Black Moon is my favorite book of the Zodiac series so far, which says a lot because I absolutely love and adore these novels and found the first two to be quite enjoyable.
I was captivated by this book’s plot. It was just so exciting. Throughout her journey to three new Houses, Rho meets new acquaintances, encounters a new political group, and uncovers important truths about the history of the Zodiac, its present-day leaders, her mother, and her own heart. There is tons of action, especially towards the end, and there are several shocking plot twists. There is even a bit of romance, which I think Romina Russell handles in an exceptional manner. I often find the element of romance to be over-bearing within YA fantasy novels. In this case, however, Russell finds a good balance between Rho’s relationships and the rest of the story. And… Rho finally picks between Mathias and Hysan! Although I was originally rooting for the other guy (I won’t spoil who she chooses), I have a new ship. The love scenes were so well-written that they made my heart ache. Finally, several new questions are presented and several mysteries from the previous books are solved. We find out what happened to Rho’s mother and we discover the identity of the master! The book ends with a spectacular cliff-hanger. I’m so glad I waited to read this book right before the release of Thirteen Rising because I definitely couldn’t wait more than a few days to find out what happens.
In Black Moon, Rho is reacquainted with several characters and she also meets several new ones. As usual, they are all fascinating and diverse. Because they are from a variety of Houses, they vary in everything from their appearances to their personality traits. Several races and sexualities are represented. Another thing I love about Russell’s characters are how much they evoke my emotions. I always find myself really rooting for/against them. Sometimes, I even find myself being infuriated by certain characters. Overall, I think they’re very well-written.
Russell is an amazing world-builder. You can tell that she has really thought through all the aspects of the worlds she creates. As Rho travels to each House, she describes several details about her surroundings including the architecture, methods of travel, creatures, and technology she observes. The setting is yet another reason that Zodiac stands out to me. It is like no other that I have ever read, and each new book brings adventures to new and exciting places.
I can’t stress how important the messages Russell embeds into the story are. In its most basic form, this series is about courageously fighting to create a world where everyone is accepted, respected, and treated equally. This continuing theme is just one of the many reasons that I really enjoyed Black Moon. Just when I thought the Zodiac series couldn’t get any better, it did. I can’t wait for Thirteen Rising!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars