Hype or Like Friday – BOTM Review: Zodiac (Zodiac, #1)

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The November BOTM is Zodiac (Zodiac, #1) by Romina Russell.



  • Answer the weekly discussion topic.
  • Optional: Discuss your chosen hyped book of the week.
  • Optional: Talk about your progress on the BOTM.


You know that feeling of amazement when you pick up a book and become so completely engrossed in its world? Well, that’s exactly how I felt while reading Zodiac (Zodiac, #1) by Romina Russell.

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 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?

The Good

  • AMAZINGGGG World-Building – Seriously, I cannot stop being blown away by how insane Russell’s ability to create this world is. Everything is so well laid out and explained. It’s incredibly intricate and detailed, with just enough background information to give you some history without overdoing it. Seriously, I can’t wait to explore more of this galaxy!
  • Imperfect MC – While Rho may be considered a “special snowflake” because of her abilities, I really appreciated that Russell constantly challenged that notion. All of the decisions Rho makes have serious repercussions, which raises the stakes even more. It was nice to see that she wasn’t making the right choice every single time, but mostly failing because she’s still only a teenager and doesn’t really know as much as she thinks she does.
  • Fast-Paced Plot – I can promise that this story won’t bore you. The action starts in the very first chapter and doesn’t stop until the very end. I didn’t want to put the book down because there was something constantly happening.
  • HYSAN!!! – Cocky, sassy, and smart? Yes, this is a love interest that I can definitely get behind!

She remembered thinking falling for him would be like falling in love with darkness, but now she imagined he was more like a starry night_ the constellations were always there, constant, magnificent against the eve.png

The Bad

  • Silly Love Triangle – Now, I am one of those weirdos who actually enjoys love triangles (come at me, bro!), but the love triangle in this story just didn’t work for me. Is it because I’m not really a fan of Mathias? Possibly. But seriously, if you’re going to write a love triangle then you need to write chemistry between the MC and both love interests, not just one.

Overall, this is a really fun read that I flew through. I plan to pick up the sequel in January because I can’t wait to see where the story goes next! Also, I definitely head cannon Hysan as bisexual. I don’t care what anyone else thinks! 😉

Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars


Have you read Zodiac? If so, what did you think of it? Do you prefer Mathias or Hysan more? Leave a link to your Hype or Like Friday post in the comments!