loads. I can see and appreciate the effort of creating a multitude of "real alien" species, both sentient and not; aliens who aren't just human clones with a metallic shine to their skin or what not. I could complain that all these sentient alien species, regardless of their origin or way of life, are still basically too similar to humans in their goals and morality and habits, but I'm not going to - I can suspend disbelief enough to go with assuming that it's basically just those who are compatible enough with humans and one another to form the Accord and have trade and relations with one another. (Besides, this is standard space opera with alien worlds fare and while it might not be entirely realistic, I'm okay with it.) I also don't mind words like "insectoid" etc being used as descriptors, or alien species compared to Earth species - Zenn is human and so is her frame of reference; comparing alien forms to more familiar forms is logical.My problem is mostly that there's such a richness of alien species - and that we only meet most of them for a fleeting moment - that they all kind of start melting into one another and after the first half a dozen, I was too tired to really care. The fascinating became boring.My other main problem is characters. Zenn herself is ... okay, if rather too passive. Even in this book - she has things happen to her, she constantly relies on others to bail her out or give assistance... Yes, to an extent this is logical; she's a 17-year-old inexperienced Martian girl and in many ways I'm glad to see a protagonist who isn't afraid of accepting help and assistance from others. It's just that, well, I'd have liked to have seen her be more active at least a few times.Other than that, Zenn herself was not a problem. I liked Zenn. She's likeable. She's not extremely memorable, but she's okay. She has a past, she has plans and goals and thoughts, she cares for people (and animals), she experiences some character growth.Secondary characters though... I liked Jules the delphin a lot at first. He was all kinds of adorable. However, he never developed any personality beyond a few very repetitive quirks like his gambling addiction and his addiction to old Earth mystery and romance novels; quirks that were trotted out again and again.Same with Katie, the rikkaset - I liked Katie a lot in the first book and I still liked her here, in theory, but what could have been a far more interesting intelligent pet was basically reduced to "where did friend-Zenn go? Katie eats now?". Over and over and over again. Sigh.Treth and the starliner captain (Oolo? I've already forgotten his name) were more interesting secondary characters, but we never exactly learned much about them.Liam... oh yes, Liam was in this book, too. I think. I forget. I think Zenn forgot for quite some time, too.Basically, my problem (of why this is three stars and not more) is that these are books that offer so much, have such a wealth of imagination, and yet somehow manage to come off slightly dull. I never felt fully immersed in this world and the best I could do was muster up vague enthusiasm for the characters and their survival, although ultimately I didn't really care about any of them.* ARC of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thanks!
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  • Rashika (is tired)
    January 1, 1970
    ***This mini review has also been posted on The Social Potato Actual Rating 1.5It’s extremely hard to write a review for a book without being critical and I don’t think I can be particularly critical in terms of this book because I didn’t pay as much attention as I could have been paying. Half the time my mind was wandering and I was not invested in the least. I skimmed over even important bits because I was just so bored.Admittedly I am kind of surprised by my reaction to this book. I read and ***This mini review has also been posted on The Social Potato Actual Rating 1.5It’s extremely hard to write a review for a book without being critical and I don’t think I can be particularly critical in terms of this book because I didn’t pay as much attention as I could have been paying. Half the time my mind was wandering and I was not invested in the least. I skimmed over even important bits because I was just so bored.Admittedly I am kind of surprised by my reaction to this book. I read and reviewed Zenn Scarlett last year and enjoyed it but as I read the sequel, I wondered why I had liked it so much. Perhaps I’ve evolved as a reader since then or perhaps this book really just didn’t live up to its predecessor.We are introduced to an array of new characters including a dolphin. A dolphin with a gambling problem. And really, it was amusing at first but then it got bothersome. The dolphin read like a very naïve creature and I get it, the dolphin has been sheltered for a large chunk of his life; however, dolphins happen to be a very intelligent species so it didn’t really work for me.I like that the author put effort into describing all these various alien species with detail but then after a while it just seemed like this book was trying too hard to be like Animorphs (IMO) and the whole alien aspect stopped being interesting. I could no longer pull of a visual picture of the setting or these creatures. I was too bored to care.The plot did not hold my attention and it kind of seemed to be all over the place. Liam came and went (half the time I was wondering whether Zenn had completely forgotten about his existence), other characters came and went and I did not care. One of the quirks that managed to stick with me was how easily Zenn stowed away on the ship. What? How did the captain not realize? All he would have had to do was ask someone to check Mr. Bodine’s room and ask if he had a daughter. I just cannot see how no one except the dolphin would have picked up on this fact.Honestly, I felt like this might have been a case of it’s me not you which is why there isn’t much for me to say. Because really, how do you write a review for a book that was mind numbingly boring. I don't have anything to say about the main character, I don't have much to say about the plot and every time I try to think of anything more to say I keep on drawing a blank. Which pretty much sums up my reading experience. If you like pretty covers and aliens you might want to give this a shot although … the aliens might be a tad bit disappointing.
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  • Whitley Birks
    January 1, 1970
    See more reviews on my blog.This book had some strong worldbuilding and interesting ideas, but it was plotted like a video game, which turned me off it a bit.I did really enjoy the set up for this series. It’s a nice space odyssey kind of offering, full of interesting creatures and space ships and just enough political intrigue to keep things interesting without necessarily being the center of attention. It’s a roaring romp through space, that’s cool, I’m on board with that. I also really liked See more reviews on my blog.This book had some strong worldbuilding and interesting ideas, but it was plotted like a video game, which turned me off it a bit.I did really enjoy the set up for this series. It’s a nice space odyssey kind of offering, full of interesting creatures and space ships and just enough political intrigue to keep things interesting without necessarily being the center of attention. It’s a roaring romp through space, that’s cool, I’m on board with that. I also really liked the animal details. Zenn, being the biologist that she is, gives us all sorts of interesting facts about the creatures encountered, and the book managed to pull that off without being overbearing or too clinical in the process. That’s a hard balance to reach, so major props for that.On the other hand, the plot of this book is just…video game. It’s like every chapter is a level. The characters run around, find a random object by smashing all the pots in a room, use it to defeat that level’s boss, and then move on to the next level. (Minus actually smashing pots, but you get the idea.) Even though there’s an overarching plot, individual encounters feel very self-contained. Once you get the rhythm of it, you can tell when a ‘boss’ is about to be encountered simply by the fact that they’ve found a key item randomly.The characters were nice, but nothing really to write home about. As I sit here writing this review, I can’t even remember them that well. Jules is the only one to really stand out, and that just because…well, he’s a talking dolphin, hard to forget that.Overall a fun read, something to pick up if you’re already interested in the concepts of it, but otherwise nothing special.
