Zodiac by Romina Russell | Review

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Title: Zodiac (Zodiac, Book 1)
Author: Romina Russell
Publisher: Razorbill, December 2014
Genre: Young Adult – Science Fiction
Page Count: 336
My Rating: 3 stars
Where to Purchase: Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes and Noble

Summary (From goodreads):

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?

Embark on a dazzling journey with ZODIAC, the first novel in an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs.

My thoughts:

When I heard about this book being released, I was very intrigued. I found the premise of a science fiction book based on the zodiac to be so interesting. Overall, there were a few high points in this story surrounded by low points.

This book felt broken up into three distinct parts. The beginning was engaging, but I found myself a little lost. Rho definitely has “special snowflake” syndrome. There is a back story regarding her abilities and such later on in the story, but it still wasn’t enough for me to find what occurs with her throughout the story to be believable.

I had (and still have) a lot of hope for this world. There is a lot of world building in the book, because of all the different planets and worlds of the galaxy being so different, but at times it felt very info-dumpy. We get to see so many parts of this world, and I found myself getting confused at times, and just being given too much unneeded information. But the imagery we do get of the worlds is beautiful and very unique. I imagined this world in a beautiful CGI style. I will say that if this book included a map, that would be very helpful.

WARNING: Love triangle. There is a love triangle in this series that I do not feel is very well done. One love interest feels very much like insta-love (they have “known” each other for years but have never once spoken) and the other love interest is a kind of insta-lust (which is more bearable.) But overall, the love triangle aspect felt very unnecessary.

Given Rho’s special snowflake nature that I mentioned before, I found it very hard to connect to the characters in this story. I felt that Rho made a lot of unrealistic decisions and jumped between feeling like a teenager and an old wise woman. There wasn’t a ton of consistency or believability. I did very much enjoy one of the love interests, who reminds me of a Hans Solo type character (my favorite) and hope to see more of him in the future books.

The last 50 pages or so were a whirlwind, and made up for a lot of the book. Those last 50 pages are the reason I plan to continue on with the next books in the series. Some of the events that happened made me think there is a possibility of me enjoying the future of the series. There is a 50/50 chance at this point. I’m willing to take that chance, because of the originality of the world and plot.

Let me know if you have read Zodiac and what you thought of it!

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