Written by Romina Russell
Published by Razorbill, December 9, 2014
My star rating: 4.5 stars
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 Cancerian 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? Find it on Goodreads
GAHHH! How? How do I sum up my feelings about this book? I guess I could try, but I won’t guarantee my success! I don’t know how this book never made it on my radar until a couple weeks ago. Then all of a sudden it was everywhere and people who usually have issues with this genre were all raving about it. I gave in, ordered book one, and as soon as I read the prologue I was obsessed! That’s right, I didn’t even make it to chapter one before realizing that this book was going to be something special. This book was so great and I am absolutely regretting not getting book 2 at the same time!
First of all, this is by far one of the most complex worlds I’ve ever read! Romina Russell seriously needs to win an award for her accomplishments in world building!!! Zodiac is set in space and Earth is just a myth. Each astrological sign has its own planet, and each planet/sign is responsible and proficient in a certain area. For example, Cancer are the nurturers, Libra is justice, Capricorn is wisdom, Scorpio is innovation, and so on. Each planet is very different in their personalities, specialties, and descriptions. Our main character Rho travels some of these planets and the description of each of them is so vivid and outstanding. I wish we could have seen all of them but then the book would need to be about 1,999 pages long….. but there are sequels to this book so maybe I’ll see my sign Taurus? On top of all of those differences, each planet had it’s own technology which I found SO fascinating! The Cancer planet had a Wave to communicate while others had implants or tattoos. There were also different ways to greet each other on each planet…..
See what I mean?! So in depth! If this wasn’t written well then it would have been an absolute shit show to try and understand. So many elements thrown together and all of them so detailed. This shows how fantastic Romina is as a writer! Now because there were so many different elements, there was no way to lay it all out for the reader in the beginning. At times I felt a little left out and confused but I wasn’t mad about it. I knew that when the time came, the thing that I was questioning would be explained. One of the hardest things to understand (and also the most important to the plot) was the Psy. This was basically an intangible thing that you connected to with your mind and you were able to see things and converse with others that were connected. This was a main plot point and released information slowly. I still don’t understand it completely but it will be revealed as we learn more about the threat to Rho and the Zodiac as a whole.
The pace of this book was also expertly executed. It was fast when it needed to be, full of lots of twists and turns, but then slowed down to be more informative and descriptive when it needed to be. Yup, still kicking myself that I didn’t purchase book 2!
Ok, ok, there are a few tropes and the plot is predictable at times, but none of it mattered. The rest of the book was so fresh and unique that it made it all it’s own. Unfortunately where this book lost half a star was………. there is an *ahem* love triangle………. *insert my unimpressed face here* maybe there’s a point to these relationships later on down the line, but it was just blah. I like both of the people that Rho was interested in so I don’t care who she ends up with. Just pick one in the beginning and move on.
I wish I could say a lot more about this but it’s a book you need to let the author unravel for you. If you’re interested in a unique science fiction with INCREDIBLE world building, fast paced adventure, and a strong female protagonist that follows her heart – pick this one up! Even just attempt the prologue. I bet that if you finish the prologue you won’t be able to put this one down!!
Until next time, happy reading!