REVIEW: Zodiac | Romina Russell

Zodiac | Romina Russell | 325 pages | Razorbill
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 Cancrian 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?

Zodiac tells us the story of Rho, who after a terrible attack on her world, is named as the new leader and has to find a way to save the other planets from suffering the same fate.
I had several problems with the book and although it was not completely to my liking, I think I'm going to read the second book (which will be released in the United States in December) because I want to know where the story ends and get to know even more the world that created by the author.

I think the biggest problem I had is that I felt like everything happened too fast. As soon as you start the book you don't have a moment to collect your thoughts because disaster after disaster happens and everything is so fast that you don't have time to analyze if you like where the book is going.

Likewise, although I like the idea of ​​the zodiac signs, I am not very convinced by the way in which various events unfold. For example, when they chose Rho as their leader, I felt very forced and not very credible the way they selected her.

Aside from the original idea, the other reason I wanted to read the book was the cover. If you are going to read the book, take the time to appreciate the constellation of the Lord with the serpent that appears in the background because it is mentioned in the book.

There are several characters in the book but most of the story focuses on the three characters mentioned in the synopsis. If you didn't guess, the book has a love triangle. As I mentioned with the plot, I also feel that the romantic theme of the book happened very suddenly and at no point did I feel that the characters were truly in love.

The characters are well defined according to their houses, that is, Cancerians are protectors, Sagittarians are curious. But it does not take away from the fact that I felt that many of them had already been read in another YA book: stubborn protagonist, exotic boy who you like but should not like, boy eternally in the friendzone, etc.
Something that kept me from getting 100% into the story is that it has a lot of terminology. There is a different word in each house for astrological terms and for each person in the government, which makes it a bit confusing, especially if you read the book over the course of several days. Apart from that, the author does a magnificent job in developing the world she has created since you really feel the difference between the different houses.

Something that I also really liked is that the author managed the idea that in each house they have their own legend of Ophiuchus (the bad guy in the story) based on their beliefs and way of being, which she developed perfectly.

So while I didn't fully enjoy the book, I really liked the idea and world building in it enough for me to add the second book to my TBR.