Monday, June 29, 2015

Zodiac (Zodiac #1)

Author: Romina Russell
Pages: 366
Goodreads rating: 3.68
 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?

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.

 Such a great book!! I absolutely love the astrology that was incorporated into it! In reading some other reviews about this book before I picked it up, I was saddened that some people didn't enjoy the book and will address some of the common points I saw here but I will say that this was a great read, especially if you are into astrology :)

Things start to go down pretty quick, which is always good for a hook, and they don't skimp on the back story. If you have too much back story, I find myself getting bored, but this offered just the right amount to leave me interested and slightly curious right out of the shoot. I was a little confused with some of the terminology (Lodestar, Psy and Ephemerias for examples), but hoped they would be explained later on (they were not in fact out right explained but you end up getting the gist of what they are from context).

The plot is also really interesting. I've mentioned already the aspect of astrology in the book and I think that this concept is really cool. Some people I noticed didn't share my appreciation for it, saying it wasn't a "science"-fiction book. Well, yeah... astrology isn't really science based but that doesn't mean it isn't a cool concept. In my mind its a blend between science-fiction and fantasy, which isn't really unheard of. The book takes astrological concepts like Cancers being nurturing, Geminis being imaginative and Aries being aggressive and makes them into personality traits for whole planets! There's a Cancer planet, a Taurus planet... all the constellations of the zodiac have their own planets. Now, I'm not sure if these planets reside in the actual constellations or if they are just named after the constellations (context drives me to think these people live in the actual constellations which, I admit is a little scientifically inaccurate but hey, that's where the fantasy part comes in). It was like reading a horoscope :) To continue with this idea, we see the villainous Ophiuchus, the zodiac sign associated with the apocalypse, coming into play to wreak havoc on the peaceful zodiac colonies.

The characters are actually really interesting as well. The main heroine, Rho, a Cancerian teenager who has an innate ability to read the stars, is really cool (and not just because she is a Cancer... I'm definitely not biased toward Cancers.... ;) ). She's strong and nurturing and really does embody the essence of her planet. She goes through a lot of hardships and just keeps on rolling. She doesn't give into peer pressure and sticks with her own beliefs no matter the ridicule. Very admirable. Hysan I also love jsut because he's charming and funny (always love that with a potential male lead) and Mathias is interesting in that big, strong, soldier type of way.

There is a love triangle for all you YA romance fans! I'm not big on romance so I was happy that it wasn't the main focus of the story and they gave you little tid bits here and there as opposed to shoving whole segments in your face. There are some more adult parts that make me recommend this to older adults but overall it's fairly PG-13.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book :) I loved going through all the tragedies and difficulties with Rho as she suffered through her planet getting attacked, not knowing if her family was alive, being torn down by other Guardians who don't believe that there is a monster trying to kill them all. The ending leaves you a little heartbroken but begging for more <3 Can't wait for the second one! There wasn't even much I didn't like about the book aside from some of the confusion over terminology.
Amy

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