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  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    Release Date: April 1st 2014This review was originally posted on Avid Reviews: www.avidfantasyreviews.wordpress.com Under Nameless Stars is the second novel in the Zenn Scarlett series by Christian Schoon. This series is another unique addition to its genre, YA Sci-Fi, from Strange Chemistry/ Angry Robot Books. Zenn Scarlett is a novice exo-veterinary student from a colony on Mars who has a special connection to the alien animals she cares for. After learning that her father has been kidnapped, Release Date: April 1st 2014This review was originally posted on Avid Reviews: www.avidfantasyreviews.wordpress.com Under Nameless Stars is the second novel in the Zenn Scarlett series by Christian Schoon. This series is another unique addition to its genre, YA Sci-Fi, from Strange Chemistry/ Angry Robot Books. Zenn Scarlett is a novice exo-veterinary student from a colony on Mars who has a special connection to the alien animals she cares for. After learning that her father has been kidnapped, she and her friend Liam Tucker stow away on the starliner the Helen of Troy, hoping to find him. Just as Zenn feels she has finally come cloze to the truth behind her father’s kidnapping, the Helen of Troy is hijacked and sent far into uncharted space. Zenn will need her exo-veternarian skills, and her newfound friends from the starliner to help uncover a conspiracy that could change the fate of the entire universe. I would recommend that the first book, Zenn Scarlett, be read first, as this book picks up right where the first book left off. Under Nameless Stars is a pleasant book, but one that is exclusively for a young adult audience. The novel’s plot is fast-paced and predictable, and overall the book has a whimsical feel. The characters were obviously created with a lot of imagination and attention to detail, and even though it was easy to feel affection for them, it was hard to connect to the characters fully. This is especially true for Zenn, as I thought her an interesting character, but not one that was completely engaging. This is often how I feel when I read YA novels, and it most likely is because I have grown out of the genre. There are YA books that can also be enjoyed by an adult audience, but I do not feel that this novel is one of them. I was very impressed with the world building in this novel. Schoon has a vivid and fascinating imagination, and his novels are absolutely overflowing with his inventive creatures and settings. It is not one of the most scientifically accurate Sci-Fi novels I’ve ever read, but I really enjoyed the scope of the ingenuity the author used in his plot and setting. Sometimes pure imagination is more interesting than scientific plausibility, and I found this novel to be a perfect example of this fact. Overall, I would consider this a novel that is perfect for a YA or middle grade audience, and would especially recommend it for a young person who is being introduced to the Sci-Fi genre. This book has more imagination and less violence than most books in the same genre, and is a great first step for future speculative fiction fans. I would rate this book a 7.5/10, but keep in mind that this rating is strictly for a YA audience. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.
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  • Tsana Dolichva
    January 1, 1970
    Under Nameless Stars by Christian Schoon is the sequel to Zenn Scarlett and continues that story immediately where it left off. As such, I definitely do not recommend reading Under Nameless Stars without reading Zenn Scarlett first. This review will also contain spoilers for the first book, as the set-up is crucial to understanding the context (the blurb also spoils the ending of the first book). I'll also have a review with Christian Schoon at the end of the month, so keep an eye out for that.I Under Nameless Stars by Christian Schoon is the sequel to Zenn Scarlett and continues that story immediately where it left off. As such, I definitely do not recommend reading Under Nameless Stars without reading Zenn Scarlett first. This review will also contain spoilers for the first book, as the set-up is crucial to understanding the context (the blurb also spoils the ending of the first book). I'll also have a review with Christian Schoon at the end of the month, so keep an eye out for that.I enjoyed Zenn Scarlett as I was reading it (apart from some minor weird physics) but it didn't stand up all that well to retrospective contemplation and discussion. The redneck Martian farmers, particularly, continued to bother me. Happily, Under Nameless Stars isn't set on Mars at all, so the closest thing to a redneck is Liam, Zenn's sort-of love interest. I say sort of, because they spend most of the story apart and the ending very much emphasises that there are more important things to teenage girls than finding and settling down with a boy. That made me very happy.Back to the setting, though. Picking up right where the first book left off, Zenn and Liam find themselves in a container on an interstellar spaceship. Most of the book, then, is set in space on ships among a variety of sentient alien species, a few humans and some alien animals (for Zenn, exo-vetinarian to heal, of course). My favourite character in Under Nameless Stars was Jules, a dolphin (yes, from Earth) who spends most of his time in a "walksuit", which is basically what it sounds like. I was actually a bit sceptical of him at first, until it was revealed that he was only 18 — calibrated in Earth/human years, as far as I could tell — and hence allowed to be a bit of an idiot. I say that in the nicest possible way, however. He's very into mystery and adventure novels and frequently orients his expectations based on popular tropes. It comes across as so ridiculous as to be funny, which is part of what made me like the character. The only thing that could have improved him further, in my opinion, is a more in-depth exploration of the walksuit as a "blending in with other sentient life-forms" aid and more time spent dealing with swimming vs walking.Ultimately, I would characterise Under Nameless Stars as an action-packed space adventure story. It doesn't take itself too seriously and Zenn gets into strife very frequently. It was an engaging read and, unlike some books, I found myself not bothered by the physics of it all, mostly because all the physics — including the quantum tunnelling space horses — was pretty hand-wave-y and not specific enough to be problematic.That said, I wouldn't recommend it to readers after a hard science fiction novel. It's probably closer to space opera, although I admit I'm a little hazy on that definition. I recommend it to anyone looking for a fun space adventure and, of course, to anyone who enjoyed the first book. As I said at the start, I definitely wouldn't recommend reading Under Nameless Stars without reading Zenn Scarlett first. And don't forget to keep an eye out for my interview with the author in a few weeks!4 / 5 stars You can read more of my reviews on my blog.
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  • Lucinda
    January 1, 1970
    A spectacular sequel containing an assortment of interesting new characters that’s out-of-this-world Under Nameless Stars is wonderfully realised on the page; containing intriguing twists and innovative ideas, as to push the precincts of the genre’s unbounded limitations. Exciting and action-packed this worthy follow-up to Zenn Scarlett contains a perfect blend of humor, action/ adventure and character development. Fantastically imaginative and of great premise, here is an outstanding new Young A spectacular sequel containing an assortment of interesting new characters that’s out-of-this-world Under Nameless Stars is wonderfully realised on the page; containing intriguing twists and innovative ideas, as to push the precincts of the genre’s unbounded limitations. Exciting and action-packed this worthy follow-up to Zenn Scarlett contains a perfect blend of humor, action/ adventure and character development. Fantastically imaginative and of great premise, here is an outstanding new Young Adult series that’s supremely magnificent and noteworthy. Zen has to be one of my favourite YA heroines, as she is really likeable and spunky! Under Nameless Stars is a YA slant on a classic Space-Opera, with thrilling action and extraordinary creatures and settings. I would highly recommend this to fans of Doctor Who, Strange Chemistry and Alienated. 4.5 STARS!! In book 2 the fate of the entire world hangs in the balance, with Zenn facing danger headlong once again. The Zenn Scarlett books chronicle the adventures of a 17-year-old novice exoveterinarian specializing in the treatment of large, dangerous, decidedly unearthly animals. Extraordinary alien life forms, exotic medical procedures, xenophobic paranoia, ominous instances of cross-species ESP and unlikely romance ensue…Zenn’s absent father Warra Scarlett has suddenly ceased all communication with her. Desperate to learn what’s become of him, Zenn stows away aboard the Helen of Troy, a starliner powered by one of the immense, dimension-jumping beasts known as Indra.With her is Liam Tucker, a towner boy who is either very fond of her, very dangerous to her, or both. On the verge of learning the truth about her dad, Zenn’s quest suddenly catapults her and Liam thousands of light years beyond known space, and into the dark heart of a monstrous conspiracy. Braving a gauntlet of lethal environments and unearthly life forms, her courage and exovet skills will now be tested as never before! This impressively unique story had me hooked from the first page, with the deeply rich world building and entertaining events pulling me into an addictive plot. Christian Schoon’s inventive creation is breathtakingly epic, and is of as memorable magnitude as ‘Stargate Atlantis’ or other top sci-fi creation. The Zenn Scarlett series is a wonderful edition to the genre that’s entertaining and completely unputdownable. This fabulously fun page-turner is a great read and one that keeps you guessing throughout, due to the eclectic diversity of planets and creatures. Intensely fascinating and intriguing, this brilliant book is a mind-blowing phenomenal explosion of imaginative vision and one that I am pleased to have had the chance to read. * I won a physical copy of book 2 in the Zenn Scarlett series {Under Nameless Stars} by Christian Schoon, through a first-read giveaway on Goodreads. *
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  • Christal
    January 1, 1970
    See this review and others like it at Badass Book Reviews!The Zenn Scarlett series would be perfect for a younger reader that is just dipping a toe into science fiction. It has a capable protagonist, action & adventure, and more alien life-forms than you can shake a stick at. So many children say they want to be veterinarians when they grow up and Zenn Scarlett takes it a step farther with exo-veterinarians.Under Nameless Stars picks up right where Zenn Scarlett left off so I do recommend re See this review and others like it at Badass Book Reviews!The Zenn Scarlett series would be perfect for a younger reader that is just dipping a toe into science fiction. It has a capable protagonist, action & adventure, and more alien life-forms than you can shake a stick at. So many children say they want to be veterinarians when they grow up and Zenn Scarlett takes it a step farther with exo-veterinarians.Under Nameless Stars picks up right where Zenn Scarlett left off so I do recommend reading that book first. If you don't have it handy, Christian Schoon does a pretty good recap in the first few chapters that should bring you up to speed. Zenn has stowed away on an interstellar starliner with her kind-of friend Liam and her pet rikkaset, Katie. She's on a mission to find out why she was kidnapped and to save her father. Along the way, she meets many interesting allies and just as many corrupt villains to stand in her way.Adult readers probably won't find this story very complex, but it was a quick and enjoyable read. Under Nameless Stars moves from adventure to adventure once the first 30% of information and catch-up is over. I thought the creatures and situations Zenn encountered were interesting but I found her to be a bit passive throughout. I never felt like she was taking charge of her mission so much as she let herself be led along by other characters.While the ending didn't come as much of a surprise, I think it wrapped up everything nicely. Under Nameless Stars stayed true to Zenn's dedication to become an exo-veterinarian and didn't let a boy or "love" come between her and her goal. I think it is a nice message for younger girls; you don't have to give up on your dreams to be with a guy. You can take your time and satisfy your own personal goals before you worry about a relationship. That's not a message we see very much in young adult literature and I applaud Christian Schoon for including it.Thank you to Netgalley and Strange Chemistry for providing a review copy of this book.
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  • Ashley Ferguson
    January 1, 1970
    *I received this book as an eARC from Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*Oh my goodness, this book! Under Nameless Stars took Zenn's story to a whole different level, and I loved every minute of it! Things are darker, scarier, twistier, and all of the stakes are even higher than they were before. The creatures are spectacular, the plot is thicker, and Zenn has to figure out how to deal with all of it while trying to figure out how to rescue her father and *I received this book as an eARC from Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*Oh my goodness, this book! Under Nameless Stars took Zenn's story to a whole different level, and I loved every minute of it! Things are darker, scarier, twistier, and all of the stakes are even higher than they were before. The creatures are spectacular, the plot is thicker, and Zenn has to figure out how to deal with all of it while trying to figure out how to rescue her father and why he has kidnapped to begin with.I liked Zenn in the first book, but I liked her so much more in this one. She's less afraid to make friends and care about people, and I felt like she was just an all-around better person. Sure, she's a stowaway on the Indra-ship, and sure she lies about who she is so she doesn't get sent home... but she's trying to save her father. I think she might trust too easily, and tends to not pick up on suspicious activity (I figured out who the "bad guy" was pretty quickly after meeting him), but it made for a more interesting story so I was ok with that too. Zenn is definitely the heroine of this story, but she's also not afraid to ask for help and sometimes needs saving herself. I think this book made her more relateable, and I enjoyed getting to know her better and watch her grow and mature.The new characters are all really interesting too, but my favorite was definitely Jules. He's hilarious without meaning to be, and I especially enjoyed that he was an ordinary Earthen creature in an extraordinary situation. I had to go back and read the part where Zenn realizes what he is twice, because I didn't believe it myself! I love him and his story, and I'm so glad that he ends up on Zenn's team. I wish Jules was my friend, because he's just that awesome. I also really enjoyed how well his quest matched up with Zenn's, even though it was kind of a big coincidence. Under Nameless Stars is paced quite a bit faster than Zenn Scarlett, but it really worked with this part of Zenn's story. There's so much going on that I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next - would Zenn and her friends be able to get out of whatever situation they had been put into? Would Zenn find her father? What is happening to the Indra? What new creature is going to show up next? And I was not disappointed in any of those! I do wish Liam had been in the story more, since he kind of just shows up randomly and then disappears again. There's a little romance because of that, but mostly Zenn realizes that she is capable of eventually having a romantic relationship, even if it isn't necessarily with Liam. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book! I think anyone who enjoys space operas would really like this series, and I think that anyone who enjoys YA sci-fi would also enjoy it. If you've read Zenn Scarlett, I definitely recommend Under Nameless Stars! I would also recommend the series to fans of Across the Universe, and other books like that. A 4/5 for this one!
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  • Angie
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC through NetGalley.Under Nameless Stars is so much fun! Picking up right where Zenn Scarlett left off, we start with Zenn, Liam, and Katie aboard the Helen of Troy as stowaways. It isn’t long before they’re discovered, but luckily Zenn is a quick thinker and comes up with a story for herself and manages to keep Liam hidden. Zenn immediately begins searching for her father and trying to figure out why she and him were kidnapped in the first place. She meets Jules, a gambling dolp I received an ARC through NetGalley.Under Nameless Stars is so much fun! Picking up right where Zenn Scarlett left off, we start with Zenn, Liam, and Katie aboard the Helen of Troy as stowaways. It isn’t long before they’re discovered, but luckily Zenn is a quick thinker and comes up with a story for herself and manages to keep Liam hidden. Zenn immediately begins searching for her father and trying to figure out why she and him were kidnapped in the first place. She meets Jules, a gambling dolphin, who offers to help her out, but their investigation becomes more dangerous than they anticipated.The world building of Under Nameless Stars continues to be excellent and oodles of fun! We’re introduced to even more alien species, and of course, Jules the dolphin. He has a walking suit that allows him to….well, walk. He’s a huge fan of Earth’s “printed-on-paper novels,” especially the adventure and mystery ones, which he draws knowledge from as he helps Zenn. There’s also a ton more information about the Indra, which are very important in this sequel. Lots of twists and turns! Zenn’s special ability is also expanded a lot, which I really enjoyed.The plot of Under Nameless Stars was also a lot better, and more developed than the first book. Zenn is on a mission to find her father, as well as learn why someone would want to kidnap her. There’s the added mystery of the disappearing Indra ships, and this turned out to be more directly related to Zenn’s kidnapping than she thought. This leads to some pretty awesome discoveries! I got a bit teary eyed at the end. I’m not sure why, but I had some happy tears during a conversation between Zenn and Jules. I adore him.In the end, Under Nameless Stars was a wonderful sequel. It’s jam packed with colorful characters, humor, and action. There was a bit of budding romance, but not much. Zenn isn’t really the romantic type. There is a happy ending, and I certainly hope there’s more adventures to come for Mars’ newest hero!Read more of my reviews at Pinkindle Reads & Reviews.
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  • Pili
    January 1, 1970
    Once again, being auto-approved by Strange Chemistry on NetGalley is a joy! I got this one, the sequel for Zenn Scarlett and am I glad that I did!I liked the first book but this one I seriously enjoyed! It was so full of action and humour and plenty of food for thought too! A very good science fiction read with all the good elements there!Under Nameless Stars starts right were book 1 left us, with Zenn and Liam getting themselves into the Helen of Troy spaceship as stowaways, to try and find Zen Once again, being auto-approved by Strange Chemistry on NetGalley is a joy! I got this one, the sequel for Zenn Scarlett and am I glad that I did!I liked the first book but this one I seriously enjoyed! It was so full of action and humour and plenty of food for thought too! A very good science fiction read with all the good elements there!Under Nameless Stars starts right were book 1 left us, with Zenn and Liam getting themselves into the Helen of Troy spaceship as stowaways, to try and find Zenn's dad and find out why she was kidnapped. From there everything gets bigger and better, so to speak. Zenn & Liam get separated and Zenn finds an unexpected friend and ally in Jules, a dolphin in a walking suit. Jules is an absolute delight of a character! He's loyal, he's funny and he's extremely supportive of Zenn. Zenn has to do quite some quick thinking and be quite decisive because despite an inital small lull, the action is quite non-stopping! She finds herself with an assorted gang of unexpected allies, aliens and humans/humanoids while trying to figure out what's going on behind the Indra's spaceships dissapearances and how are they related to her attempted kidnapping!There's plenty of tension, plenty of funny moments (most due to Jules!) and Zenn doesn't stop being an exovet and her kind self. If she sees something that's not right, she will raise her voice and do her best to fix it. That's quite probably what you might call her secret weapon.There's a wee bit of romance, but very very understated, quite what it should be when you're trying to save the galaxy. Zenn might be a bit socially awkward but she also has her priorities right when it comes to do what has to be done.The themes are quite universal, and seeing them presented in a futuristic way might made them a bit more palatable for us, but they're still very much relevant for our current society.Very well deserved 4 stars! A fun page turner!
