Zodiac – Romina Russell (Review and Giveaway)

Title: Zodiac (Zodiac #1)
Author: Romina Russell
Publisher: Razorbill, 2014 (December 9)
Genre: YA Science Fiction

I am part of an exciting readathon for the Zodiac series, and though I’ve owned the first book for its gorgeous cover and its riveting synopsis, I had never gotten around to reading it.

I mean seriously, look at this COVER!!

So beautiful I want to cry…


So I jumped at the chance to read along and read book one, Zodiac, and it was good. So good.

Review:

You know I usually don’t do blurbs, but because the story is so intricate, I feel a blurb might be in order:

At the dawn of time, there were thirteen Houses in the Zodiac galaxy. Now, only twelve remain. . . .

In the Zodiac galaxy, your astrological sign determines everything about you. The stars tell the story of your life, and nothing—and nobody—is real unless you can actually touch them.

 It’s a galaxy divided, where personalities clash and suspicions run high. Everyone is a potential enemy, so it’s best to stick to your kind. Hard-working realists in House Virgo scoff at sweet-talking Librans, who use stellar social skills to climb to the top. And while the brooding twins of House Gemini take forever to make a decision, optimistic Sagittarians hop from adventure to adventure without a thought.

 House Cancer prizes loyalty and honesty above all else. When an unforeseen catastrophe strikes their ocean planet, the stars select sixteen-year-old Rho as their new Guardian. Rho suspects an ancient, power-hungry evil of legend has returned to exact revenge across the entire Zodiac. But Rho is an unknown novice and one of the youngest Guardians ever. Who should believe her?

And with the stars anywhere but in her favor, how can Rho defeat an enemy she can’t touch?


I love anything Astrological. I know I’m a Pisces, and I’ve known this for awhile. I’m the epitome of one. Cancer is a water sign, so I got along with the protagonist quite easily.

Rhoma Grace, an Acholyte from House Cancer, is a sixteen year old student and a drummer. Her biggest fears are her tests coming up to become a Zodai. The university’s best-ranked graduates get invited to join the Order of the Zodai, our galaxy’s peacekeepers. The best of the best are recruited into the Guardian’s Royal Guard, the Zodai’s highest honor.

And Rho doesn’t feel like the best of the best, but before her mom left, she drilled Rho full of information about the other Zodiac houses and had her practice reading the Stars. When a concert is interrupted buy an explosion on her planet, the current Guardian of her house is killed. Rho turns to the Stars for answers, and instead of finding them, she just finds more questions.

She finds the Zodiac’s biggest boogeyman and legend actually exists. And he almost kills her when he finds out she can see him.

When the other Zodai learn of her abilities, Rho is made the new Guardian of Cancer. She’s now Holy Mother of the entire Cancrian people.


However, despite having the power and the title, no one will listen to Rho: the boogeyman, Ochus, has intentions of destroying the whole Zodiac, and though only 12 houses (all the astrological signs we know) are all that exist, there is a Thirteenth House, and it’s out for destruction.

The 12 Zodiac Houses

While Rho deals with trying to convince every planet in danger of attack that Ochus exists, she meets Hysan, an ambassador from Libra, who believes her instantly. It puts her mind at ease but also frustrates her when her crush and new partner, Mathias, thinks she’s mistaken. Rho’ heart is torn between the Zodai protecting her and the charismatic Libran who aims to please.

When Rho goes on an intergalactic mission to try and warn the Zodiac, Ochus seems to always be a threat…but how can a sixteen year old newly appointed Guardian convince all twelve houses that the legend, the monster under the bed, the “Thirteenth” house, is REAL?

All Four Books of the Series

Is It Classroom-Approriate?

Actually, yes. I found this book to be a breath of fresh air after all the other books not suitable for the classroom. The intricate Zodiac system is quite interesting, and all the virtues that one house represents are all virtues we have inside. Discussions on personal astrological signs could be discussed and turned into fun projects for each student to learn more themselves; they could find the virtues that they agree with and the virtues they don’t…they also could find how we are all a little bit of every sign if we really look at ourselves. Reading horoscopes in class can open dialogues or they could write their own predictions for the other signs.

