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YA Space Adventure | Book Review: Zodiac by Romina Russell

Zodiac is a bit of a mixed bag…

Book Review:Zodiac by Romina Russell

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zodiac romina russell book review

Title & Author: Zodiac by Romina Russell

Genre: Young Adult – Science Fiction

Release Date: December 9, 2014

Series: Zodiac #1

Publisher: Razorbill

How I Got the Book: ARC via the Publisher

Description:

“At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain….

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancrian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?”

What’s Your Sign?

This book is 100 percent unique. Mixing stereotypes and science fiction, Zodiac was exciting if a little confusing at times.

Zodiac is what it sounds like – a physical representation of our Zodiac signs if they were people (kind of like Divergent factions) grouped by personality type. The 12 zodiac houses reside on different planets, and our girl Rho is a Cancer who’s about to be thrust into a leadership role she’s a little under-equipped for.

There was a lot I liked about this book! And, then a few things that I didn’t like but that highly impacted my enjoyment of the book overall.

Let’s start with the positives – I loved the space travel and futuristic setting of Zodiac. Because the different houses are in trouble, Rho leads a small team (including her long-time crush Mattias) to different zodiac home planets.

It was really fun reading about the leaders who live in all the very different locations – especially this weird brother/sister team on Gemini.

About Matthias – that brings me to the romance portion of the book. There is a love triangle that is pretty hardcore. There’s no avoiding it, and although it didn’t bother me, if you don’t like them then this one might annoy you.

And, I also really liked Rho as a leader. She believes in herself, makes tons of mistakes on the way, but her Cancrian values really see her through the tough times. Plus, she’s headstrong which also leads to fun adventures.

Now for the bad…So, there’s a huge element to the book that is pretty confusing. I forget exactly what it’s called but basically, all members of the zodiac can access a part of space that can help them read the stars. A prediction that Rho makes using this “force” is what kicks all the action off at the start of the book.

The thing is, it’s very poorly described and whenever it came up, I ended up skimming over the sections because it was so complex and difficult to understand.

For me, this was kind of a big thing. It kept frustrating me that I didn’t understand, and it distracted me from the parts of the story I was really enjoying.

And strike two was the love triangle and certain things that were huge oversights. Ugh. Love should enhance a story, not take away from it.

OVERALL:

The unique twist on science fiction with a larger than life representation of the zodiac signs helped me mostly enjoy this debut YA series. However, a complicated aspect of the book that was poorly explained left me frustrated and unsatisfied. The jury’s out on whether I’ll pick up the sequel or not. Zodiac is for lovers of space travel, intense love triangles and headstrong heroines.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

    *wailing noises of indecision* I’m so so excited for this one but the love triangle is kind of concerning… Though I do like a few triangles, maybe this will be another. And I do love space travel and headstrong heroines.

    I think I still need to read it 😉

  • Mawa Mahima

    Hmm…the zodiac-centered characters were what pulled me in…but I’m not a fan of love triangles (and long complicated “forces”) so I don’t know whether I’ll like the book or not…hmm (maybe I’d read it…maybe).