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  • Ryan Lawler
    January 1, 1970
    Under Nameless Stars was a fun book and a very expansive sequel. While the first book was limited to a small section of Mars, this book takes Zenn Scarlett into space in search of her father, with weird and wonderful alien races all over place (and a talking dolphin who gets around in his very own mech).It felt like it could have been an episode of Doctor Who, with a Dr Dolittle-like main character. This would have been 5 stars but the ending was messy and just a little convoluted. I had no trou Under Nameless Stars was a fun book and a very expansive sequel. While the first book was limited to a small section of Mars, this book takes Zenn Scarlett into space in search of her father, with weird and wonderful alien races all over place (and a talking dolphin who gets around in his very own mech).It felt like it could have been an episode of Doctor Who, with a Dr Dolittle-like main character. This would have been 5 stars but the ending was messy and just a little convoluted. I had no trouble understanding the big picture, and it was a good ending, but it felt like the ending was caught up trying to explain every piece of minutiae, and that seemed to suck a little wonder out of the story. Its the enigma conundrum. We all want to know desperately what's going on, but when we find out it makes that mysterious thing seem less special.Overall, I found this book to be a very enjoyable experience, and a great sequel to one of my favourite books from last year (or was it 2012? Time flies)
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  • Lex
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't even finish the chapter one. So not for me. And now that I found the book here.. No wonder. It is the second book! I thought it's a standalone or the first one. -_- I was so clueless to what they were talking about. So many terminologies that is not really explained. Maybe I will pick it up again someday but honestly with my books piling up right and left, I might not really read it again. Or what do we know? I might have that bored moment and pick it back up again. Some other peeps mig I didn't even finish the chapter one. So not for me. And now that I found the book here.. No wonder. It is the second book! I thought it's a standalone or the first one. -_- I was so clueless to what they were talking about. So many terminologies that is not really explained. Maybe I will pick it up again someday but honestly with my books piling up right and left, I might not really read it again. Or what do we know? I might have that bored moment and pick it back up again. Some other peeps might like this though that is if you read the first book, which I have not. OCD here so I won't be reading this any time soon.
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  • Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
    January 1, 1970
    Working on rev....A couple of notes:-liked how we tied up some storylines but left more open to explore.-romance (what there was of it) worked w/ the character. She is not used to dealing with people. It shows.-Loved the new characters (esp Jules!)-Love all of the diff alien beings
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  • Mikel
    January 1, 1970
    The minute you start reading you'll realize how much you missed Zenn. But there's no time to dwell because the story starts fast and builds to a gallop. Takes the mythology of the first book and soars! A less sappy, more action-packed "Titanic" in space!
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  • Kuroi
    January 1, 1970
    Talking dolphins. Fruit pets. The use of straw in the far future. Enough said.
  • Leontii Cristea
    January 1, 1970
    It’s always disappointing to love the first book and dislike the next. I’ll say upfront that I found Under Nameless Stars a far too complicated book for its own good. By this I’m referring to the overly complex descriptions of the overly complex and overly numerous alien life forms. I’m down with aliens, totally. But when I’m faced with three, four, five paragraph long descriptions of aliens that, no matter how hard I try, I cannot envisage, again and again… It’s just too much. Too awkward and t It’s always disappointing to love the first book and dislike the next. I’ll say upfront that I found Under Nameless Stars a far too complicated book for its own good. By this I’m referring to the overly complex descriptions of the overly complex and overly numerous alien life forms. I’m down with aliens, totally. But when I’m faced with three, four, five paragraph long descriptions of aliens that, no matter how hard I try, I cannot envisage, again and again… It’s just too much. Too awkward and too complicated. Whatever Schoon was trying to convey, I just wasn’t getting it.But that’s not all.I feel it took too long for Zenn to wise up to what was going on, and the first 20% of the book was spent recapping the events of the first book to the new character involved. Quite literally: my Kindle told me so. That was just boring.But to summarise: Zenn has left the relative safety of the Ciscan cluster after her kidnapping and although she has her issues with him and trust, Liam is with her. Together they are headed off Mars via the Helen of Troy starliner; Zenn to find her father, Liam to escape arrest. Regardless of Zenn’s insistence that he shouldn’t have anything to worry about concerning his coerced participation in the sabotage that almost destroyed the clinic Zenn calls home, he’s not so sure. They wind up on the starliner with a collection of colourful characters and find themselves closer to the very truths Zenn has been looking for the whole time. Could it be that Zenn will barely have to leave the starliner to find her father—and discover the reason behind her sympathetic link with the animals she treats? That all depends on just where the starliner ends up and how far Zenn is willing to go to save her father. Either way, the truth is far, far deeper and more involved than she might have imagined. Zenn will have to rely on new friends and newly sharpened wits in order to survive outside the cluster and to find out what really happened to her mother and why it affects her, all these years after the fact.The truth is that Under Nameless Stars should have been epic. But it wasn’t. It was frustratingly slow and despite everything, I just couldn’t take seriously a dolphin in a mech-suit. I tried. Jules is hilarious and fabulous and— I’m sorry. I couldn’t imagine one way or another how his walksuit worked and in every situation Zenn and her friends found themselves, Jules just seemed a logistical nightmare. I couldn’t picture how he moved, how he looked (bar being, y’know, a dolphin) or how he managed to keep up and remain alongside Zenn and co. throughout everything that took place. Because a dolphin in a mecha isn’t exactly a rikkaset in a backpack. There’s definitely a difference.I love the fact that Schoon tried to include so many colourful descriptions of aliens and other races of humanesque beings, but… I think there’s too much and it clutters the view. Like a garden with way, way too many flowers: all pretty and exciting when taken separately, but when you bung everything together, there’s just way too much colour, foliage and the scent is overwhelming. Under Nameless Stars felt a little like that. Which sucks because I wanted to love this with all my heart.But I didn’t. Not even close.I also grew increasingly more and more irritated by the fact that I’d pieced together most of the reason behind Zenn’s link with the animals (granted, not the why-the-why) at the end of the last book and it took Zenn having it literally spelled out to her for it to click. I didn’t buy that. Zenn is a smart cookie: she’d have been all over this if she’d just sat down and thought about everything. She’s a scientist. She keeps thinking about how science is the one thing she can believe in… and so I’m expected to believe she hasn’t wanted to sit down and think about what she knows? I just didn’t buy it. I felt it dragged things out in the most irritating of ways by dumbing her down, making her a little less savvy. That’s not the Zenn I fell in love with. That’s a different Zenn. I’m experiencing the same sort of formula in another YA book I’m reading at the moment, and it’s frustrating that I only ever see this sort of behaviour from girls.I can maybe let it slide with the fact that Zenn’s a little freaked out to maybe think properly at the moment, what with her dad missing—but then if you bring it back to that whole “science is the way I roll” fact, it sticks a little harder. I wish I could let it slide. But I can’t. The pacing was messy, the settings confusing and parts of the book (namely the lead up to the end) read like a bad dungeon crawl. I’ve played sci-fi RPG campaigns before, and that’s not how you do a dungeon crawl—hence the “bad” part. I just couldn’t warm to it.The first thing I did love, however, was Zenn’s awkwardness with Liam. That, I adored. That was true to Zenn’s character. It was deliciously awkward and read perfectly. There’s a hint of blossoming romance yet at the same time, there’s not. But then there is. It’s ideal and I really liked that Zenn is so clueless—for good reason!