Oh, pretty covers… how I adore thee. And how it causes me to read books that are not truly that great. Not only did the cover draw me in, but so do the promise of astrology and a battle between the stars for power. I’m here to tell you that if you are looking for an action packed battle, you are in the wrong place.
Rhoma (Rho) Grace is a sixteen year old girl from the House of Cancer. She wants to make her family proud by being the best student possible and staying off of the radar. The only problem with that is that Rho has an usual way of reading the stars and can predict things others cannot. She sees disasters before they happens but nobody will believe her, she is still a student after all. When an explosion destroys Cancer’s moons, Rho is selected to be Cancer’s new leader. After more Houses are hit with disasters, Rho looks to the stars for answers and she sees something dark and terrible. She sees a dark matter threatening all of the Houses. In her new role, Rho does her best to try to warn and unite all 12 but who is going to be believe a teenager in such a powerful role? Rho does not give up and does her best to fight the evil she knows is coming.
The blurb makes it sound action packed, right? Wrong. Small sections that feel like something is happening and there is a real threat, but that feeling does not last throughout the entire book. Here is what I read: a massive info dump that feels like it goes throughout the entire book;long sections that are boring and nothing happens; and a pointless love triangle. I don’t read a lot of sci-fis but when I do I want them to be strong stories. This was not a strong plot. What was strong was the world building. I will give Russell that much. She can weave a wonderful world but cannot write dialogue or a plot.
I listened to the audio and was bored through most of it. Rho came across as the teenager she is. Meaning she didn’t sound mature or that she truly understood the seriousness of what was going on around her. Yes, the mythical bad man had made contact with her and she was trying to warn people but I feel she went about it the wrong way. Instead of being a true leader she chose to beg, plead, and whine to the other Houses. She did not sound sure of herself and she never relied on those with more experience to help her. She turned all help away because she just wanted to do it herself. I never understood that action because it makes her appear stupid and immature. Here is what absolutely bothered me the most about this character: she was more concerned about being with a boy than trying to fix the universe that is falling down around her. She really was so caught up in the fact that the boy she had loved for years was finally paying attention to her. Uh, sweetheart, he has to because you are the leader of his House. But then a new dreamy boy from Libra (my sign – HOLLA!) paid attention to her. She was so torn! Two dreamy boys liked her! groan I HATE LOVE TRIANGLES. They usually serve no purpose and this was the most pointless one I have ever witnessed. Do me a favor, Rho, either be the hero your people need you to be or be the teenager you want to be. You cannot be both.
I didn’t like any of the other characters enough to remember them and trust me, there were a ton of characters. Russell did have twelve zodiac houses and planets to fill. Honestly, there were too many characters. I didn’t care what happened to anyone or any thing. What did stick out to me was how Rho kept flashing back to her Mom’s teachings as a child. But it was always the same flashback over and over. What did it even mean? Are you foreshadowing for the third book in the series? You know what, I don’t care. This book upset me so much that I don’t even care what happens.
I won’t talk about the plot of the story because there isn’t one. It was supposed to be about saving the twelve houses from the evil thirteenth house but that part of the story doesn’t really happen until the last 5% of the story. The other 95% is pointless fluff.
As you can probably tell, I did not enjoy this story. I had such high hopes when I started but those hopes were quickly shattered. I cannot tell you why I didn’t DNF this book. I feel I should have. Terminology was terrible, the constant info dumping, too many characters, and that blasted love triangle. All of these things took away from what could have been a really good story.