Release date: April 1, 2014
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