—as to how to act with someone, let alone a boy. It was exactly what I wanted. I liked how Zenn’s interactions with Liam on a relationship level were vaguely Asperger’s-y/HFA. Definitely a hit with me.Furthermore, I liked the concept of the starliner, which was basically a cruise ship in space. Definitely original. The ball, the layout—everything. It was different and I felt it accommodated the plot perfectly. I do think Zenn’s meeting Jules was a tad too easy, too convenient, but that’s usually the sort of thing I’ll let slip if it’s not too cringe-worthy. And this wasn’t. But on the subject of Jules, what irked me more than the mech-suit was his obsession with books. Not his obsession with stories or novels—but books. He keeps talking about paperbacks when specifically the level of literary technology has developed far past mass market paperbacks and into the electronic. It’s the same with the rest of the tech. So this supposedly endearing side of Jules was met with annoyance because of lack of setting logic. It’s often the case with sci-fi that people don’t think about what you can and cannot make passing references to. It’s the little things people let slide. I’ve seen space stations with strict air control and then characters lighting up a cigarette. Yeah, right. You can’t smoke in many public places now, let alone somewhere where your air is delivered. But that’s a passing irk—and wasn’t really Jules’ fault.I liked how the story ended, but it seemed too neat and too wrapped-up. Usually I’m a fan of clean, happy endings, but something seemed lacking overall. There was no pizzazz and I missed that from the first book. I’m guessing this is a duology, since the story is essentially wrapped up. Sure, Zenn could have more adventures, so who knows?Overall this book just didn’t hit the spot with me. I wasn’t buying whatever it was selling. It seemed so weak a book to follow on from Zenn Scarlett, so I’m hardly surprised that with me, it fell flat on its face. Horribly disappointed and loath to give a book a two-star review when the first was so good—but then I’m not reviewing the first, so my hands are tied.Slow and clunky and definitely a far cry from the expert storytelling and character development of the first book. Worth reading to tie things up and complete the story arcs, but it would certainly not make the top of my reading list. Fun in places, but sluggish in others, which—for me and how I read—only added to the overall reading time. Which isn’t a good thing for me. Give it a go for completion’s sake, but do not expect a second Zenn Scarlett, because this isn’t it.
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  • JoLee
    January 1, 1970
    Featured in "Reading on a Theme: Teens in Space" on Intellectual Recreation. In Under Nameless Stars, the sequel to Zenn Scarlet, our titular character leaves Mars as a stowaway aboard the Helen of Troy. Zenn is following a lead on her missing father. What starts as a mission to find her dad becomes much bigger when the Helen is hijacked. Christian Schoon's book is so creative. Zenn is an exoveterinarian, meaning she specializes in doctoring creatures from space, and Schoon is so good at popu Featured in "Reading on a Theme: Teens in Space" on Intellectual Recreation. In Under Nameless Stars, the sequel to Zenn Scarlet, our titular character leaves Mars as a stowaway aboard the Helen of Troy. Zenn is following a lead on her missing father. What starts as a mission to find her dad becomes much bigger when the Helen is hijacked. Christian Schoon's book is so creative. Zenn is an exoveterinarian, meaning she specializes in doctoring creatures from space, and Schoon is so good at populating his book with interesting creatures. I found space travel by Indra especially fascinating, and a clever move on Schoon's part as it makes Zenn's role that much greater. Jules was a very fun addition. I'm not going to tell you what kind of creature he is, but I will say it was very unexpected. Overall, a delightful find. Reading this book really made me wish that Angry Robots hadn't closed their Strange Chemistry imprint.
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  • Daniel
    January 1, 1970
    This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 3.75 of 5.This is the second in the Zenn Scarlett series, and if you'll recall, I really enjoyed the first book, Zenn Scarlett .  Under Nameless Stars (a beautiful title that doesn't have a whole lot to do with the book) picks up right where Zenn Scarlett left off and it's recommended that you start with that first book.When communication with her father ceases, and Zenn fears the worst, she and her friend Liam stow away aboard This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 3.75 of 5.This is the second in the Zenn Scarlett series, and if you'll recall, I really enjoyed the first book, Zenn Scarlett .  Under Nameless Stars (a beautiful title that doesn't have a whole lot to do with the book) picks up right where Zenn Scarlett left off and it's recommended that you start with that first book.When communication with her father ceases, and Zenn fears the worst, she and her friend Liam stow away aboard a (space)ship, Helen of Troy.  The ship is powered by a creature known as an Indra, with awesome powers of dimension-transportation.  The Helen of Troy is hijacked, transported to an unknown location in the universe ('under nameless stars') and it seems that Zenn is the target of the hijackers!The book moves along very quickly, clearly designed to hold the interest of young adults.  Author Christian Schoon does a very nice job of combining the action with the introduction of new characters and building on Zenn's character.  Zenn is still a very well fleshed out reluctant hero.  In typical teen fashion, she constantly questions her own abilities yet blunders ahead.  In this book, she becomes much more of a leader than she was in the previous book.I still feel that the idea of an exo-veterinarian is just about the most brilliant concept for a science fiction book.  It strikes me as one of the most useful skills to have in an era with interplanetary travel and alien-life-form contact.  And at the same time, it is completely understandable how many people would fear such skills or contact with other beings.  This concept, along with Schoon's wonderfully created creatures, still has me enthralled with the books.Life, and the activities aboard the spaceship/starliner is just a little less believable than the world-building Schoon had done in the first book.  Try to imagine, in our current world, an ocean-liner that harbored an aquarium large enough for whales, inside the ship.  Now try to translate that, along with house-sized rooms of fiery activity and 'monsters' aboard a space-traveling vessel.  Difficult.  Even for those of us who have thrived on 'unbelievable' sci-fi for such a long time.As mentioned, the story moves along quickly, with action sequence after action sequence, and Zenn and her companions moving from frying pan to fire (sometimes literally) in almost every chapter.  I don't recall this in the first book, and it did feel almost too active, with not enough time to establish characters and plot.  We know almost nothing about anyone Zenn partners with.  The ship's captain; Jules, the talking dolphin; even Liam and Katie the Rikkaset take a back-seat (character-wise) in this book.  Lots of characters are introduced, many for a few laughs or for their inventiveness, but rarely for any plot-building or character development.That we learn more about Zenn's ability to emphatically connect with other creatures, which was developed so well in the first book, is wonderful.  For this alone, it's worth the read.  And to follow up on the story of her parents, which was left hanging at the end of the first book, is also greatly appreciated (though even this felt secondary to action).  Schoon does a nice job of wrapping up the loose ends in the first book and leaving the door open for another, without relying on unanswered plot points to draw us to the next book.YA books always seem to walk delicately around the idea of romance/relationships.  I get it ... teens, hormones, and all that ... but I really liked their relationship, until the end of the book when they actually talked about it.  Is that just a total 'guy thing?'  Let a relationship develop as it will or won't and forget talking about it?  Sorry, ladies... I just didn't think it needed any more!This isn't a book for die-hard sci-fi fans, but I do recommend it for any adults looking for a quick sci-fi read, and I definitely recommend it to any YA readers who like sci-fi/adventure books.I should add ... while we try never to judge a book by its cover ... the covers to this, and Zenn Scarlett, are beautiful!Looking for a good book?  This sophomore novel in the Zenn Scarlett series is inventive and active and captivating; and a real delight to read!