The most engaging aspect is the science. Conversations about time and space are completely easy to tie in with Russell’s book. I would say it would be productive for all high school levels to use this book, and even though it’s part of a series, it ends at an interesting point of the story that would open up more speculation (not going to reveal those spoilers, though!)

For an example, I’d like to include some of the information from Russell’s Zodiac site…and a little bit about eaxh house. (And stay with me, because there is a giveaway at the end of this post!)


ARIES

DATES March 21 – April 19

HOUSE 1

WORD FOR GUARDIAN General

WORD FOR ZODAI Major

COLOR Red

ELEMENT Cardinal House, Fire

STRENGTH Military

THE CONSTELLATION

The Ram constellation has three colonized planets and a small sun, but only the largest planet Phaetonis has breathable atmosphere, and it’s thin. The planet’s porous, making its gravity weak, though walking on the surface is possible with the aid of an air mask. Phaetonian cities are sheltered under high-tension fabric domes, held aloft by air pressure like giant inflated beach balls, and their buildings squat like bunkers.

THE PEOPLE, PERSONALITY

House Aries brings Military strength to the Zodiac, so it makes perfect sense that its people are brave, bold, competitive, battle-ready, aggressive, boastful, and natural leaders. Aries is the most ancient House in the galaxy: There’s evidence that human pioneers colonized Aries first, before spreading to the other Houses.

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TAURUS

DATES April 20 – May 20

HOUSE 2

WORD FOR GUARDIAN Chief Executive

WORD FOR ZODAI Promisary

COLOR Olive Green

ELEMENT Earth

STRENGTH Industry

THE CONSTELLATION

The Bull constellation has two planets and one moon. The only inhabited planet, Vitulus, is comprised of twelve landmasses and a shallow ocean. Vitulus is like House Libra’s capital city Aeolus on steroids—from Space, its landmasses are always aglow with artificial light. The planet never sleeps, and its battery never runs out.

THE PEOPLE, PERSONALITY

House Taurus represents Industry. Its people are competitive, diligent, committed, and efficient—traits that sometimes make them come off as stubborn, tunnel-visioned, and intimidating to outsiders. Taurians are all about working hard to play even harder. They get in the game not for the competition but for the rewards—they work through the night Monday through Wednesday so that they can double their weekends.


GEMINI

DATES May 21 – June 20

HOUSE 3

WORD FOR GUARDIAN Twin

WORD FOR ZODAI Dreamcaster

COLOR Orange

ELEMENT Air

STRENGTH Imagination

THE CONSTELLATION

The Double constellation has two colonized planets. The largest one, Hydragyr, is an airless cratered rock, but its mountains hold a trove of rare metals. The smaller planet, Argyr, has been terraformed to support a vast forest and shines like a green melon in Space. It’s a lush garden planet with plenty of breathable air and decent atmospheric pressure.

THE PEOPLE, PERSONALITY

House Gemini represents Imagination. Its people are creative, loquacious, curious, and complex, and can be indecisive, cryptic, and moody. Though not all Geminin are twins, only twins can be chosen to be Guardians. In the early days of the galaxy, Gemini led the Zodiac in scientific and humanitarian achievements. Its leading thinkers imagined solutions for every problem and brought many of those solutions to life. When Geminin scientists discovered cell regeneration, holding onto youth became a House obsession.

CANCER (RHO’S HOUSE)

DATES June 21 – July 22

HOUSE 4

WORD FOR GUARDIAN Holy Mother

WORD FOR ZODAI Lodestar

COLOR Blue

ELEMENT Cardinal House, Water

STRENGTH Nurture

THE CONSTELLATION

The Crab constellation has one inhabited planet, Cancer, and four moons—Elara, Orion, Galene, and Thebe. Ninety-eight percent water, Cancer looks like a ball colored every shade of blue and streaked with barely perceptible slices of green. There are hundreds of low-lying islands scattered across the globe, and Cancrian cities are built on massive pods that float calmly on the sea’s surface, like giant, half-submerged anemones. Cancer’s largest structures—buildings, commercial centers, schools—are secured with anchors.

