Zodiac Series Readathon- Review of Zodiac!

by - 7:17:00 PM

Hi hello and welcome to the Zodiac series readathon! In honor of the release of Thirteen Rising in August, Penguin Teen is hosting a fantastic two month long readathon with some really amazing bloggers sharing reviews, spotlights, and so much more. There's also a fabulous giveaway so be sure to read to the bottom of this post and enter for a chance to win the first three books in the series in paperback. Today, I'll be sharing my review of the first book, Zodiac, so let's get started!


Title: Zodiac
Author: Romina Russell
Pages: 325
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: 09 December 2014
From Goodreads: "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?

Thank you to Chelsea Fought and Penguin Teen for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review! All opinions are my own.

The Zodiac series is one that has been on my radar for quite some time but for some reason, I've never picked it up. But when the opportunity to participate in the Zodiac series readathon from Penguin Teen came up, I couldn't pass it up. I'm so glad I finally sat down and read this because I actually really enjoyed it and am already reading the sequel!

Rhoma Grace has an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use instruments and take measurements, Rho just looks up at the sky and makes up stories. Like the one where she sees one of her planets moons going dark. No one believes her, but she knows what she saw. When a freak explosion hits the moons of Cancer and sends its ocean planet out of whack, thousands are killed. Including the guardian of Cancer. No one is more surprised than Rho when she's named the new Guardian, but being the true Cancerian that she is, she accepts. But when more Houses begin to fall victim to strange weather catastrophes, Rho sees the pattern in the stars and points to Ophiuchus- the exiled 13th Guardian back to take revenge on the galaxy. Now Rho, along with an envoy from House Libra and a member of her Royal Guard, must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other houses of Ophiuchus. But who will trust anything the young Guardian has to say? Can Rho unite the houses before Ophiuchus destroys them all?

Yes, this book has a love triangle. Yes, Rho is the chosen one. Yes, this is a book where the adults don't believe the teenagers simply because they're teenagers and what do they know, right? But this book also came out in 2014, so I accepted that I was reading a book that came out around when tropes like these seemed to be popular. Setting those aside, the plot of this book was so cool. I loved the idea of the twelve houses of the Zodiac having their own individual planets and the inhabitants possessing the qualities of said house. Every house was just so unique and it was great to see Rho interact with all of the different people. One of the biggest plot points in this book is that the twelve houses are divided, and in order to prevent the further destruction of the planets, they must all come together as one. Following Rho as she traveled through the galaxy trying to convince the other Guardians of the danger that was on its way was such a fun trip. It did drive me absolutely bonkers that none of the adults would believe Rho no matter how hard she tried to get them to listen and no matter what evidence was put before them. The complete destruction of their galaxy was on the verge of happening and they wouldn't listen because Rho was a teenager? Yes, she was inexperienced, but if she saw something happen and it came true once, it's probably safe to say that she may know what she's talking about. It was a frustrating theme that continually popped up throughout the book and I'm really hoping that they don't continue to do that in the rest of the series. I did have a difficult time processing what was happening at the beginning, but once I got into it, I flew through it because I was just so intrigued by the story line. This was such a strong and solid opening to a series and while I did have a few issues regarding decisions made by adults and tropes that were played on throughout the book, I really enjoyed Zodiac and think it's probably going to become one of my favorite series in 2017.

Rhoma is without a doubt a special snowflake. She is the chosen one, the one that the stars foresaw as the next Guardian. She's a bit boy crazy to the point where she falls for two guys at the same time. She makes rash decisions that don't always end up being the right ones. But what you have to remember is that this girl also saw the deaths of a lot of her own people. She watched her home get destroyed and has lost her family, as far as she knows. She's been thrust into a position that she wasn't prepared for by people who don't exactly believe in her. Really, she only has one person that truly believes in her, and he's only just met her. So yeah, she's gonna make mistakes. She turns seventeen during the course of this book. She hasn't had time to adapt to what's happening to her before she basically has to lead the entire galaxy into battle. Taking all of that into account, I think she did the best she could. Yeah, sometimes her mind went to how cute one of the boys was and yeah, I rolled my eyes. But she's just being a teenager! When it matters the most, Rho is able to step up and do what she has to do, and that's what matters. So no, Rho isn't perfect, but I think she has a ton of room to grow and I can't wait to see just how much she grows in the next three books.

