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Zodiac by Romina Russell

Zodiac (edition 2015)

by Romina Russell (Author)

Series: Zodiac (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
5201737,890 (3.71)None
When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens, Rhoma Grace, a sixteen-year-old student from House Cancer, must convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac against Ophiuchus, the exiled thirteenth Guardian of Zodiac legend, who has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy.… (more)
Authors:Romina Russell (Author)
Info:Razorbill (2015), Edition: Reprint, 480 pages
Collections:Your library

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Zodiac by Romina Russell


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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Interesting new sci-fi world, based on the star systems of the zodiac. There was a little too much dramatic zooming around the universe and mooning over potential mates, but pretty cool on the whole.

Advanced reader copy provided by edelweiss. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
I’ve been anticipating reading Zodiac for a while, so this book had a lot to live up to. I really liked it, fully acknowledging that there are things about it that just aren’t perfect. It’s the conviction, the constant movement, and the universe of the Zodiac that really got me. This book doesn’t give you a lot of time to adjust before it takes you off running.

Zodiac begins with the anticipation of an exam and band performance, but quickly explodes into a galactic terrorist attack and the struggle to convince seasoned politicians to do the right thing even if it’s difficult to understand. Rho, a Cancerian, is joined by her chief advisor, a “diplomatic emissary” from the Libra constellation, and at first one of the twins from Gemini seeking to warn the other Zodiac Houses. And so it begins.

The beginning and the ending were my least favorite parts of Zodiac. The book sets up a typical YA underdog situation focusing on teen life, but immediately throws that away for the greater plot. The ending pulls out a common trope used in first books that, in many ways, makes the events of the entire book feel pointless other than world building and character introductions.

Rhoma Grace is an okay character, but she’s nothing special. Zodiac is more plot-centric than character-centric, so we don’t have a lot of time to think about how two-dimensional Rho is while reading – there’s far too much going on. Much of what we know about Rho, Nishi, Mathais, and Hysan is told to us in dialogue. Rho has some flashbacks that give us context, particularly earlier in the book. We know she cares for her family and loves her planet and her Sign, but otherwise, we don’t know much about Rho. We don’t know what drives her, what makes her happy, what makes her sad. Her reactions are blindly driven by a singular focus on her task – something even the Jury at Libra’s Embassy notes. If you’re looking for deep, complex characters… look elsewhere.

The world of the Zodiac really interests me. The various Houses have been thought out in detail – everything to the different terminology they use for communication devices to the way they say hello and goodbye. Each house embodies a different trait and each Guardian – for how little we see most of them – is distinguished and unique. The atmosphere and temperament of each of the planets is extremely different. We even learn a bit about lifestyles in Gemini and Virgo. Altogether, it was the world building and the plot that kept me so curious and engaged. Every time Rho and her companions landed on a new planet, I wanted to know everything.

In addition, the plot tugs you forward as the passengers of the Equinox struggle to stay ahead of Ochus and his Psy attacks. Whether it’s a one-on-one battle or a planet-wide attack, there’s a lot happening in Zodiac. You root for Rho not because you’re loyal to her, but because she’s the only one trying to stop the destruction. There’s not enough time for Zodiac to get boring because every handful of chapters, there’s a new problem or a new place they have to go. I thought the pacing was really quick, but I liked it this way because in Zodiac, that added to the urgency.

If you’re a character-driven reader, you may not enjoy Zodiac. But I recommend you give it a try if you’re into science fiction and mythology and like a good action story! It’s loads of fun. Will be reading on for sure. ( )
  Morteana | Feb 6, 2022 |
2.5 stars

There was potential here, but the love triangle was inane and completely unnecessary to the story. In the first half I felt that some things were rather contrived and forced. It was a bit better later, so 2.5, but in the end, it was a 2 star experienced for me. My library network has only the first two books in this series, so I am guessing that they didn't circulate enough for the libraries to keep buying them, or else there was too long of a gap in between books.

I also wasn't that thrilled with some of the character development and the uneven world building.

Most of all, I think there was too much of many things to make this as good as it could have been. ( )
  Karin7 | Nov 20, 2021 |
I didn't hate this book, but I really didn't love it. I don't read a lot of high fantasy, so I think that, in part, it just wasn't to my taste. However, I generally found this book to be rather mediocre. While it was thrilling and fast-paced, the plot was so predictable and so unremarkable that I was not truly able to get engrossed in the story. This novel had the worst, most incessant love triangle that I have ever endured. It truly dominated the story. However, I found the men involved to be quite an improvement upon the usual options. They found a way to empower and assist the female protagonist while respecting her decisions and her agency.
The real strong point was the world building in this novel. Russell gives so much detail about the Zodiac without causing the story to drag or become dry, and she creates a very well-rounded representation. She deftly incorporates history, setting, culture, religion, values, and deviations from the norm into the quickly developing adventure story. While I found some of her choices to be hokey or cheesy, I can't resist being impressed the carefully planned and presented universe that she created.

I was allowed to read this book early and free through the Penguin First to Read program. ( )
  CassandraNicole | Apr 22, 2021 |

I started off hating this book. The first couple of chapters were bad. Girl and friends are in band and then BAM! something bad happens and she gets made leader of the whole House (constellation), despite being a student still and having zero leadership qualities.

That being said, the book did get so much better. I loved getting to see the different constellations and how day to day life and personal qualities varied so much. The world and story had a lot of potential, but I felt that it fell a little flat. The revelations about the Zodiac's past and the threat and build up of war is what kept me hooked and the ending actually hurt me a bit.

The choice to make Rhoma a House Guardian despite having zero qualifications, and then expecting her to do well, seemed like a monumentally stupid thing to do. Nearly everyone around her would have made a better guardian than her, but hey, it's a YA story. Also, the damn love triangle in this book was pretty forced and Rhoma made stupid decisions there too.

Despite hating the love triangle, I enjoyed the characters of Matthias and Hysan, Matthias being my favorite character over all, at least until the end. He seemed level-headed with the best interests of his House and those around him at the top of his priorities. Towards the end though, he kind of fell apart because of feelings towards Rhoma. I thought he had control of himself when it came to her, but apparently not.

Hysan was a funny character and enjoyed getting to learn a little of his backstory, his actions concerning Rhoma were reckless. Only his feelings and responsibilities towards his House came first (which I applaud). Certain scenes with him and Rhoma felt extremely forced and rushed.

Over all, I will probably pick up the sequel because this one kind of ended on a cliff hanger and tense moment.

( )
  Moore31 | Feb 25, 2018 |
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When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens, Rhoma Grace, a sixteen-year-old student from House Cancer, must convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac against Ophiuchus, the exiled thirteenth Guardian of Zodiac legend, who has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy.

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