Book Review: Zodiac – Romina Russell

Z o d i a c  ~  R o m i n a  R u s s e l l

P u b l i s h e d ~ D e c e m b e r  9 t h   2 0 1 4  ~ R a z o r b i l l

~ M y  R a t i n g ~ 🌸🌸🌸🌸

~ M y  S y n o p s i s ~

Rhoma ‘Rho’ Grace is a sixteen-year-old student of House Cancer, one of the twelve thirteen houses in the galaxy. Rho, having always been scrutinised for her ‘unique’ technique when reading the stars, was reluctant to share her findings when she foresaw an unexplained, sinister black matter in the stars. That is, until disaster struck her home planet, its surrounding moons, thousands of citizens and the beloved Cancerian guardian. In the midst of tragedy, after some tests and much debate, Rhoma Grace is crowned as the guardian successor; none more surprised than she. Rho vows to protect her house, no mater the cost.

As the other houses in the Zodiac fall victim to whatever attacked house Cancer, Rho begins to see a pattern in the stars. After much research, gruelling training and self discovery, Rho suspects the most unexpected, unthinkable enemy. Could the legend of Ophiuchus, the exiled guardian of the thirteenth house really be more than just a children’s tale?

Accompanied by Mathias Thais – fellow Cancerian, guide, member of the Royal Gaurd and from-a-distance childhood crush and the unexpected Hysan Dax – a mysterious, charismatic, young representative of House Libra, Rho makes it their mission to navigate the Zodiac to warn the other Houses, before it’s too late. Alas, of course it’s not that simple. Who will believe the new, inexperienced, young guardian telling tales of a childhood bogeyman? Who can she truly trust? Is there enough time for Rho to unite the twelve houses before chaos strikes on a catastrophic scale? Travel through space and time to discover new worlds, internal battles of all kinds and physical conflict, too.

~ O v e r a l l  I m p r e s s i o n  /  R e v i e w ~

Let me start by saying that when I first started this book, I was a little overwhelmed. I don’t usually seek out sci-fi as a genre, in fact I tend to avoid it altogether. The book contains a lot of language that’s hard to pronounce, let alone understand as an actual concept. It got a little easier to understand going forward but I did find myself kind of skipping over words and sentences. However, the cover, the plot, in fact the title alone was enough to entice me to keep reading. I’m so glad I persevered, too.

I’ve always, always been fascinated by astrology and zodiac signs. Does that mean I believe that our futures are determined simply by the date we are born? Nope! It’s just a bit of fun and it’s nice to feel a sense of belonging… fictional and otherwise. Which brings me nicely to my first point. The lil’ mention of Capricorn in this book alone brings me sosososo much joy. I find Capricorn to be one of the least talked about zodiac signs in general life, so even seeing it mentioned has me like yaaaasss!!! #Cap4lyf. I love how fast paced the story is! Also, the vividness of each world and how each environment rings true with the glimpse we get of each fundamental personality/attribute relating to each zodiac sign/house is to die for. For example, earthly Capricorn being known as the wisest of the thirteen twelve houses which, by the way, I LOVE.

Any book set in Dystopian/Utopian universes that include some form of factions/houses/groups of which certain people belong while others belong to another has my name all over it. Throw a love triangle in there and there you have it, my ultimate guilty pleasure. Don’t even get me started on Hysan Dax. *😍insert heart eye emoji here x1000😍* I’m a sucker for a cheeky, anything goes, I’ll-follow-you-to-the-end-of-the-universe-and-give-you-the-world kinda man. On the other hand, brooding, serious, by the book, I’m-going-to-doubt-everything-you-do-but-still-remain-by-your-side Mathias, eh. Zzzzz. Not so much. Although, I have a sneak suspicion she’ll end up with Mathias in the end, anyway. Hysan (aka Logan Huntzberger – Gilmore Girls played by Matt Czuchry, in my mind) is just too perfect; it’s a little suspicious to me.

Whilst I’m on the topic of characters, let’s take a sec to talk about our protagonist, Rhoma Grace. Ah, the ‘everlasting flame that can’t be put out’ according to snooze fest Mathias. To be honest, Mathias is so bland that I’m not surprised he thinks so. In my opinion, Rho is more kindred with a wet blanket. The super special sixteen year old girl that’s more equipped to save the world than literally anyone else in the entire universe has little to no personality. Rho severely lacks the zest and determination surely needed for someone in that position. While I get that she didn’t ask for the title bestowed upon her, there’s so much dialogue about her wanting to fight for her home/the whole galaxy that you’d expect her to be a little more up-and-at-’em. Nope, in fact, she’s kind of a push over who is way too willing to doubt herself. It’s annoying. Not to mention how boy obsessed she is. Don’t get me wrong, I’m obsessed with Hysan, I love love triangles and all that jazz and I’m so thankful to have it in the book. What I mean is, she’s faced so much tragedy in such a short amount of time that a total break down or two is way overdue. Yet, all she can think of is the two boys? Personally, I’d be a complete and utter mess. Rho? She’s literally just either a continuous state of neutral or blushing from literally every encounter with Mathias and Hysan. It’s weird. I just can’t connect with her 100%.

I don’t want to say too much on this but if you read this book, look out for the twin Gemini guardians. They’re probs my fave characters of the whole book, so freaky, mysterious and complex. I absolutely love their dynamic and the way they present themselves. The Gemini house and its citizens in general sound interesting to say the very least.

On another note, although not properly revealed to us yet, the antagonist of the story is a little messy in the sense that his description leaves you like… wtf is he and wtf is his purpose? kinda deal. I’m intrigued nonetheless though and *hoping* in the next books it’s a little clearer. Yep. There’s more books! I’m on the first few chapters of the second instalment of the series and I think a fourth is currently in the works. Yay!

In  fear of spoiling too much of the story/characters for you, I’ve listed the good and bad of the book briefly below. Oh, I also added emoji’s on the end to really capture how I feel about each one. I’m 2017 trash, I know.

~ T h e  G o o d ~

  • Hysan Dax 😍😍😍😍😍
  • Creativity in terms of other-worldly technologies/environments 👏
  • ~ The Gemini twin guardians 👯
  • Politically realistic/plausible  👍
  • ~ Rich history/culture behind each Zodiac 😎
  • ~ Fast paced 🔥
  • Rho’s dysfunctional family dynamic – unique to the story 💔

~ T h e  B a d ~

  • Rhoma Grace ~ 😐
  • ~ Mathias Thais ~ 😴
  • Heavy terminology/overwhelmingly futuristic 😧
  • ~ Kinda vague/hard to imagine villain 🤔

As you can see, the good outweighs the bad! All in all, I definitely recommend anyone and everyone gives this book a try! Despite the rich terminology, it’s a quick and easy read once you dedicate yourself to it. Although I already anticipated it being good, I hadn’t really anticipated how good. There’s plenty of mystery and opportunity for stories from all kinds of angles and I’m thoroughly excited to delve in on the next instalments! Give it a read, you just never know!

If you’ve read this book or have any questions, let me know in the comments section down below!

~ Emma, Capricorn through and through xo

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Writing: posts about my life (that may or may not be TMI at times, soz) | current affairs | reviews on film/tv, products and books | any random subject that comes to mind | I also dabble a little in poetry

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