The Penultimate!

1. I love the world penultimate
2. There’s only one more Sunday in 2014? How is that even possible?

So, I accidentally lied to you all last Sunday. While the plan was to review another Rick Riordan book today, I read a new one over this week and decided to review that instead!

REVIEW: Zodiac, Romina Russell
Published: 2014
Length: 319

Most Memorable Line(s): “You’re an everlasting flame that can’t be put out.”
Chose this line for a couple of reasons, one of which being I couldn’t find another line I wanted to use, but also mostly because – in its context – it’s one of the most genuine lines in the whole book.

I’m very conflicted about this review today. I’ve been seeing posts about this book for literally months on the Penguin Teen Facebook (which I follow because of Sarah Dessen). It’s got a pretty captivating cover (as seen below) and also had a very interesting concept to me. In this world, the zodiac signs aren’t just some astrological “traits” people have depending on your month of birth, they’re actually planets. Each planet is located within the zodiac constellations, and each zodiac sign imbues a specific trait into its people – of particular importance in this book: Cancrian people (Cancer sign) are nurturers and Libran people (Libra sign) thirst for knowledge. In Zodiac, 16-year-old Rho is thrust into the prime leadership position of her House when a “freak” weather event causes disaster. Rho knows it’s no freak event, however, and begins to travel around the galaxy to warn the other Houses of the true danger: the long-exiled 13th House of the Zodiac.

Zodiac cover (image from goodreads)

I thought this was going to be a great book, I really did. I thought it had a fun concept – especially since I love zodiac mythology (and all mythology really…). Unfortunately, the fact that this was Russell’s first novel was really prevalent throughout its entirety. It felt amateur, as though she was trying to put as many stereotypical YA tropes into one novel. The forcing of a love triangle was overdone; unlike The Hunger Games’ Katniss, protagonist Rho is very much aware that she is “in love” with both guys, but doesn’t attempt to make a decision or be honest with anyone – until she’s forced to. That’s not to say the book was all bad. Russell develops a pretty interesting universe, and we realize very early that this is going to be a series of books, rather than a standalone novel. I’m sure that she’ll be able to further develop Rho and the other characters with more books, but there were a few deaths that felt like they should have been important, but were just thrown in haphazardly. But again, this is going to be a series, so I don’t know if they’ll be dealt with in future books.

Ultimately, everything felt like it happened too quickly in this book. I felt Russell jumped around a little too quickly between scenes and locations, etc. As a re-reader, I probably wouldn’t have any inclination to read this book again, although I am fairly curious about what might happen next? So I guess we’ll see how I feel when the next one comes out. I might read it simply to dispel the disappointed I feel over the start of her series. We will see!

Grade: 4.7/10


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s