Monday, September 22, 2014

The Zodiac Collector by Laura Diamond

The Basics:
The Zodiac Collector by Laura Diamond
Spencer Hill Press
YA, Paranormal
Published September 23, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Kobo

Why I picked up this book:

The title of the book caught my eye!


For almost-16 year-old Anne Devans, the annual Renaissance Faire means three things--her dad spending weeks in the smithy, her bipolar mom doing some manic costume making, and another ruined birthday for her and her twin sister, Mary.
This year, Anne wants things to be different, and she's going to do things her way. On the eve of the Faire, Anne, along with a reluctant Mary, conjures up a spell that will make their 16th birthday party a whirlwind event. Little do they know that it's a literal request.
After the mini tornado in their room subsides, the girls realize they've invoked the power of the Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux. That's the good news. The bad news is they also caught the attention of a sorceress named Zeena who has been collecting children born under each Zodiac Sign to enhance her power. Once she captures Anne and Mary, Gemini twins, the entire Zodiac, and the world, will be hers.
Anne leads the fight against Zeena, but her one-sided decisions could throw them into a world so far from home, even the Renaissance Faire would seem like a brilliant vacation. Between managing their new Zodiac powers, dodging their manic mother and trying to stop Zeena, they'll get a 16th birthday they'll never forget.
My thoughts:

I don't DNF books very often, but by the middle of the book, The Zodiac Collector had me crossing the line from annoyed by the main character to ready to toss my e-reader.

The Zodiac Collector follows twins Anne and Mary as their sixteenth birthday approaches. When an early birthday gift from their Grandma unleashes magic in their world, the twins find themselves pitted against an elderly sorceress who collects symbols of the Zodiac.

Rather than discuss at length why I didn't like the story, I'll try to keep this short. I found the characters inconsistent and often pretty heinous. Anne's parents are awful people, her grandmother waffles between being a strong figure to being a crying mess. Even Anne, who provides the narration of the story, was really annoying. I didn't like that all the negative turns that the plot takes stem directly from her bad decision-making. Often she would decide or promise not do something, and then (it seemed to me), two pages later arguing to do that very thing. I felt very little empathy for her because every bad thing that happened seemed to happen because she refused to listen to reason or exercise any kind of good judgement. At one point she escaped from the villain, only to immediately turn around and go back to confront said villain! I couldn't wrap my head around the logic of it at all.

I liked the basics of the plot - the Zodiac collector was a pretty cool idea. But there weren't enough clear rules for the use of magic in the story - the outcome of each spell seemed very open to interpretation. Possibly if Anne had learned a few basics from her grandmother before delving into it, it might have been more believable?

Unfortunately, I stopped reading at about 60% of the way through the story, so it's possible that there's a really big payoff (massive character development?) in the climax of the novel! As it was, something happens to Anne that irked me so much I had to put the book down. 

Bottom Line:

I didn't enjoy The Zodiac Collector, mainly because I didn't care about the outcome for the main character. I cannot recommend this book - but I also didn't finish it. 

I'd love to hear what other people thought about this one - did you make it through to the final pages? What's your take on this YA paranormal story?


No comments:

Post a Comment