Author: Kristin O’Donnell Tubb
Genre: MG/young YA, urban fantasy, alternate/parallel universes, sci-fi
Publication Date: January 8, 2013 (Macmillan – North America)
Source: Publisher-provided ARC/NetGalley Review Copy
Summary: What if there was a 13th zodiac sign?
You’re no longer Sagittarius, but Ophiuchus, the healer, the 13th sign.
Your personality has changed. So has your mom’s and your best friend’s.
What about the rest of the world?
What if you were the one who accidentally unlocked the 13th sign, causing this world-altering change—and infuriating the other 12 signs?
Jalen did it, and now she must use every ounce of her strength and cunning to send the signs back where they belong. Lives, including her own, depend on it.
☆: 3/5 stars – a fun book that will delight fans of Percy Jackson!
Review: Going into this one, I had no idea it was a older MG/young YA book. But that’s okay! I had a lot of fun with “The 13th Sign” – I think fans of Percy Jackson will love this one, especially if they don’t have the patience for an entire series (and subsequent sequel series) of books. “The 13th Sign” is a sweet, short read, and I think anyone who wants a break for an afternoon can definitely while away their hours in this great adventure of a book.
However, those that are looking for depth might want to look elsewhere. I think I got my hopes up a bit too much going into this one because it sounded so fun – but I neglected to remember that a lot of plot-driven novels like this do neglect the growth of their characters. Which, in this case, isn’t a bad thing, it just is what it is – a quick read which is easy and fun. Tubb doesn’t waste any time getting into the plot-driven part of things, which is refreshing, but at the same time, I do wish I could have gotten a better glimpse at where Jalen’s starting from in terms of her character and everything that’s going on around her.
I did love the idea of a hunt for birthstones to turn everything right again, and with all of the twists and turns (some of which I definitely saw coming, and some I didn’t), it was just an incredibly bubbly story that kind of got me out of my reading slump if just for kicks. With the zodiac turning to thirteen instead of twelve, I will admit I lost track of everyone who was previous x sign turning into y sign, and that could have been better reinforced throughout the book instead of it becoming a quick journey to get everything corrected before the changes are permanent.
As I said before, there were parts that really had me flashing on the “Percy Jackson” series – especially the fight scenes with the head of each zodiac sign – and that was really great. While I feel like there could have been more sensory imagery and language used, considering the age this is targeted towards, it’s enough. It does its job of advancing the plot, and having Jalen save the day, and that was enough for me. I’m also glad this is a standalone, because while I do see how this could have been spun out for several volumes, I’m glad Tubb decided to get it all done in one volume. I’m not sure I would have had the patience for it otherwise.
Final verdict? “The 13th Sign” is a fun adventure that will definitely give the MG set a boost with its heroine, Jalen, and all of the craziness that goes on inside. “The 13th Sign” will be available through Macmillan Children’s in North America on January 8, 2013, so be sure to check it out then!