Author: Vicki Petterson
Series: Zodiac #1
Genre: Sexy pentacle tattoo.
Topical Arc: Superheros.
Pages: 455, of which probably only 300 were truly necessary.
Copyright Date: 2007
Cover: A girl in a leather top holds what looks like a gun, staring out at the viewer. She's wearing a studded belt and she has rave-kid hair. A gargoyle-y monster is standing behind her, and a cityscape is behind it. There are review quotes from Diana Gabaldon and Kim Harrison in bright colors.
First line: "He didn't look dangerous, not at first glance."
Best part: The characters feel very real to me.
Worst part: This book hit my unfairness button hard and repeatedly.
Imaginary Theme Song: "S.O.S. (Rescue Me)" by Rihanna
Recommended for: Fans of superhero novels in text-format that don't mind characters getting a lot of hard knocks.
Related Reads: Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks, Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman.
I can't write about this plot and why it frustrated me without spoiling, so here's a cut tag.
The main character watches her sister die before her eyes and almost gets killed, and then, oh, you have to come be a superhero now or you will be framed for her murder? Oh wait, that's not mean enough, we are going to give you your dead sister's face, body, and even personality by "changing your hormones" without telling you first and now you have to act like her all the time.
BY THE WAY YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO GET UPSET. IF YOU DO NOT REMAIN CALM AT ALL TIMES THE BAD GUYS WILL GET YOU AND IT WILL BE YOUR FAULT.
Um, unfair much? I also feel like this suggests some disturbing things about female power. The book gets set up so it's "not okay" for the main character to act like herself, to be an aggressive strong woman, or to have genuine feelings. The way for her to really come into her power is to learn to be nice, sweet, and manipulative. I find that distressing.
On the other hand, and to her credit, the protagonist comes into her own towards the end of the book. She kicks butt, takes names, and demands respect in her new identity.
This book was interesting but it was too long. I mean, with 150 pages left to go I was thinking, "Will it never end?" though the last 50 pages picked up. The elements I felt were unfair also really bugged me. Although the worldbuilding was interesting and the characters were vivid I would not read further in this series. C-.