Mini-review: Under Nameless Stars by Christian Schoon

Mini-review: Under Nameless Stars by Christian Schoon
Under Nameless Stars
Zenn Scarlett #2
by Christian Schoon

Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publication date: April 1st, 2014
by Strange Chemistry

Format: eARC


Amazon | Book Depository

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.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

It’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.

Rating Report
Overall: 1.9
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Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).


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  1. says

    So sorry this didn’t interest you that much, hon. Dolphins? Like.. actual dolphins? Wow. I used to be obsessed with them. Yikes! I can see why you didn’t love this one. I totally get what you’re saying by not having any particular feelings for anything. Eh.. I hope you find a read that will satisfy you in every aspect possible :)
    Siiri recently posted…Review: Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha YoungMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      I like aliens but there are so few circumstances where they are actually done well.
      Thanks Carmel! :)

    • Rashika says

      Same here but I still try to continue if it’s a short book or I am interested in knowing how things are resolved.
      Thanks Janina! :)

  2. says

    I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy this one as much as the predecessor, Rashika. It’s always the worst when you’re bored while reading. That’s why I always abandon a book if I feel like I’m getting bored. Books are meant to be fun.
    Speaking of evolving as a reader. I find that happens to me a lot too. I’ll re-read a book that I’ve previously enjoyed and wonder why on earth I even liked it in the first place. I guess the more books we read, the more different our tastes get.
    I hope your next book is a good one.
    Great review!
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Review : Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne BlankmanMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      yeah :/ I am not sure how I feel about evolving though :P on one hand it makes me feel wiser but on the other hand ALL THAT DISAPPOINTMENT *sigh*

      Thanks Nick! :)

  3. says

    It really sucks when you enjoy the first book in series and then after a year or so you get to read the sequel and you constantly ask yourself what the hell did I like in the first one. I’m sorry that this happened here girl. I know how it is when you’re going through a book without paying much attention whatsoever. Great review, Rashika :)
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  4. says

    I think its worst when you’re so bored with book, you just don’t have much to say and the fact that its so unintersting that you jusy have to skim it. At least when you hate a book, there are times when you get so passionate about hating it. You’re ranting, but hey. Youre still talking about it. That’s better than not caring much about the book, and not even remember much detail. Hateful book is better than forgettable book IMO :) great review Rashika!
    Amir recently posted…Review: Mistaken Identity by Breah EliseMy Profile

  5. says

    I think I commented on how…aimless? the plot for the first one was, so it’s disappointing but not surprising to hear that that trend continues with the sequel. A part of me is interested enough to see what happens next, and the other part of me thinks I’ve become too much of a critical reader to be able to get past the issues I know I’ll find.
    Kelly recently posted…Pretty Little Discussion: Seeing RedMy Profile

  6. says

    This is the EXACT problem I had with the first book! The author just spent WAYYY too much time on the world building and it kind of just dominates the entire book, leaving pretty much no interesting plot. I thought this problem would go away in the second book (seeing as though usually authors do less world building in sequels) but it seems like it doesn’t. Definitely not going to bother with it then!
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  7. says

    I haven’t heard of this series before and honestly don’t think I’ll be giving it a shot. It’s the absolute worst when you love the first book of a series but then the second ends up being such a disappoint. Middle book syndrome is truly a huge issue /:

    A DOLPHIN AS A CHARACTER?!?! wtf. I literally just burst into laughter. Dolphins are super smart and graceful creatures so being portrayed as silly would be annoying. Really though, I wouldn’t be able to get over the oddness of a dolphin being a actual character. Not that I have anything against them, they’re awesome creatures. It’s just odd lol, most likely due to the addition of a gambling problem um what!?

    Being disengaged from the plot is a recipe for disaster. I definitely do understand that feeling though, and also that feeling where you just don’t know what to say about the book. You’re just so apathetic to it that you can’t even form coherent sentences about it.

    Love this review! (: