Book Reviews

Book Review: Thirteen Rising by Romina Russell

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy
Series: Zodiac #4
Rating5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Favorite Quote: “…he realized how ridiculous he’d been to ever care about our Houses. He said even though we’d been born on different planets, the stars had always meant for us to find each other – that was why they’d given us each one half of the same soul.”

ABOUT: The master has been unmasked. Rho’s world has been turned upside down. With her loved ones in peril and all the stars set against her, can the young Guardian from House Cancer muster the strength to keep fighting? Or has she finally found her match in a master whose ambition to rule knows no limits?


My Review: After 3 long years, I have finally finished the last book of this incredible series. Thirteen Rising was indeed an epic conclusion to a defining moment millenniums in the making.

Thirteen Rising was a lot to take in. The weight on Rho’s shoulders was unbearable. Very rarely do I see an MC in such a despondent state that’s all-encompassing. Yes, there are plenty of book characters who face impossible odds and have everything to lose if they fail. But for Rho, it was a whole different monster and I couldn’t blame her for the choices she made in order to save the Zodiac. It’s Rho who makes this final installment so particularly riveting.

It’s so interesting learning what originating events caused things to end up where this series first starts. The big piece of this story is unity in every way imaginable. Houses divided cannot stand together and it’s a painful less everyone comes to learn: that the Zodiac is one singular, unified species.

But when the master’s identity is reveal, is salvation possible after millenniums of persecuting Risers (people born in one house but not able to fit that House’s mold) and us versus them mentality? The tension is so taunt that I didn’t want to stop reading.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t comment on the dazzling, cosmic cover art. All of the books in this series show oh-so beautiful, abstract space scenes of stars and constellations. And then there’s that striking tagline at the top: Beware the 13th sign. So so chilling!

The climax was agonizing to read. It was uncertain chaos that kept you guessing whether Rho and her friends would be able to save the Zodiac. The amount of loss was heartbreaking and I wish certain things didn’t happen.

The ending….I wanted to know just a tad more but it was satisfying nonetheless. I don’t think things could have ended any other way.

If you haven’t read this series yet, please do! It’s one of my favorite YA series of all time. If you love sci-fi/fantasy and strong heroines who always give it their all, this series is for you!

Zodiac Series (my reviews)

Zodiac – book 1
Wandering Star – book 2
Black Moon – book 3

3 replies on “Book Review: Thirteen Rising by Romina Russell”

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