THIRTEEN RISING (Zodiac #4)
Written by Romina Russell
Published by Razorbill, August 29, 2017
My star rating: 3.5 stars
The master has been unmasked. Rho’s world has been turned upside down. With her loved ones in peril and all the stars set against her, can the young Guardian from House Cancer muster the strength to keep fighting? Or has she finally found her match in a master whose ambition to rule knows no limits? Find it on Goodreads
Oh so many mixed feelings about this conclusion! But before I get into my thoughts on this book specifically, I just want to say that I am now a HUGE fan of Romina Russel’s writing. This series is one of the most complex stories I’ve ever read! She seamlessly and flawlessly wrote an entire galaxy, full of planets based on zodiac signs, with each planet being completely unique in their ways, strengths, technologies and ways of life. There was never a time were I was confused or all of this felt “Info dumpy”. In fact, I craved more detail! This world was just everything!!
Now, getting into this book specifically. This was the concluding book to the Zodiac series and I was a little nervous to get to it – because I didn’t want it to be over! The first 3 books were so close to perfection and if I put it off then it didn’t have to end. But my curiosity got the best of me and I finished it. Sadly, it was a little underwhelming in comparison to the first three books. It’s going to sound like I have a lot of negative opinions. Yes, and no. It’s just easier to express the things I felt this book lacked. But I actually liked it and was SOOOOO glad that I took a chance on this series!
First of all, the pace of the first 60% of this book was just so slow. It seemed that forward plot movement was at a snails pace and focused mainly on Rho. She has lost a lot and struggles through the series and, finally, in this book, she’s reached the end of her rope and breaks. UNDERSTANDABLE! I would have broken a long time before she did. But because of her lack of motivation and inability to move past her pain and grief, we we unable to move forward with the story. The first half of the book was following her decisions and how she was going to move forward. It’s a backwards character arc that needed to happen, but at the same time it made the book drag. Being inside of her head while she was dealing with these emotions was a little confusing as well. She was working through her loss while at the same time considering what her next step was going to be and if she cared enough to make the move. She was confused and was fighting her own demons for the majority of the time so as a reader we weren’t able to get our bearings either.
Possibly my biggest issue with this book was the romance. The romance itself wasn’t bad but the relationship between her and Hysan in this book was just toxic. I felt as though he was too good for her. Ok not really, but the way she treated him and her inability to come to terms with her feelings was just getting on my nerves. He was nothing but amazing and supportive and she always found a way to throw it in his face. Yes, his actions were cause for trust issues, but so were hers. She validated her misdeeds by saying “he did it first” essentially. It was all very juvenile. (No this isn’t a spoiler as this happens in all the other books and in the first few chapters of this book.) The two of them never seemed to be on the same page and it was just awkward….. Hysan is one of my all time favourite men in books! His character arc in this one was fantastic!
Once we got into the second half of this book things got back to the usual pace. There was still a little less action compared to the first 3 books, but it was quick enough to push me forward and want to know more. It was a little more of a personal and emotional conclusion. I was expecting something action packed and brutal (yes it was still both of these) but it was full of more heart, love, sacrifice, and understanding than I was expecting. This was a pleasant surprise actually!
I love that this books central focus was about unity. It was about bringing thirteen planets together that had found a way to divide. It was also about unity with family and friends, and that you’re never truly alone. All of the characters throughout were so different. Each planet was unique in their strengths and personalities and it was a beautiful thing to see them come together and start to view those differences as something that adds to their views and opinions.
Like I said, I’m so very glad that this series came upon my reading radar and I took a chance on it! This was a fantastic series!
Until next time, happy reading!