The water is clean and roaring, and tiny whirlpools occasionally form, swirling in various hues of blue—as if the ocean were made of paint. The pod cities light up the horizon with their gleaming, cascading buildings and sun-bleached streets—from high up, they look like massive lily pads cradling Cancrian communities in their palms. The pods that hold the most populated cities are so vast it’s easy to forget you’re not on land—except when a shift in the planet’s core triggers powerful ripples. There are also security outposts in the sky, reachable by aircraft, and a handful of underwater stations that have never been used. They were mainly built for protection, in case life above water is ever threatened.

THE PEOPLE, PERSONALITY

House Cancer represents Nurture. Its people are loving, brave, compassionate, loyal, and selfless, and can also be quite clingy, self-absorbed, and moody. As represented by House Cancer’s symbol of the Crab, Cancrians are hard on the outside but all heart on the inside. Since they love more deeply than others, their hearts often pack more armor.


LEO

DATES July 23 – August 22

HOUSE 5

WORD FOR GUARDIAN Holy Leader

WORD FOR ZODAI Lionheart

COLOR Royal Purple

ELEMENT Fire

STRENGTH Passion

THE CONSTELLATION

The Lion constellation has one planet, Leo, two moons, Lion and Leon, and a small sun that’s close enough to the planet to play a recreational weekend sport called Sun Sailing. Leo’s citizens don protective suits with wings and dive off Mount Luz—the planet’s highest peak—during the sun’s strongest hours and try to catch a powerful ray and ride its energy wave for a few seconds, until they fall to a net waiting below.

The planet has few sources of fresh water, so Leos must import from their neighbor Cancer. Most of the land is covered in harsh terrain—mountain ridges, jungles, marsh, etc—offering ample opportunities for adventure and discovery. Even Leo’s moons have strange topographies—Lion has forests and a lake that is the House’s largest store of water, and Leon is a vast glacier with mountains made from crystal.

THE PEOPLE, PERSONALITY

House Leo represents Passion. Its people are larger than life, magnetic, proud, decisive, honorable, and can be self-absorbed, pushy, and vain. As represented by the House symbol of the Lion, Leos consider themselves to be the kings and queens of their universe. They are natural leaders who chase their fears instead of hiding from them.

VIRGO

DATES August 23 – September 22

HOUSE 6

WORD FOR GUARDIAN Empress

WORD FOR ZODAI Minister

COLOR Emerald Green

ELEMENT Earth

STRENGTH Sustenance

THE CONSTELLATION

The Maiden constellation boasts one planet, ten planetoids, and two moons, making House Virgo the most widespread constellation in the Zodiac. Its planet Tethys is a massive green-and-brown sphere with rolling hills that stretch to every horizon, creating an ocean of grain. The capital city is veiled by Virgo’s mirage technology, and only those with the access code can enter. On the other side of the veil, the Virgo capital emerges like a silver needle shooting into the sky, allowing maximum acreage for growing grain. Virgo’s dozen planetoids and moons were also converted for agriculture, to supply the Zodiac’s ever-expanding demand. Every House in the galaxy buys Virgo grain.

THE PEOPLE, PERSONALITY

House Virgo represents Sustenance. Its people are organized, practical, shrewd, and analytical, and can be obsessive, anal-retentive, and pedantic. Virgos are control freaks who like to be self-sufficient—that’s why their gift is knowing the secrets of the earth. Humanity’s most basic need for survival is sustenance, and their control over this need ensures that Virgos are truly independent and do not need to rely on others. They export more and import fewer goods and services than any other House, and their veil keeps them safe from unwanted visitors.


LIBRA (HYSAN’S HOUSE)

DATES September 21 – October 22

HOUSE 7

WORD FOR GUARDIAN Lord

WORD FOR ZODAI Knight

COLOR Yellow

ELEMENT Cardinal House, Air

STRENGTH Justice

THE CONSTELLATION

The Scales of Justice constellation has one planet, Kythera, which glows lemon yellow and looks like a smooth velvet ball. Smoky swirls and vortexes dimple its surface. The planet is blanketed in clouds as thick as fiberglass, made of black carbon and yellow sulfuric acid. The clouds press down on the planet below with bone-crushing weight and lock in every joule of heat, making the surface weather brutal. Acidic storms can grind away entire mountains in a single night.

