Friday, January 27, 2017

Book Review: Black Moon

Title: Black Moon
Series: Zodiac
Author: Romina Russell
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
Source: Penguin Teen for Review Consideration

Book Three in the breathtaking sci-fi space saga inspired by astrology that will stun fans of the Illuminae Files and Starbound series.

One final secret stands between Rho and the enemy. But will the devastating truth be enough to destroy her first?
Rho, the courageous visionary from House Cancer, lost nearly everything when she exposed and fought against the Marad, a mysterious terrorist group bent on destroying balance in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now, the Marad has disappeared without a trace, and an uneasy peace has been declared.

But Rho is suspicious. She believes the Master is still out there in some other form. And looming over all are the eerie visions of her mother, who died many years ago, but is now appearing to Rho in the stars.

When news of a stylish new political party supported by her best friend, Nishi, sends Rho on another journey across the galaxy, she uses it as an opportunity to hunt the hidden master and seek out information about her mother. And what she uncovers sheds light on the truth–but casts darkness upon the entire Zodiac world.

WARNING: Spoilers for Zodiac and Wandering Star ahead. Please read with caution.

My Review

Wandering Star Rhoma Grace's journey through the Zodiac continues in the third installment of the Zodiac series - Black Moon - by Romina Russell. Readers are about to embark on another wild ride through this science fiction wonderland full of heroes, villains, and the seriously misunderstood all while learning key pieces of information that will play a major factor in the series conclusion, Thirteen Rising, set to release this August. 

After the shockingly sad ending to Wandering Star, readers were left curious and wondering about a very important person in Rho's life. The new story arc in Black Moon reflects that. Rho's thoughts are not only on saving the Zodiac and its citizens, but they are on her mother. Is she alive? Is she a riser? Will Rho ever find her? More importantly, will Rho, Nishi, Hysan, Mathias, Pandora, and the rest of the gang ever find the Master and save the universe?

As the story progresses, readers will see Rhoma Grace come into her own a little more. Gone are some of the irrational and in-the-heat-of-the-moment actions that she made in the first two books. Instead, readers will see that she's making more adult decisions, and a lot of them are made under extreme pressure. She's a rising star in the political world of the Zodiac, and whether she realizes it or not, she's one bad ass role model for everyone in the Zodiac (and readers everywhere!). 

Just like in the first books - Zodiac and Wandering Star - there is a lot of world building and new information presented to readers in Black Moon. The world building is much needed and a beautiful addition to this book and this series. (Seriously... I just really love and appreciate a great world building, and Queen Romina nails it!) Rho Grace finds herself on Primitus, a planet that's a part of House Aquarius. This world is beyond stellar, and Ms. Russell's vivid descriptions of it will make you want to redecorate your entire home to replicate the glimmering jewels and sparkles of the royal palace. (Seriously... I thought of sparkly unicorns the entire time!) I kept wanting to discover new places on this planet because it's obsessively gorgeous, and I just want to read every description of every planet in the Zodiac!

Many of the fan favorites in the Zodiac fan base are back again in this new novel. There are lots of new faces in Black Moon. Literally... new faces! I enjoyed meeting some of the new characters and learning more about them, and really just seeing how they are going to play into everything Rho and the gang still have to accomplish. 

Readers will also find themselves in the middle of a cliffhanger at the end of the book, and while I won't spoil it, you will be scratching your head and asking, "What did I just read?" It's a bit shocking, adn I'm so glad that Thirteen Rising comes out in just a few months because I don't think I can handle another year of waiting!

So if you have read Zodiac and Wandering Star and still haven't picked up a copy of Black Moon, do yourself a favor and get a copy right now. And if you haven't but still read this review (you brave soul), be sure to grab all three books and binge read. You won't be sorry!

Romina Russell is a Los Angeles-based author who originally hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a teen, Romina landed her first writing gig - College She Wrote - a weekly Sunday column for the Miami Herald that was later picked up for national syndication - and she hasn't stopped writing since. When she's not working on the ZODIAC series, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.

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