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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-10-13
- Reviewer: Staff
In an ambitious but jumbled debut, Russell introduces readers to the Zodiac Galaxy where the 12 astrological signs hold sway over all aspects of life, each sign ruling a separate constellation. When catastrophe strikes the House of Cancer, 16-year-old Rho becomes its powerful new Guardian. Certain that a single evil is behind a string of troubles rocking the galaxy, Rho goes on an epic quest to find support and rally her fellow Guardians. Unfortunately, almost no one is willing to believe that a mythical thirteenth sign is behind the tragedies, and Rho’s efforts seem doomed to fail as the Houses fall, one by one. Russell’s narrative mixes intrigue, romance, and adventure, and a constant underlying tension drives Rho and her allies from one planet to the next. However, the obligatory love triangle—Rho is caught between the unsuitable and the forbidden—is predictable, the overcomplicated worldbuilding of the galaxy near-impossible to parse, and the novel’s approach to astronomical and scientific accuracy is questionable at best. Ages 12–up. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Dec.)