This is why Librans live in flying cities. On Kythera, hundreds of communities float in the cloud tops like silver bubbles. Some are gigantic, while others very small, and they all drift on leisurely currents in the upper atmosphere. Occasionally, they bump together and bounce slowly apart, their movements fluid and dancelike. The spheres contain breathable air, which is much lighter than the planet’s dense atmosphere. Each sphere is weighted at the bottom with ballast so it can’t flip over, and the storied levels inside are oriented to the planet’s surface. The uppermost level gets the most sunlight, so it houses the city’s corporate farms. The lower levels recycle air, water, and waste.

THE PEOPLE, PERSONALITY

House Libra represents Justice. Its people are fair-minded, charming, graceful, nonviolent, vain, cocky, and keenly perceptive. The pursuit of justice is a sacred quest for every Libran, and it’s represented by the House’s symbol, the Scales of Justice.


SCORPIO

DATES October 23 – November 21

HOUSE 8

WORD FOR GUARDIAN Chieftain

WORD FOR ZODAI Strident

COLOR Black

ELEMENT Water

STRENGTH Innovation

THE CONSTELLATION

The Scorpion constellation has three planets, but only the largest, Sconcion, is inhabited. Orbited by two moons, Sconcion’s surface is eighty percent water with a sprinkling of landmasses spaced throughout the globe. Some of these landmasses are used as spaceports, but most are designated testing zones for Scorps’ latest inventions and experiments.

Scorps live and make their homes in underwater cities. There are a dozen waterworlds on Sconcion, each its own sovereign territory. Half are located in waters shallow enough for the city-tops to break the ocean’s surface, while the other half are buried in waters so deep that only House Scorpio’s special deep-sea watercrafts can endure the pressure.

THE PEOPLE, PERSONALITY

House Scorpio represents Innovation. Its people are inventive, inquisitive problem solvers who can also be obsessive, greedy, secretive, dark, and moody. As represented by their symbol of the Scorpion, Scorps are most often likely to sting first and ask questions later. They can spend their lives exploring rabbit holes so deep that others would drown in their darkness. Yet Scorps dive eagerly into every depth, determined to discover the secrets of tomorrow before even the stars do.


SAGITTARIUS

DATES November 22 – December 21

HOUSE 9

WORD FOR GUARDIAN Guardian

WORD FOR ZODAI Stargazer

COLOR Lavender

ELEMENT Fire

STRENGTH Curiosity

THE CONSTELLATION

The Archer constellation has four planets—all inhabited—and five moons. Their main planet, Centaurion, is a circus of curiosities: The buildings are bizarre shapes and colors, their outer walls covered with questions and diagrams and ideas; the sidewalks are lined with strange gadgets for ogling or tinkering with, from the antiquated to the futuristic; and people share the streets with androids, floating devices, and every kind of transportation vehicle imported from all over the Zodiac, spanning every time period.

THE PEOPLE, PERSONALITY

House Sagittarius brings Curiosity to the Zodiac. Its people are inquisitive, intelligent, brave, independent, and natural adventurers who can sometimes come off as argumentative, detached, and impatient. While most citizens do live on their own home planets, Sagittarius is one of the more widespread Houses because they’re born wondering wanderers: Sagittarians are truth-seekers who will follow a trail of knowledge to whatever end, having fun the whole way.


CAPRICORN

DATES December 22 – January 19

HOUSE 10

WORD FOR GUARDIAN Sage

WORD FOR ZODAI Chronicler

COLOR Brown

ELEMENT Cardinal House, Earth

STRENGTH Wisdom

THE CONSTELLATION

The Seagoat constellation has one inhabited planet, Tierre—the largest in the Zodiac—and one small moon. Tierre has the widest range of topography and animal species of any House; its surface is colored in various shades of green, brown, orange, gray, and blue. The planet has a single massive landmass, Verity, surrounded by an ocean. Capricorns live in modest homes on vast plots of land, and nearly every citizen has multiple pets that live free-range.

Yet Verity’s true riches lie beneath its surface: Deep underground, Capricorns have built a treasure trove of truths—books, art, technology, achievements of human intelligence—a labyrinthine collection of artifacts that spans nearly the whole globe and contains the collective wisdom of the Zodiac. It’s called the Zodiax. There is an underground train—the Vein—that transports people through the Zodiax, its route mapped by subject, not geography. The Zodiax contains libraries, museums, galleries, theaters, and more, and all Capricorns are devoted to maintaining and protecting the knowledge housed there—as well as expanding it.

THE PEOPLE, PERSONALITY

House Capricorn represents Wisdom. Its people are wise, patient, organized, down-to-earth, by-the-book, stubborn, and conservative. They carefully amass knowledge throughout their lives, and every Capricorn considers it his purpose to protect the planet’s animals and environment, as well as pursue and promote knowledge.


AQUARIUS

DATES January 20 – February 18

HOUSE 11

WORD FOR GUARDIAN Supreme Guardian

WORD FOR ZODAI Elder

COLOR Aqua

ELEMENT Air

STRENGTH Philosophy

THE CONSTELLATION

The Water Bearer constellation has three planets, each with its own moon. The atmospheres of all three planets are in perfect harmony, so Aquarians live on every surface available to them. Each planet is home to two Clans.

THE PEOPLE, PERSONALITY

House Aquarius brings Philosophy to the Zodiac. Its people are introspective, intelligent, inquisitive, humanitarian, and true trailblazers, though sometimes their determination to design a better world can make them seem excessively eccentric, radical, and revolutionary to outsiders. At heart, Aquarians are full of hope for tomorrow, and their minds are fountains of ideas for how to create a more interconnected world.


PISCES (MY HOUSE – A VERY FINE HOUSE 😂)

DATES February 19 – March 20

HOUSE 12

WORD FOR GUARDIAN Prophet

WORD FOR ZODAI Disciple

COLOR Silver

ELEMENT Water

STRENGTH Spirituality

THE CONSTELLATION

The Fish constellation includes one large uninhabited planet, Icthys, five habitable minor planetoids, and the most dangerous passage in all of Zodiac Space—the Kyros Belt, a broad band of ice that few have ever returned from. There could be anything beyond the Kyros Belt—no one has ever seen what’s out there. Icthys is covered in a misty shroud of fumes, and in Space the planet shines like polished glass. It’s an ice world, sheathed in glaciers of frozen ammonia and methane. Ichtys is even larger than Capricorn’s planet Verity, so its surface gravity would flatten a human to a crusty smear of frost. Piscenes use drones to harvest the planet’s meager resources, while they live on their five minor planetoids, practicing spiritual devotion and seeking tranquility.

THE PEOPLE, PERSONALITY

House Pisces represents Spirituality. Its people are compassionate, faithful, selfless, intuitive, introspective, quirky, and can at times appear spacey and detached. Piscenes are more concerned with the soul’s inner journey than the body’s physical one. They can explore a single thought or feeling for hours, but decide to dive off a fifty-foot cliff in an eyeblink.

QUESTION: HOW MANY PEOPLE SKIPPED TO THEIR OWN? (Ha, I knew it)

 

Btw, I give Zodiac ★★★★☆ for classroom use! See all the possibilities?


Use it! Just be creative with it and have fun! I would have given it five but it’s not exactly a lesson plan that’s easy to fit into the curriculum, so you have to find a way to make it work. Science classes would benefit as well as literature classes: you could do a shared Unit!

AGE RANGE

I feel Zodiac is appropriate for any age – I didn’t see it on Lexile.com, so I would recommend 13 and up…there’s a lot of complicated information about space and the houses so it’s probably best for an advanced or avid reader. However, there was noting inappropriate that I could find, and you know I try to err on the side of caution.

End Result:

I give Zodiac ★★★★★! I loved it. Then again, I’m a big science fiction reader. I also love the Astrological aspect. I leaned a lot about the different signs, which I love. And of course only wish the main character’s house was Pisces! I can’t wait to read the next installment, Wandering Star.


So you’ve hung in there, so I think it’s only fair to reward you with…A GIVEAWAY! (I am so psyched to do this during my blogoversary month!)

Here’s the fun stuff!

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.

