BOOK REVIEW: Zodiac by Romina Russell

31 January 2015

Zodiac (Zodiac #1)
by Romina Russell (Goodreads, Website, Twitter)
Published by Razorbill on June 6th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: eBook (368 pages)
Source: Purchased
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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.

Just because Tika's obsession with Zodiac rubbed on me.

I'm no die hard fan of Astrology, nor am I obsessed in looking up someone's sign to figure out compatibilities, or even checking out the daily horoscope, but I know my "fair" share. Although, not to the extent to know about planets (Unless you're talking the basic solar system, duh), stars, celestial beings and galactical thingamajigs. 

Reading this book felt as if I was thrust in a dance routine that I hadn't practiced at all. I WAS NOT READY. There was just too much information -- planet names, moons, and like a whole different solar system going on — terminologies that I had no idea of, I had to resort to Google. Suffice to say, I am a kind of a clueless idiot. 

However, regardless of my lack of knowledge towards astrological signs, this book has succesfully hooked me into its strangely composed story. That's what Romina Russell has in store for you in this book. A highly different experience to common science fiction novels that have just recently debuted, Zodiac is an explosion of high fantasy and science fiction -- a utopian scenario where people live in a highly futuristic galactical world and are classified based on their astrological sign.  Talk about one heck of an imagination.

Holy Mother, what?

As funny as it seems to me, Rhoma Grace, is basically a relatable character — save for the fact that she was chosen as Guardian of House Cancer out of the blue after the passing of the previous leader which has got me very confused, because it got me thinking, why would they pick a young person to lead in the first place? And now, everyone in House Cancer and the rest of the Zodiac world is calling her "Holy Mother". Like woah.

Reading about her was aggravating (in a good way), because despite being a Guardian, she wasn't getting the proper type of respect just because of her age. Labelled as naive and childish, especially the moment when she starts to warn the rest of the Houses about the mythical 13th Guardian Ophiuchus seeking for revenge. But despite her weaknesses and her naive nature, and the times she was laughed and frowned upon, she proved to be a very strong willed heroine that earned lots of proud nods from me.

May the best boy win.

But of course, like any young adult novel, there will always be boys. Not one, but stereotypically polar opposites, but do adhere to the same goal: be the prince to the princess. Not that this romance lover is complaining. 

There's always the older boy and the long time crush. Mathias Thais of House Cancer, also the assigned guard and mentor to Rho. His character was just testosterone all over; reserved, stoic, and over protective. I didn't enjoy reading about him at first, because he was too serious to begin with and he was all too perfect who could do no wrong.

I'm not so sure if it's because we're both Libras, but Hysan Dax... Oh, you lovely human being, you. I just adored him. His enigmatic, yet cool nature was intriguing and yes, I was absolutely smitten by how witty his personality is, matched with playful antics. I was just swooned by his character. Suffice to say, I'm TEAM HYSAN.

And in all honesty, love triangles are kind of a deal breaker for me. However, this book contained so much more, that I had no problem letting the cliche boy likes girl likes boy scenario past me. As an avid romance reader, the romance aspect of this book was literally my oxygen tank — I needed a breather every now and then. It was a great additional side story to Rho's first and foremost goal — to warn all the Houses of Ophiuchus' revenge and defeat the monster.

Shine bright like a *insert constellation here*

Fantasy is not my thing (unless we're talking paranormal romance), particularly with High Fantasy, because I'm pretty much nitpicky and I like getting a taste of reality through novels every now and then... but after reading this book, I am now itching to get my hands on the next release of this series, despite my first hand rejection to it when recommended by Tika. This book will suck you in, every turn of a page will fill you in anticipation for the unpredictable plot twists Romina Russell has in store for you, no matter how at times, it can get quite confusing.

Highly imaginative with the right balance of action and romance, Zodiac is a read that you'll never regret, high fantasy fan or not. 


  1. I feel like a proud mama, because I succeeded, I got you to read Zodiac! I'm even more excited that you actually ENJOYED it. We have so much in common so it was NO surprise that you liked Hysan. I mean he was so charming and witty, and ugh me loved him so much. I can't wait for the sequel, which we'll probably be buddy reading lol.

    1. I'm glad you got me into reading this book, and I actually want to choke you for it, because I hate waiting and now I gotta wait for the next book. But I won't choke you since we're both going to be waiting in vain! HAH!


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