Zenn Scarlett is an exovet in training on Mars. She works with her uncle Otha in the Cloisters, which is part monastery part animal hospital. Her mother was killed in a freak accident and her father has taken off because he can’t deal. Zenn and her uncle work on alien animals some as large as buildings in the clinic. They are under pressure because the bills are mounting up and the city council is threatening to revoke their lease. Then all kinds of strange “accidents” occur which make the animals look dangers and the staff incompetent. In addition to Zenn and her uncle, Hamish, a human size bug alien also works at the clinic. And local boy Liam has started helping out. Zenn has to figure out who is sabotaging them and make sure they don’t loose their land.
For some reason this book took forever for me to read. It wasn’t bad exactly, it just wasn’t very exciting. For the most part the book is about Zenn working on animals and struggling against her uncle’s restrictions. There is mention of tensions with Earth, ships going missing, and conspiracies galore, but these are not fully explained or developed. This is clearly the start of a series since it ends on a cliffhanger, but I wish more time had been spent on the world building and developing the overall arc of the series instead of describing each and every alien creature in detail. I was fascinated by Zenn’s connection to the animals and the politics between Mars and Earth. Hopefully these things will be developed more in the next book.
I received this book from the publishers on Netgalley.com.