 Here is the link to enter! ———-> Zodiac Rafflecopter Giveaway

Thank you for joining me on my leg of the tour…here are the other tour stops along the way!

ZODIAC REREAD SCHEDULE:

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 (THAT’S ME ❤️)

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

**I know many of these ladies and they have FANTASTIC blogs!**

Twitter Chat: July 16th @ 8PM EST Hosted by Brittany @Brittany’s Book Rambles – don’t forget to join us!!

And here’s a little about the author before I go!


ABOUT ROMINA RUSSELL:

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 Virgo to the core.

Here’s a link to all the stuff from the Zodiac and MORE:  Zodiac Books! (Go check it out…lots of fun stuff!)

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64 thoughts on “Zodiac – Romina Russell (Review and Giveaway)

    1. I did! I can’t wait to read more about the houses…but I’ve always been an astrology fan.
      I remember getting this book and wanting to read it so much…and now I finally had the opportunity. Def a good one for sci-fi fans! 😊🙌

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Girl, I knew there was a reason we were friends. I’m such a Pisces too! Slap fins! I love this post too, and of course I skipped to Pisces. LOL. I did skim the others though. We’re always at the bottom. I don’t know enough about astrology to know why…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know either! We are always at the end of the Zodiac even though we are the third month of the year!!
      You’d think they’d have love for Pisceans but they don’t.
      Well I knew I liked you: they say Pisceans get along with other Pisceans really well.
      Love to my fellow Zodiac sister!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I was going to start it now that we finally got that email with the banners! I don’t have a physical copy but I think I have an epub of it to read.
      Did you already own it?
      And yes, Pisces sistas 4 life!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My blog tour date has come and gone obviously, so I had to do mine with the other banner. I wonder if I should update now? I did already have these ones but hadn’t read yet, so I’m so glad this tour came along. I’m reading book two now and really enjoying it!

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I was going to change my banner out, but sometimes when I do that on a following day, it changes the URL. So I’ll keep it this way but I saved it for later.
      I’m lucky I have Wandering Star as an epub but I prefer to read from the physical book…but whatever I need to do I’ll do since I’m DYING to know what happens next.
      I guess I’ll start Akata Witch too in order to help out whenever that happens! 🤷‍♀️
      Maybe I can put the new banner on my Twitter?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh! I didn’t know that happened, but I don’t think I’ve ever done that before either. I used to be all about those physical books too, now I’m happy with ebooks. This book blogging thing has changed me! LOL! I just finished Akata Witch the other day. I LOVED it! That would be so fun for a classroom. And using on Twitter is a great idea!

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Ooh, then I can’t wait to read it. I have so many this month! I’m trying to focus on them all but I always always overbook my books (lol, get it?) and end up taking on too many. It wasn’t a prob until social media and the blog got bigger, but now it’s harder to read! For my book blog! Who would’ve thought? 🤷‍♀️
      I better start it ASAP…good to know it’s a good classroom book!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel the exact same way! I’m working on getting organized and setting specific guidelines for myself on the times I spend on SM, but it does get overwhelming as the blog grows. I’m super grateful for it! Just in that awkward stage of learning how to manage it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So the main character is a drummer and the whole book is about the universe? I think I’m finally going to get my boyfriend to read something! He’s practically a drumming universe-encyclopedia.
    Even to me, the story sounds really interesting and seems to definitely be worthy of reading – even when I’m usually not into anything sci-fi related.