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    "Under Nameless Stars" which I won from Goodreads Giveaways is the second of the Zenn Scarlett adventures which begins after the seventeen year old is kidnapped and stows aboard the starliner, Helen of Troy. Aided by a repentant towner boy Liam Tucker, Zenn has decided to search for her missing father on the planet Encharra. What she doesn't expect is to be hunted for her special ability and to get caught up in a conspiracy to capture the Indra fleet.Like the previous novel Christian Schoon has "Under Nameless Stars" which I won from Goodreads Giveaways is the second of the Zenn Scarlett adventures which begins after the seventeen year old is kidnapped and stows aboard the starliner, Helen of Troy. Aided by a repentant towner boy Liam Tucker, Zenn has decided to search for her missing father on the planet Encharra. What she doesn't expect is to be hunted for her special ability and to get caught up in a conspiracy to capture the Indra fleet.Like the previous novel Christian Schoon has created a universe where political friction exists between Mars, Accord Planets and Earth. As the story unfolds onboard the Helen of Troy Zenn is introduced to an envoy from Earth's Temporary Executive Authority seeking a peace treaty with the alien planets beginning with the Cepheians, a species who would like to break Procyon control of Indra spaceship routes. This latest development in the political intrigue may prove more daunting than expected especially when the starliner is attacked. As the plot unfolds the action heats up and tension mounts; Zenn discovering her innate courage and using her exovert skills and power to turn disaster into triumph. The creatures in this story are imaginative and innovative especially Jules Vancouver, an eccentric and wealthy dolphin with an insatiable addiction to gambling and a walk suit to enhance his mobility on land. Like Zenn he's looking for a missing friend and has impetuously taken the young Ciscan under his protection only to find his life suddenly filled with daring exploits. Together they begin an adventure that will not only expose clues to the missing Indra starships, but lead them into danger.In this book Zenn Scarlett's true nature begins to blossom as she sheds her fear of growing close to others. More amiable, her aloofness cracks as she begins to make and trust new friends. Courage and determination, essential to a young heroine become a composite part of Zenn's personality in her desperation to find her father, and in her resolve to solve the mystery of her unique ability. However, the cocky, self-assured Liam Tucker is only sporadically visible in this plot, and although his infatuation with Zenn is still strong, any romantic involvement between the two seems nonexistent. Add to these two familiar core characters, Treth, the logical and defensive Indra Groom; Yed, the cautious and tactful steward; the authoritative and clever Captain Oolo as well as Charlie the solitary and cryptic Loepith. Even the antagonists are more evident in this plot, like Pokt Mahg and Thrott Larg, two devious and merciless skirniks. These characterizations and others give depth to a suspense-filled, fast-moving plot."Under Nameless Stars" is definitely geared to a young adult audience. I would recommend reading "Zenn Scarlett" first as it fills in a lot of background gaps for the second book. However, Christian Schoon does an excellent job of weaving in many of the pertinent details from his initial novel. This is amusing but light science fiction that has an open ending allowing for a third book which I will be sure to watch for.
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  • Ruthsic
    January 1, 1970
    After barely surviving a plot to destroy her school and its menagerie of alien patients, could things get worse for novice exoveterinarian Zenn Scarlett? Yes, they could: her absent father has been kidnapped.Desperate to find him, Zenn stows away aboard the Helen of Troy, a starliner powered by one of the immense, dimension-jumping beasts known as Indra. With her is Liam Tucker, a Martian boy who is either very fond of her, very dangerous to her, or both. On the verge of learning the truth about After barely surviving a plot to destroy her school and its menagerie of alien patients, could things get worse for novice exoveterinarian Zenn Scarlett? Yes, they could: her absent father has been kidnapped.Desperate to find him, Zenn stows away aboard the Helen of Troy, a starliner powered by one of the immense, dimension-jumping beasts known as Indra. With her is Liam Tucker, a Martian boy who is either very fond of her, very dangerous to her, or both. On the verge of learning the truth about her missing dad, Zenn’s quest suddenly catapults her and Liam thousands of light years beyond known space, and into the dark heart of a monstrous conspiracy.Under Nameless Stars opened right at the end of Zenn Scarlet, with her aboard the ship and trying to find her father while remaining in cognito. She makes a friend in a talking dolphin who is of great help and more importantly, is on a quest. Her father's kidnapping is part of a bigger plot, one that is involved in her mother's death and linked to her ability to sense and communicate with the alien animals. The reason for her ability was revealed, and it was sort of predictable, but the whole Indra thing - just wow! I mean, the series has this rich diversity of planets and alien species and keeping with the protagonist who is the POV, it is filled with minute details of each creature. It was amazing and interesting how the author makes it all fit so well. The plot this time around had much more mettle than the previous book, which I really liked. We get to know and see through the Indra, how they tunnel into space and all that mystical magic. The politics of the world gets more complicated, since the plot of the antagonists hinges on the tension between the humans and the aliens. It hits a lot of important issue as to how humanity assumes superiority and is prejudiced against another sentient race - you could very well see this actually happening. The whole alien universe is built up on co-operation but also has a bit of intolerance to the others, and that was so well depicted. In real world, this could be applied to even the different factions of individuals, be it based on race, religion or whatever. Compared to the previous one, this book also had a faster pace and more action-centric, presumably because the major world-building was already splendidly done. That, however, doesn't mean that we cannot be amazed by the novel aliens and creatures in this one. It was every bit better and highly entertaining. Great for animal lovers, too, who are into science fiction. Received a copy from Strange Chemistry via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I didn’t realize this book was second in a series until I was almost 25% through it. I haven’t read the first in the series, and when I requested it on Netgalley, it didn’t mention anything about a previous book. Given that I had no background knowledge on the characters or the world they live in, I enjoyed this book a good bit and feel that it could be read as a stand-alone novel.The beginning was a bit rocky. The author tries to do a recap of things that happened in the previous book and provi I didn’t realize this book was second in a series until I was almost 25% through it. I haven’t read the first in the series, and when I requested it on Netgalley, it didn’t mention anything about a previous book. Given that I had no background knowledge on the characters or the world they live in, I enjoyed this book a good bit and feel that it could be read as a stand-alone novel.The beginning was a bit rocky. The author tries to do a recap of things that happened in the previous book and provide additional information about Zenn's world. This is all well and good, but this kind of information is not something two people who are already acquainted would casually discuss. The result is a weird, forced chapter filled with dialogue that doesn't really fit the situation. However, since I did not read the first book, this information was essential to my understanding of the story, so I'm glad it was included.The cast of characters reminded me of a Doctor Who episode with the variety of highly creative alien species Zenn encounters. I kept waiting for a Santaran to pop up with a gun and start yelling about war. My favorite alien (if you can really consider him that) was Jules, a dolphin with a walksuit which allows him to travel on land. His enthusiasm for earth history and incessant questions about customs and culture were refreshingly childish and at times laugh out loud hilarious.I also really enjoyed Zenn as a character. Strange Chemistry always publishes such interesting books, and this one is no exception. I have never heard of any other books following the life of an alien veterinarian. The whole concept was so unique. The only thing that really frustrated me about Zenn was the fact that she kept totally forgetting Liam even existed. You are a stowaway on an alien ship with only one other person you know. Wouldn't you think you'd want to make sure they are okay and stick together? At the very least check to see if they're alive? Just seemed really strange to me.The plot itself was a little too predictable at times, making the book feel more middle grade than young adult. That being said, there were still plenty of plot twists and pace is maintained rather well. The only scenes that seemed to drag were those involving Zenn's special connection to animals.Overall, this was a quick, light read with a very Doctor Who feel to it. The variety of alien species in the book and Zenn's veterinarian exploits were highly creative and unique. My only real disappointment was in the predictability and simplicity of the plot. The book was classified as young adult but I would recommend it more to a middle grade reading level.
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  • Saruuh Kelsey
    January 1, 1970
    As wonderful and imaginitive as the first of its series, Under Nameless Stars takes exovet Zenn Scarlett away from her homeplanet of Mars and across the stars in a quest to rescue her father and find some answers about why she was abducted.Under Nameless Stars starts with a bloody big bang. Zenn has boarded the Helen of Troy with little to no plan, no way of staying on the starliner because of a lack of boarding pass, and Liam nowhere to be found. So what does she do? Befriends a big walking dol As wonderful and imaginitive as the first of its series, Under Nameless Stars takes exovet Zenn Scarlett away from her homeplanet of Mars and across the stars in a quest to rescue her father and find some answers about why she was abducted.Under Nameless Stars starts with a bloody big bang. Zenn has boarded the Helen of Troy with little to no plan, no way of staying on the starliner because of a lack of boarding pass, and Liam nowhere to be found. So what does she do? Befriends a big walking dolphin with a voicebox and a penchant for crime mysteries.The thing about this series is it is so utterly bizarre, but somehow Christian Schoon makes it believable. I don't know how, but a dolphin in a walksuit makes total sense. You kind of just accept Jules as a regular person, and that's by far my favourite part of this book, and the series. You're introduced to all these alien lifeforms, these absurd and completely unfounded creatures, and after a while you forget that they're alien because they have their own personalities. You meet someone as a strange, imposing animal and end up loving them as a person. That, I think, has quite a few real world implications that I enjoy a lot.But I'll stop ranting about the aliens and say: the plot of this book is as packed and exciting as the first, the world as brilliant and wildly creative as that of Mars, Zenn is as gutsy and real a character as any you'll ever meet, and Liam is a love interest who isn't much of a love interest (I enjoy this so much. A book with a new kind of romance and a giant lack of kissing. Thank you, Schoon.)Also Katie. You really ought to just read this series of Katie. I usually refrain from quoting from galleys as a courtesy to Strange Chemistry, but since there is no Strange Chemistry anymore, what the hell! Enjoy these snippets of Katie, furry rikkaset sweetheart that she is:Katie yawned, then climbed out of the pack, sat on the arm of the chair and gave Jules an intense, inspecting look. She signed at Zenn:"Walking fish-man have food for Katie?"#"Friend-Zenn! Friend-Zenn!""Yes, Katie?""Katie have breakfasty food? Food now?"#The rikkaset was sitting upright on her haunches, vocalizing in high-pitched squeaks and signing a stream of words that equated roughly to "Friend-Zenn being silly. Katie doesn't like. Stop now."
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  • -RadioActiveBookWorm-
    January 1, 1970
    Goodreads Synopsis: Zenn Scarlett’s novice year of exoveterinarian training on Mars isn’t quite going to plan…After barely surviving a plot to destroy her school and its menagerie of alien patients, could things at the Ciscan cloister get any worse? Yes. Yes they could: Zenn’s absent father Warra Scarlett has suddenly ceased all communication with her. Desperate to learn what’s become of him, Zenn stows away aboard the Helen of Troy, a starliner powered by one of the immense, dimension-jumping b Goodreads Synopsis: Zenn Scarlett’s novice year of exoveterinarian training on Mars isn’t quite going to plan…After barely surviving a plot to destroy her school and its menagerie of alien patients, could things at the Ciscan cloister get any worse? Yes. Yes they could: Zenn’s absent father Warra Scarlett has suddenly ceased all communication with her. Desperate to learn what’s become of him, Zenn stows away aboard the Helen of Troy, a starliner powered by one of the immense, dimension-jumping beasts known as Indra.With her is Liam Tucker, a towner boy who is either very fond of her, very dangerous to her, or both. On the verge of learning the truth about her dad, Zenn’s quest suddenly catapults her and Liam thousands of light years beyond known space, and into the dark heart of a monstrous conspiracy. Braving a gauntlet of lethal environments and unearthly life forms, her courage and exovet skills will now be tested as never before.With the fate of entire worlds hanging in the balance, Zenn is racing headlong into trouble… again.My Review: An exciting adventure through a spaceship, with a novice vet from mars, Zenn Scarlett, and her friends through a race against the clock to save everyone, everywhere. Sounds good, right? It was great, but honestly I think it would have been better if I would have found out that it was the second book in the series Zenn Scarlett, before I started reading it. That’s my own fault though. It’s a great story, I love all the alien and new earth life forms the author has come up with, they’re really interesting, and I haven’t read anything like it before. I’ve really been into books about space and aliens lately, and this was a great fit with that. I never would have been able to come up with the creatures in this book, and that’s just awesome. It was written well enough that even though I started in the second I didn’t feel too left out, aside from wondering what happened in the first book to lead the characters there. I got confused a few times while I was reading it, however, both from the words I couldn’t pronounce, and because I didn’t read the first book, but aside from that it was a great read and I’d recommend it. Thanks for reading!(Radioactivebookreviews.wordpress.com)
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Traveling by freight is never comfortable. But when you’re smuggled into a cage-crate with a full-grown sandhog boar as a traveling companion, comfort becomes the least of your concerns. This is the case for seventeen-year-old Zenn Scarlett in Christian Schoon’s action-packed new YA novel Under Nameless Stars, the second in the Zenn Scarlett series.Zenn has stowed away on an orbital ferry in the hopes of being united with her kidnapped father, and her friend (boyfriend?) Liam is along for the ri Traveling by freight is never comfortable. But when you’re smuggled into a cage-crate with a full-grown sandhog boar as a traveling companion, comfort becomes the least of your concerns. This is the case for seventeen-year-old Zenn Scarlett in Christian Schoon’s action-packed new YA novel Under Nameless Stars, the second in the Zenn Scarlett series.Zenn has stowed away on an orbital ferry in the hopes of being united with her kidnapped father, and her friend (boyfriend?) Liam is along for the ride. Once they dock with the massive starship Helen of Troy, Zenn and Liam discover that rescuing Zenn’s father is just one task in a series of complex intergalactic challenges that involves a battle over trade routes, territory, and the interconnectedness of humans with all alien species.If that wasn’t enough to keep our attention, Zenn has plenty of opportunities to put her exoveterinary skills to work, such as by tending to the Captain’s ailing mudlark. These scenes remind us both of the extraordinary creatures in Zenn’s universe and how Zenn’s greatest weapon in all her battles is not a scrim-shield or a plasma stick, but empathy.Under Nameless Stars is an otherworldly adventure story that shows that even the smallest act of kindness can literally change the universe. Schoon is a careful writer, meticulously detailing his characters both physically and emotionally, making it easy for readers to connect with other-worldly creatures, such as the charming Jules Vancouver, a gambling-loving dolphin equipped with a walksuit.With so many characters and so many feats that require detailed explanation, there are passages where, like Zenn, Schoon seems to “sort of spew out information.” However these passages provide a nice respite in the action, allowing readers to catch their breath and take in the scenery.For readers of the first Zenn Scarlett novel, Under Nameless Stars proves to be a marvelous second act. Read more of my reviews at laurafarmerreviews.com
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  • Les Chroniques Aléatoires
    January 1, 1970
    Whereas the first book of the saga involved us in an incredible universe fills of aliens's creatures, Under Nameless Stars makes us travel and dream. At the same time as Zen we discover new races, new plots, new animals. Since the first pages, we finds ourself in full action. It's not only the rhythm that doesn't drop, we nerver get bored. The story begins again directly where it had stopped previously, on board of the spaceship "Helen of Troy". Zen is found once again mingled with a plot aiming Whereas the first book of the saga involved us in an incredible universe fills of aliens's creatures, Under Nameless Stars makes us travel and dream. At the same time as Zen we discover new races, new plots, new animals. Since the first pages, we finds ourself in full action. It's not only the rhythm that doesn't drop, we nerver get bored. The story begins again directly where it had stopped previously, on board of the spaceship "Helen of Troy". Zen is found once again mingled with a plot aiming at her. We appreciates to follow the things from her so sharp-edged point of view and at the same time innocent. Her refreshing youth gives a little naivety to her choices. She is however obstinate, sure of herself and her choices, and she is especially seasoned! Liam isn't a lot present here, but I really keep appreciating him. he is an young man in love, ready to do everything for the one he likes, ready to do anything to be forgiven. The new Zen's friend is the dolphin Jules, which lives, thinks and acts like human. He is an original character, whom we adores immediately. The same applies to the Indra's groom, Treth which adds action and severity too. All those characters brought together form an excellent group of attack and make the things more interesting. The intrigue turns obviously around the disappearance of Zenn's father and her own kidnapping. All those things hides many things which include much more characters than the exovet can think. She will be able to be make allies, to keep going and the enemies aren't always those that we believe. We understood rather quickly that it's her ability to interact with the animals that is at the heart of all. Under Nameless Stars is a good digest of science fiction which reminds me more than once Stargate-SG1. It is an excellent book which I really liked to read, that I enjoyed and who really made me dream. The end was a little destabilizing, I don't manage to see whether it was a definitive end or if there are a continuation. For my part I would love that was the case and I would jump on the next book.