In general, the characters were so well written. One of the best parts about this book was how unique all of the houses were. Each house had not only a completely different planet (I'll get to that later) but also completely different people. From house to house, you get people of varying skin colors, hair colors, eye colors, body types, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. And even those from the same house/planet were different in some way. No one was exactly the same. I just loved how unique the people were and was so excited when new houses were introduced because I knew I would get to see some fantastically written new characters!

Also, just a quick side note, I am 100% Team Rhosan.

If I had to pick one thing that I would say was my favorite part of this book, it would be the writing/world building. The world of the Zodiac is huge and I can't help but feel that we've only scratched the surface with book one. Everything about the writing in this book was beautiful. It was so descriptive but never felt like it was going overboard. You get so much detail about the various planets and their people and I just couldn't help but think that it was all just simply beautiful. Romina Russell does a fantastic job of building the world of Zodiac and really drawing the reader in so that they get lost among the stars. I couldn't get enough of this world and it was so crazy to think that it's already this big in just the first book. While I didn't want Zodiac to end, I was excited at the idea of getting to move on to the next book in the series because I knew I would get to read even more about this amazing world that Romina Russell has effortlessly crafted.

Zodiac is an amazing beginning to a series that is sure to delight lovers of the zodiac and capture the attention of those who may not know much about it. While it does have some fairly old tropes woven throughout, Zodiac shines brighter than Helios with its superb writing, a larger than life world that will surely only get bigger, and very memorable characters.

About the Author:

Romina Russell (aka Romina Garber) 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 ZODIAC, 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.
 Website | Zodiac Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


Enter for a chance to win either one (1) grand prize set of Romina Russell’s Zodiac Series in paperback, including Zodiac, Wandering Star, and Black Moon (32.97) or to be one (1) of five (5) second place winners to receive a copy of Zodiac by Romina Russell (ARV: $10.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on June 26th, 2017 and 12:00 AM on July 17, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about July 21, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Be sure to check out all of the other awesome bloggers on the Zodiac tour!

Week One:
June 26 – Paper Trail YA – Spotlight
June 26 – Live Love Read – Spotlight & Zodiac Magnets
June 26 – Novel Knight – Spotlight
June 27 – The Book Lounge
June 28 – YA and Wine – Review & Wine
June 29 – Life Within The Pages – Review
June 29 – In Wonderland – Book Look
June 30 – The Book Talk – Spotlight
June 30 – The Heart of a Book Blogger – Mood Board

Week Two:
July 3 – Picture Books to YA – Review & Zodiac Decor
July 4 – The Hardcover Lover
July 4 – Wandering Bark Books – Spotlight
July 5 – The Eater of Books!
July 5 – Teacher of YA
July 6 – The Hermit Librarian – Review & Zodiac Playlist
July 6 – Swoony Boys Podcast – Review & Book Look
July 7 – Mundie Moms
July 8 – Quirky and Peculiar – Spotlight

Week Three:
July 10 – A Perfection Called Books – Cancer Mood Board
July 10 – The Biblio Life – Spotlight
July 10 – The Book Vortex – Spotlight
July 11 – Fly Leaf Chronicles – Review
July 11 – The Book Nut – Reading Habits By Your Zodiac
July 12 – Resch Reads and Reviews – Zodiac Inspired Makeup Look
July 13 – Four Violet
July 13 – Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile – Zodiac Inspired Snacks
July 14 – Novel Novice – Styled By Books
July 14 – The Blonde Bookworm
July 15 – The Book’s Buzz – Zodiac & Galaxy Nail Art

Twitter Chat: July 16th @ 8PM EST Hosted by Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles


That concludes my Zodiac tour stop post! Please comment down below and let me know what your house/sign is and also which of the Zodiac books is your favorite. If you haven't read the series yet, then let me know what book you've read recently that you really enjoyed. Thanks again for stopping by and I'll see you in the next chapter!

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  1. sounds really cool, definitely getting added to my tbr :)

    1. So glad to hear that! I hope you enjoy(: Feel free to come back and tell me what your thoughts are on it!