Friday, November 7, 2014

ARC Review: Zodiac by Romina Russell

Title: Zodiac
Series: Zodiac
Author: Romina Russell
Publisher: RozorBill
Publication Date: December 9, 2014
Source: Goodreads First Reads Program

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.

My Review:

Romina Russell's debut novel, Zodiac, is both out of this world fantastic and stellar. Trust me and the bad puns - you don't want to miss this book. Ms. Russell creates a new kind of world in the science fiction genre that both teens and adults will want to explore for years to come.

In the first book of the proposed trilogy, Russell introduces readers to a futuristic world whose inhabitants are descendants of the people from our world. Parts of this story are revealed in the book, and Russell definitely proves to her readers that she didn't just dream this world up in one night. There are allusions and references to stories that we know, but they've been altered so that they now belong in this futuristic solar system named after the Zodiac.

Ms. Russell's world building is fantastic. I truly believe that people are going to compare her to some of the top names in YA, like J.K. Rowling, with this book just because of all of the details that she includes in her books. It's so full of new and original vocabulary that describes not only simple devices to all kinds of new planets and moons. She even includes a glossary on her website so that readers can look up these terms.

The characters in Zodiac are also creative and innovative. Even though they represent people from a future society, they still hit close to home. Readers can pick up on how far this society is removed from Earth, but still relate to how human they remain. 

Rho Grace, the novel's protagonist, has faced a lot of adversity in her young life, and it truly shows. Her rise to power is quick, and she faces it the way that any teen would. She's a little scared and confused. She is a unique character that will leave readers wanting more after they finish the last page. Rho is supported by two great groups of supporting characters - her friends and the people with whom she journeys through the far reaches of the Zodiac.

Yes... there is a love triangle in Zodiac. If you're one of those people who choose not to read books because of the inclusion of love triangles, I'm asking you to give this book a chance. The inclusion of the love triangle in no way takes away from the impressive plot.

The many twists and turns in Zodiac will leave readers wishing for more. Sometimes you find a book that's predicable, but that is not the case with Zodiac. I was shocked and surprised multiple times while reading. I know that I'm already waiting on the sequel, and this book isn't even out yet!

I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads program.

Recommended for fans of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series and Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles.


  1. Okay first of all, you win everything!!!!!! Like what do I have to do to get on your level man lmao. Secondly this cover is ahmazing! I'm soooo into astrology and I don't know if it's even covered in the story but I already know I'm picking this up. Thirdly, I'm super jealous that I have to wait till December to read this book. That is all. Oh and good review Erin! I was almost scared to read it because people have been giving away little details, but you did great with not revealing anything at all!


    Your jealous blogger friend lol.

    1. Okay, Tika... now you're starting to sound like my best friend. She always says that I win everything, and I kind of do. I guess my Irish name has blessed me with some Irish good luck. But really... I just enter to win basically everything. The more you enter, the more you win. :)

      The good thing about this is that's still out in earlyish December! I can't wait until my hardcover copy gets here in December. And then I have to wait for the sequel. Ahhhhh. Like it's seriously that good.

      And thanks. I can see why people gave things away because it's super exciting and thrilling, but really? Why? Why do people have to ruin books like that? It's not even out and they are posting spoilers. Stupid people. I always try to make sure that my reviews are spoiler free, especially for ARCs and recent releases.

  2. Ugh yes, people were even tweeting spoilers I literally almost died trying to avoid ANYTHING that would ruin my experience. I'm literally going to enter like a thousand giveaways, I need you to rub some of that luck off on me girl. lmao I seen your stacking the shelves post and because of you I'm ordering Atlantia. Girl I'm so terrified, you know how I am with reading outside of my comfort zone!

    1. They were tweeting spoilers for this book? How did I miss all of this? lol

      MacTeen has a bunch of good books in the giveaway program right now - The Kiss of Deception, Cress, The Truth About Alice, and I think Bloodlines. I entered to win all of them even though I already own a few. I figure it's always a good thing to have more of something. lol

      Atlantia is good so far. I don't even know if it's in my comfort zone. I just know I hated the Matched books, and I really wanted to like Ally Condie. I'll let you know what I think of it soon, Tika! :)

  3. I can't wait to read this one so I'm glad you enjoyed it! Love triangle though...I'm not sure how I'll take this. Fantastic review, Erin!

    1. Its so good. And really... there is way more action than romance, so it's not a big deal. The way that she uses it really works.

      I can't wait to see what you think of it if you read it.

  4. I was so excited for this book since I saw people at BookCon talking about it and I'm so glad to hear is good! The only thing that bothers me is the love triangle but I just hope the book is not focus on that. Great review! ^^

    1. Oh yeah... On the back of my ARC, it says that they really promoted it there.

      The book really is great, and like I said, the love triangle really isn't a driving force in the book. It's just secondary to all of the action and exploration.

  5. Love the review, Erin! :D 5 stars? You've got my intrigued and I'll be definitely be on the lookout for this book when it's released!

    1. Thanks, Kelly! :)

      And yes... five stars. I didn't want to put this book down. It's so amazingly thought out and planned. I freaking loved it. I actually just pre-ordered the hardcover yesterday, and I can't wait until it gets here. lol

  6. I don't mind a love triangle as long as it is well executed, so I will have to think over this one. I think the cover is just beautiful ^^ And I really like the sound of a book with amazing world building... I think I will have to try this one out!

    1. I don't mind them either. I feel like skipping over books that includes love triangles really eliminates a lot of reading choices, but this one is well done.

      And yes... That cover is strikingly beautiful! I can't wait for my hardcover to get here so I can see all the details on it! :)

  7. The synopsis is incredibly appealing and your review made me want to read it. I put it on my TBR list without a second thought!

    - Carla

  8. Awe! That is so awesome, Carla! Thank you!

    I completely recommend this book. It's literally one of my favorites, and I am dying to get my hands on the sequel. Drop by again after you've read it to let me know how you liked it! I'd love to see your thoughts!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.