    Thank you so much for this review!
    I’m adding this book to my Goodreads-TBR immediately!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it. I really enjoyed the book personally!
      Yeah, the science fiction blew me away as well as the story world – Russell created so much that I couldn’t believe the detail!
      I’m def looking forward to the next book…I hope he likes it or that you like it, too!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I love astrology, and I have always noticed that I do fit a lot of Piscean qualities. The only one that I really don’t follow is the “go with the flow” attitude. Pisces is all about willingness to change, and I am not good with change at all! But then again, aren’t we all a little of every sign?
      I really want to dive into the next book right now!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great review Stephanie, and wow this book (and the whole series actually) sounds amazing. 😀
    I definitely have to look into this more because I am already really intrigued just from your review. I used to love all things astrological when I was younger, and while I don’t really believe in my horoscope anymore I still love reading about the Zodiac signs and all that comes with it.
    Also those covers are beyond gorgeous! I’d buy the series just to have them on my shelves! 😀
    Again great review, 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Beth! I loved the concept once I heard about them and I wanted to read them for a long time. Other books always came up, though. Now that they did this readathon, I’m able to finally read it and enjoy it. I owned the first book, so hopefully the second will be just as good (I’ve heard it is even better so far)!
      I can’t wait to read your thoughts on this one. Very cool and pretty series!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right, and you’ve probably described half the books on my TBR list as well. There are plenty I want to read but something else always comes up. 🙂 I hope so, I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the second book Stephanie. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing post, Steph! Love how you went into detail about each house and sign 😀 I’ll admit, I bought this book solely for the cover and I keep it on my shelves for the same reason. I wasn’t a huge fan of the book, but I couldn’t help but appreciate the insane world building and imagery. That was definitely the strongest part of the book for me! I might not be a huge fan of the series but I can definitely see its appeal. And I’d buy the rest of the series simply to have the books on my shelves. They’d make any bookshelf look stunning LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I know! The design is incredible. These are covers that never need to be redone: they are perfect the first time.
      I just loved the world and the houses and the overall astrology-centered story but I can see how maybe some wouldn’t like it…but I can agree that it was a cover buy for me too (or technically cover trade).
      Btw, I love your user pic and I keep forgetting to tell you! It’s my favorite one I’ve ever seen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope to the high heavens they are never redone haha. They certainly do NOT need it 🙂
        I loved the astrology and how the story was structured. I think, for me, it was the characters I had a problem with. But everything else was really well-done!
        Oh thanks so much! ❤ That's so sweet ˆ_ˆ

        Liked by 1 person

    2. You’re welcome! I kept meaning to tell you and I kept forgetting!
      This is one of those covers, like Kiss of Deception, that I wouldn’t mind in poster size.
      Speaking of which, I did get a Flame in the Mist poster at BookCon and a Rainbow Rowell one for a friend: they need to make more cover art posters, am I right? 💁

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I was wondering if I should frame it but it can be kinda pricey…so for now i have it with my movie posters to keep it nice, I wish I had gotten a The Belles poster but it’s hard to keep nice when you travel! More book art posters PLEASE! 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oooh a framed poster would be gorgeous. I’ sure there are affordable ways to make it happen. The cover to The Belles is stunning. I can only imagine how gorgeous a poster would look! I need to start collecting more book art posters myself! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s totally worth it…I kept looking at the cover and wishing I had time to read it, since it would be for a personal read and not a review, and I just didn’t have the time! Now I had a reason and I was like, “YES!! Finally I can read this and it’s not just for me!” (You know how it is when you’re a reviewer – everyone’s books ahead of your own!)
      I’m so glad I got to be a part of it and I can’t WAIT for Wandering Star! Now I need to own the rest of the series!!

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. It’s definitely a very unique concept! I enjoyed it because I’m a major astrology geek (I mean I don’t read my daily horoscope or anything, but I think it’s fun) and I enjoyed the detail that went into the book. I hope you give it a look if it’s up your alley!

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. We are Pisces buddies?? YES!! I need more of them in my life! Pisceans are the best!!
      Yes, I have wanted to read this and the Blog Tour was a total excuse to legitimately read it without feeling guilty for reading something for me. I can’t wait for Wandering Star! 😍
      I really think, if you’re not reading anything, you should join us! (Or if not, then please let me know, one Piscean to another, what you think of this!!)

      Like

    2. Yes, I’ve blacklisted myself from the library: I couldn’t get the 30+ books read in time. 🤦‍♀️
      I know how you feel about the review books: it makes it hard to read for pleasure anymore. But I guess that’s what we do as reviewers!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you do, bc it’s AWESOME!! I don’t seem to be scheduled for the rest of the tour, but I am going to read along Still and post reviews as they go! It’s the only time I’ll be able to read it: I don’t get to really read for luxury anymore! 🤷‍♀️

      Like

  7. Pingback: How I Write Book Reviews: guest post with Namitha @ Teen Memoir

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