by Romina Russell
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Razorbill (December 9, 2014)
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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?
First off, holy crapoly! You have one b-e-a-u-tiful cover! I love spacey type books, so I've had my eye on you for quite some time. Although, I'm still not positive what I think about you. Let me try to break down my thoughts into something a little coherent. I know I've been in a little bit of a reading slump, and it took me awhile to just sit myself down and read a lot of you at one time. So saying that, Zodiac, maybe that's why I don't feel as enthusiastic about you as I predicted I would.
Basically, you revolve around a sixteen year old girl named Rhoma Grace, who is a student at the Academy from House Cancer, but with her lack of using mathematical equations to back her predictions, Rho is sort of known as the dramatic class story teller until she predicts something bad happening to her home planet, and it does. Afterwards, Rho is surprisingly appointed Guardian of her house, which is basically like royalty, and then more freak disasters happen to other astrological house planets. She travels to several with her royal guard, Mathias, and a young envoy from House Libra, Hysan, to warn them of what is to come. Rho thinks the person behind it is from the Thirteenth house, which is a legend to most, and with Rho being the storyteller she is, the rest of the houses kind of have a hard time believing she is telling the truth.
I liked Rho, for the majority of the book, but at some points, she kind of irritated me with some of the decisions she made, which I can't really go into without spoilers, but she almost seemed immature at points, and I think a lot of that had to do with the LOVE TRIANGLE. Yes, Zodiac, you have quite the prevalent love triangle inside your pages, which I had no idea about. I'm utterly sick of love triangles these days. I'm cool with the whole "hey, this is my best guy friend" and "this is my best boyfriend interest". I LOVE THAT. I don't love when a character is in love with two people, despite all this other crap going on behind the scenes. A lot more needed to be focused on the plot than who Rho loved more. Mathias, at first, seemed like a mysterious guy who hinted at the possibility of making me swoon, until he turned into a meanie head, and then Hysan. Hysan surprised me. I wasn't expecting to like him as much as I ended up. He reminded me of Captain Thorne, but it took some time for me to get to that point.
I did put you down several times, Zodiac. I'm not going to lie. Not that you were boring at all though. Each of your chapters ends on a great hook that made me want to continue reading, but I've just been in a slump. At some points, I felt like you dragged a little bit, because you require a ton of world-building. I'm willing to give your sequel a chance, just because I know a little bit more about your world now after I've finished reading you than when I started. So fingers crossed on that.
I enjoyed visiting each and every planet they went to. They were each unique and different and interesting to read about. It was brilliant, and I could definitely tell your author put a lot of work into how much she thought about this galaxy (?). There is some mild references to sexual encounters and drugs, but nothing too in depth. It's only really hinted at for the most part, very light. Despite your clever hooks, interesting world-building, and all that jazz, I'm just not that crazy about you....right now. I think you have a lot of improvement ahead of you in the series, especially after that ending (!!!!!!!), but with how many times I stopped and started you and my utter dislike of the lovey dovey triangley thingys inside your pages, I'm going to have to leave you with three stars. I liked you. I enjoyed you. But....and this is a big but.....you just didn't amount to much when I compare you to my other highly rated books of this year. Don't take it too hard though, Zodiac, it's a tough group to be stacked up against. I'm anxiously awaiting to see what happens next though. You've got me hooked for book two! *pats on cover in congrats*
Thinking of what's in the stars for your,