Zodiac

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Goodreads Summary:

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.

I have to start with this disclaimer: I don’t like Rho. I can’t really identify her voice, and she lacks empathy, which I think hurts her efforts to assert herself as someone trustworthy and capable of leading throughout the story.

Overall my feelings were that Rho was obnoxiously stubborn and indecisive. “I love him, no I don’t!” “I want to save the world, I’m not cut out for this!” Blahblahblah. She was either whining the whole time or refusing to listen to anyone because she knows best. The love triangle was horrid. I usually always side with the first guy unless the author really sways me (like Peeta was the obvious choice, I thought the Shatter Me series did a fantastic job, Snow Like Ashes still needs to convince me). Anyway, I like Mathais, but I tend to be one for the strong silent type anyway. You can’t expect someone to change their personal beliefs at the snap of a finger, yet that’s exactly what Rho does, and she’s ignoring that he’s still trying to support her in the ways he knows how. She says he doesn’t trust her, but I don’t think that’s it, I think she just doesn’t understand her goals or how he feels about her – or her about him for that matter. And the other one, Hysan, just didn’t do anything for me, he’s nice I guess, but there is something about him that I can’t connect with, and because he’s also guardian they are forbidden to be together, but Rho is so selfish she doesn’t seem care – because he “understands” the challenges she’s facing.

The only pros are the idea in general and world building. There was way too much focus on relationships. She’s busy swooning over guys then makes comments about how she doesn’t have time for them. This could also be the writing as well, there was something off about it, I’m sure it will improve though as it’s Russell’s debut. The whole concept though is very intriguing and she does a great job at world building, everything is so different in each galaxy – yet still, something fell flat in the delivery. I’m not sure if I will be continuing this series, I’ll have to wait and see the reviews for the second one. If it doesn’t get rid of the superfluous information (like how she’s a drummer, which is referenced about 3 times the whole book and never made sense to me), provide more distinctive voices for the characters, and bring Mathias back then I don’t think I’ll be able to keep going with this.

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