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  • Online Eccentric Librarian
    January 1, 1970
    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ Zenn Scarlett's adventures conclude in Under Nameless Stars. As with the first book, the story continues the alien-veterinary focus but ups the ante by putting Zenn into space. Although the plot starts slowly, it builds in action by the halfway point and the last quarter of the book is a big ideas adventure.Plot: Zenn and Liam are aboard the Helen and now they need to survive as stowaways. Both will find different ways o More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ Zenn Scarlett's adventures conclude in Under Nameless Stars. As with the first book, the story continues the alien-veterinary focus but ups the ante by putting Zenn into space. Although the plot starts slowly, it builds in action by the halfway point and the last quarter of the book is a big ideas adventure.Plot: Zenn and Liam are aboard the Helen and now they need to survive as stowaways. Both will find different ways of avoiding the ship's stewards but neither know that they will soon find themselves at the center of a galaxy-wide plot. Betrayals, twists, and turns ensue.Under Nameless Stars adds some interesting new characters, including a dolphin in a walking suit with a very cute personality. But it also adds quite a few alien creatures and their backstories which admittedly does weigh down the story a bit too much. Aliens are good but we don't need to know their history, habitat, physiology, and comparison to Earth creatures. In fact, all the comparisons made me feel they were made up based upon an Earth creature; that took away a bit of the wonder since I'd like my aliens to be distinct and original and not a variation of an Earth creature.There are a lot of interesting ideas thrown about but they are perhaps underwhelming against a fairly simplistic plot and characters. I felt the ending was suitably epic and solid. This isn't a book driven by a soppy romance or overwrought emotions as with most YA novels but at the same time I would have liked to see more nuance to Zenn herself.In all, once it finally picked up halfway through, it was a fun adventure.Reviewed from an ARC.
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  • Timothy Pecoraro
    January 1, 1970
    I would first like to say that anyone who judges this book by it’s cover is in for a rude awakening. I can’t imagine that anyone who had read the book could have created such a cover; but hey, I’m no artist. Second, I would like to suggest both to the reader and to the publisher that this book belongs firmly in the Middle Grade Category. Third, I would like to dissuade anyone older than 15 from reading this book. The story is simplistic and very predictable. The characters are two dimensional, a I would first like to say that anyone who judges this book by it’s cover is in for a rude awakening. I can’t imagine that anyone who had read the book could have created such a cover; but hey, I’m no artist. Second, I would like to suggest both to the reader and to the publisher that this book belongs firmly in the Middle Grade Category. Third, I would like to dissuade anyone older than 15 from reading this book. The story is simplistic and very predictable. The characters are two dimensional, and some of the attempts at science fiction border on simply the fantastic rather than anything approaching what could possibly happen. I certainly don’t mind this sort of book from time to time. But I think I may have literally aged out of it. There was nothing new for me here and some of the plot twists that came out of no where just further served to make the rest of the book that much more predictable. The foreshadowing was foretelling, unless you have never read a genre fiction book before and if you are a fan of Harry Potter you might just want to pass this one up altogether because you will find the story to simplistic for your tastes. I could probably do a fair bit of beating up on this book, but I won’t bother. I’m not the intended audience and hopefully since the book is now in paperback; it will find it’s way to the Middle Grade shelves where it belongs. There is nothing intrinsically bad about the book. It’s just much too easy of a read for anyone looking for something in YA or adult genre fiction.
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  • Tomer
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second book of the series, which though I have not known this at the start of my reading, made some some of the first chapters to serve as a recap of what other readers may have found to be an obvious recap. For me it was useful and did not slow down the pace of the book, which is in general very light and flowing, while not making things too easy for our main character. The main strength of the book is the imaginative descriptions of the different Asents {Sentient Aliens}, which are This is the second book of the series, which though I have not known this at the start of my reading, made some some of the first chapters to serve as a recap of what other readers may have found to be an obvious recap. For me it was useful and did not slow down the pace of the book, which is in general very light and flowing, while not making things too easy for our main character. The main strength of the book is the imaginative descriptions of the different Asents {Sentient Aliens}, which are depicted with a skilled mind and a plethora of treats. Jules is an adorable character, which made it fun to imagine in my mind. I found it hard but to reminisce about down below of Babylon-5 in certain scenes or the navigators system of Dune with others. This book delves into the larger picture of the plot-line surely introduced in the first as it is revealed each faction's involvement. Personally I would have enjoyed knowing there is a third book, rather than tying up things too easily in a manner, which left some areas yet uncharted, hopefully this will be one assumption, which I {or Jules} will be happy to lose a bet on.
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  • Sylvia Becker
    January 1, 1970
    The first thing that I noticed in Christian Schoon’s Under Nameless Stars was the cover. With a cover like that, who can resist reading the book? This YA book is the sequel to Zenn Scarlett, and comes with an interesting and unique futurist science fiction setting.Under Nameless Stars is a fast-paced book that revolves around the adventures of Zenn Scarlett, the heroine in Schoon’s previous novel. In this instalment, she will try to know what has happened to her father, but then she will find he The first thing that I noticed in Christian Schoon’s Under Nameless Stars was the cover. With a cover like that, who can resist reading the book? This YA book is the sequel to Zenn Scarlett, and comes with an interesting and unique futurist science fiction setting.Under Nameless Stars is a fast-paced book that revolves around the adventures of Zenn Scarlett, the heroine in Schoon’s previous novel. In this instalment, she will try to know what has happened to her father, but then she will find herself in the middle of the action, where her choices may alter the course of history.Under Nameless Stars is a book with a great setting and interesting characters. It is a book for younger readers, so some of the extra explaining in the narrative is linked to that. Overall, it was a quick and engaging read, with amazing creatures and set over a fascinating science fiction backdrop.Full Review (Jetpack Dragons): http://www.jetpackdragons.com/2014/03...
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  • Nick
    January 1, 1970
    Under Nameless Stars ups the ante considerably over its predecessor, pitting Zenn Scarlett against a galaxy-wide conspiracy with none other than herself at the very center. With time in short supply, Zenn must use her exovet* skills in previously-unimagined ways if she is to survive.If anything, I liked this book even more than I did the original. The stakes are higher, the action is faster and the worldbuilding even more accomplished than before. Zenn remains a well-written and relatable protag Under Nameless Stars ups the ante considerably over its predecessor, pitting Zenn Scarlett against a galaxy-wide conspiracy with none other than herself at the very center. With time in short supply, Zenn must use her exovet* skills in previously-unimagined ways if she is to survive.If anything, I liked this book even more than I did the original. The stakes are higher, the action is faster and the worldbuilding even more accomplished than before. Zenn remains a well-written and relatable protagonist, and all of the side-characters are equally well-constructed. My only real issue concerns the sidelining of Liam: given how important he was in the first book, it was odd to see him given so little time here.Under Nameless Stars is a highly worthy sequel, and one that anyone who liked Zenn Scarlett ought to read immediately. Don’t try to start the series here, though: this book continues right from where the last one ended, and so really shouldn’t be read as a stand-alone.
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