Title & Series: ZODIAC (Zodiac #1)
Author: Romina Russell
Release date: December 9, 2014
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
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.
Note: The review is based on a finished copy received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.
Action-packed, riveting, epic and original, ZODIAC is the first book in a new series of the same name that invites readers to explore a fascinating and intriguing world that is elaborate, unique and incredibly imaginative. It delivers a story filled with nail-biting suspense, deadly battles, catastrophic loss, devastation, deception, and heartbreak and introduces a heroine strong enough to fight, to stand up against those that doubt her, and to pick herself back up after she’s been knocked down.
Rhoma Grace barely had time to recover from the fallout from the explosion on Thebe that left most everyone at the Academy on Elara dead and her home, House Cancer, ravaged, let alone mourn their loss, before being asked to step in as her House’s next Guardian. Young and untrained, she’s not sure she’s the right person to read the stars and lead her people. Especially when no one else sees what she sees in her readings.
But with no other options, no home to return to, and her family’s whereabouts unknown, she has nothing left to lose by saying yes. Except for her life, the lives of everyone counting on her to keep them safe, the entire Zodiac.
Romina Russell has built a world, a galaxy, a universe, that is utterly enthralling and hugely inventive. One that is filled with a vast array of interesting characters whose customs, behaviors and appearances vary widely from House to House. She has created a story that is constructed from myth that is not commonly used as a basis for stories in the genre. Myth that she expanded upon, made exciting, made her own.
She brought the Zodiac to life. She developed each House, its landscape and its citizens – some beautiful, whimsical, fantastical, others peaceful, others practical, others disturbing, others dangerous. She created Houses that could be trusted and others that are suspect. And she introduced an enemy that could unite or destroy them all.
ZODIAC is an amazing story that is rich with detail, exploding with possibility, filled with heart-stopping danger, thrilling adventures, swoon-worthy romance, and grievous loss. It is a daring and refreshingly different story with a likable and fearless heroine and two loyal and protective heroes that will hold readers captive from beginning to end. It’s an outstanding story that will be unputdownable.
It is a must read first book in this series that is absolutely mind-blowing.
Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.