Thursday, June 26, 2014

Zodiac by Romina Russell

Genre:  YA Science Fiction
Expected publication date:  December 9, 2014

Description (taken from Goodreads):
At the dawn of time, there were thirteen Houses in the Zodiac galaxy. Now, only twelve remain. . . .

In the Zodiac galaxy, your astrological sign determines everything about you. The stars tell the story of your life, and nothing—and nobody—is real unless you can actually touch them.

It’s a galaxy divided, where personalities clash and suspicions run high. Everyone is a potential enemy, so it’s best to stick to your kind. Hard-working realists in House Virgo scoff at sweet-talking Librans, who use stellar social skills to climb to the top. And while the brooding twins of House Gemini take forever to make a decision, optimistic Sagittarians hop from adventure to adventure without a thought.

House Cancer prizes loyalty and honesty above all else. When an unforeseen catastrophe strikes their ocean planet, the stars select sixteen-year-old Rho as their new Guardian. Rho suspects an ancient, power-hungry evil of legend has returned to exact revenge across the entire Zodiac. But Rho is an unknown novice and one of the youngest Guardians ever. Who should believe her?

And with the stars anywhere but in her favor, how can Rho defeat an enemy she can’t touch?

This first book of an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series takes place in a galaxy inspired by the twelve astrological signs—rendered with stunning complexity that both transports readers to a fascinating new world and holds up a mirror to reflect how we can better know each other in our own.

While this book heavily focuses on the astrological signs, it is not an educational book that goes in-depth on the separate signs leaving you with an educated understanding of the zodiac.  Instead, this is a science-fiction fantasy that revolves around the Zodiac (yeah baby!).  Set in a galaxy that has 12 separate sections with their own planets that represent the different astrological signs.  And the descriptions of these different worlds are very clever.  As much as I could just live in the planets' descriptions, I need to tell you about the story.

Rho, a young Cancrian, is set to perform with her fellow bandmates during the Lunar Quadract.  But the plan turns upside down once Cancer's moons start blowing up and leaving their orbit.  This massacre causes thousands of deaths, including Cancer's current Guardian.  But the stars have pointed out the next Guardian: Rho.  And a lot of people are skeptical of her because of her age and her abilities to see things in the stars that no one else can see.  As this leads her to the thirteenth house, she finds she must unite the houses together to defeat those trying to destroy the Zodiac.  And along the way, she meets some really cool friends along with the dreaded foes.

I must admit, this fantasy world was difficult for me to get into.  There were new terms thrown left and right that left me spinning and trying to keep it all together and follow the story.  But as soon as Rho was coronated as Guardian, the book picked right up and my head was spinning with the story and what happened next.  As they travel from planet to planet, I watched how different Zodiac societies reacted and treated their citizens.  I also got to meet some lovely characters in this story.  There's just a few people you need to meet in this world and a lot of scenery to see on the way.

An original piece that ties the stars together.  My only regrets is I didn't get to see all of the separate houses more in-depth (you know, I did want to see more of my Piscean heritage).  I think science-fiction lovers, especially the space lovers, are going to enjoy this one.

Thanks goes to Around the World ARC Tours for providing me a review copy.

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