A Review of Zodiac, by Romina Russell
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
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 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?
Okay, let me just start by saying: The cover is GORGEOUS! I saw it on a recent trip to a nearby Barnes and Noble. I picked it up. I stared at the cover. I put it back down and walked away. Five minutes later, I picked it up again and read the inside cover before putting it back and walking away. Before I left, I picked it up at least two more times…and finally decided not to put it back down. Right now, I’m glad I did.
Right away, I knew this book would interest me. While I’m not necessarily one to condone things like astrology and horoscopes, I am interested in the different signs and the different ways people born under those signs react to the world, to trouble, and to others. This book takes those ideas–personality traits, instincts, whatever you want to call them–and brings them more fully to life (mainly, by separating and segregating each sign to it’s own “house,” sort of like the worlds of Divergent or Harry Potter.)
That being said, I was intrigued by the story and the characters that Romina Russell introduces us to. The love triangle seemed a bit…cliche, and the writing in places is more TELLING than SHOWING, which I had a hard time getting around. But the plot is solid, and I’m not a scientist, so I wasn’t bogged down by “inconsistencies” or “unrealistic science,” which made reading this easier, I think.
While I’d have preferred , perhaps, moments where Rho pulled out of her own angst-ridden, confused, hurting self-scope and shown us more of the world around her (the moments where she focuses on other people, other houses, other worlds–even the moments where true wisdom shines through her deep grief–were some of the best written), I feel over all the writing is solid and the story/characters are unique enough to call to lovers of science fiction and speculative fiction alike.
This is a story worth taking the time to read thoroughly and enjoy; the characters will grip, the story will twist, and the ending will quite possibly tear you apart…and leave you desperate for more.
Highly recommend this read from a promising (and fairly new) author!