Welcome to my stop on the #Zodiacbooks Readathon tour! Since Thirteen Rising by Romina Russell is coming out at the end of August (the 29th!), now is the perfect time for a reread, if you’ve read the series before, or if you’re new to the series, reading through with the rest of us and joining in on the chats and various creative posts.
Today I’m bringing you my review of the first book in the series, Zodiac, as well as a playlist that I created while listening to the book. As I was listening, each book synced up with a particular person or feeling within a part of the book. I hope you like the songs I chose as much as I did listening to them.
Published: 9 December 2014
Category: Young Adult/Fantasy/Sci-Fi
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.
Rating: 4 Stars
I used to be really into Zodiac mythology and could tell you quite a lot about it. While I don’t remember as much of that information as I’d like, I still find it fascinating to read about and finding Russell’s series inspired by the houses of the Zodiac was cool.
Each House has a different ideology that they hold close (Innovation, Curiosity, Spirituality, etc.) and what planet you’re born/what sign you’re born under dictates your future. When the intricacies of how this system worked was being explained right away in the novel Zodiac, I felt a bit overwhelmed. Some of the names were difficult to keep track of, that sort of thing, but once I got past that and the story delved into characters and their personal stakes in the events of the plot, I felt like I was on better ground, though the whole using the stars to see the future ability that the Heads of House have is still a bit rough for me to grasp.
There are some similarities, I thought, to other YA books in the separating of a society into Houses/Factions/Districts that prize some characteristic or skill above another, but even with that in mind, I felt that Russell managed to make this story her own.
As far as characterization went, I liked that I could see how the people I met could clearly fit into their own Zodiac Houses (like Rho’s Sagittarius friend), but they didn’t feel like stereotypes.
The plot was steady, I’ll say. There were some moments when it felt like things were dragging on a bit, going slow, but even in those moments I as the reader was learning something that came up later so those times weren’t totally wasted, even if they felt a bit stressful in the moment.
Rho’s story, and that of the mysterious Thirteenth House, is far from over, and I really don’t know what Russell will do with the rest of the series.
There were a lot of intense moments in this novel and I had fun choosing songs for them, even if some were more difficult than others. I created a Spotify playlist to share with everyone with my choices for Zodiac’s soundtrack.
About the Author
Romina Russell (aka Romina Garber) is a Los Angeles based author who originally hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a teen, Romina landed her first writing gig—College She Wrote, a weekly Sunday column for the Miami Herald that was later picked up for national syndication—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. When she’s not working on ZODIAC, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.
ZODIAC REREAD SCHEDULE:
GIVEAWAY LEGAL COPY:
Enter for a chance to win either one (1) grand prize set of Romina Russell’s Zodiac Series in paperback, including Zodiac, Wandering Star, and Black Moon (32.97) or to be one (1) of five (5) second place winners to receive a copy of Zodiac by Romina Russell (ARV: $10.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on June 26th, 2017 and 12:00 AM on July 17, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about July 21, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.