A Beautifully Structured Novel | Review of ‘Black Moon’ (Zodiac #3)

By Cynthia Ayala

Black Moon by Romina Russell
Image Credit: Goodreads

“Rho, the courageous visionary from House Cancer, lost nearly everything when she exposed and fought against the Marad, a mysterious terrorist group bent on destroying the balance in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now, the Marad has disappeared without a trace, and an uneasy peace has been declared in the Zodiac Galaxy. However, Rho is suspicious. She believes the Master is still out there in some other form. Moreover, looming over all is the eerie visions of her mother, who died many years ago, but is now appearing to Rho in the stars. When news of a stylish new political party supported by her best friend, Nishi, sends Rho on another journey across the galaxy, she uses it as an opportunity to hunt the hidden master and seek out information about her mother. Moreover, what she uncovers sheds light on the truth–but casts darkness upon the entire Zodiac world.” —Goodreads

Published December 6, 2016, by Razorbill Black Moon by Romina Russell is the third novel in her young adult science fiction/fantasy tale that takes astrology to a whole new amazing level.

One of the best parts of the novel is the world building. There is a history to the novel that Russell takes the opportunity to explore the culture as it has evolved. Russell has given many hints that the people in this novel originated from Earth many millennia ago, separating and forming their cultures based on their zodiac sign. This has led to different ways of evolving culture and defining the people as if they were just on a different continent. It is a thoughtful exploration of the society and the many cultures surrounding her idea of evolution, defining the people by their sign, giving them very little room to be anything more than what the galaxy defines them. That concept is more than just a concept as it has real-world applications giving the characters more believable characteristics.

The character development is something to be respected in the novel. Wandering Star offered character development, but overall that novel was very plot driven, reacting to the events constantly, taking away much character growth that would have allowed the characters to flourish. However, in Black Moon, because the pace of the novel is slower the story is given a chance to focus in on the characters and how they have evolved personally through their exploration of the galaxy and multiple cultures. This also gives the as well as unearthing the long-forgotten history that changes how they see everything. It is so interesting to see how history can have such an effect of changing the world as it is rediscovered. Moreover, the history was structured so well. Not just the galaxies history but Rho’s history as well. It comes in flashes that give the reader more insight into who she is while at the same time it adds to her character growth.

That is quite possibly the most impressive part if this novel besides the world building is the character growth. Rho has had bits of growth here and there, but there has always been a limit to her growth, especially when it came to the love triangle. She would grow then take two steps backward. However, the love triangle has been snipped, and Rho is finally coming into her own as a leader. She is facing the world and seeing it without the rose-colored glasses. Rho has become such a strong character taking everything that has been thrown at her and using it to make her stronger instead of bringing her down. It is a remarkable change to her character that makes her so captivating in this novel.

While slower than the previous novel, the novel offers many reveals that shake up the novel. As the story moves, it takes the time to focus on the world and the turmoil it is facing as well as character growth. An excellent and riveting addition to the Zodiac series. (★★★★☆ | B+)

Product Details:

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2016

Page count: 320pp

Age Range: 12 & Over

ISBN: 978-1-5951-4745-5

Publisher: Razorbill

List Price:  $18.99

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