I can’t be the only person who has ever been suckered by horoscopes. You guys, I went through a stage where I actually believed they were real and kind of a big deal — you know those horoscope predictions. Granted, I am a Cancer and I am very emotional and kind of a total home body — however, sometimes I really like going out. Just because I have not checked my horoscope in months does not mean that I’m not interested in astrology as a theme, though. Like, you guys remember in 2011 when there was talk of adding another sign to the Zodiac? No? Okay well it was totally in the news. Anyways, I found this bit of the news quite interesting and followed the story. Seems like maybe Kristin O’Donnell Tubb did too, because her latest middle grade book The 13th Sign postulates just what would happen if there was a new sign added. ALSO SIDEBAR, isn’t that cover EXTREMELY gorgeous! I love it. Moving on…
It is tradition for Jalen to go to this weird fortune teller shop and buy something on her birthday with her Nina or, her grandmother every year. Unfortunately, Nina is battling breast cancer and cannot go with Jalen. So, instead Jalen goes with her best friend Ellie. The two find a mysterious book and are totally drawn to it, so they buy it. The book is locked up you guys, like under a lock and key. Jalen figures out how to unlock it and happens to unleash all of the zodiac signs including The 13th Sign, Ophiuchus. Unfortunately, this means that every single person’s personality changes with the shifting of the zodiac. It is up to Jalen with the help of Ellie and Ellie’s brother Brennan to defeat the 13 zodiac signs in order to put the universe back in order.
Jalen is actually really not annoying for a thirteen year old girl. Like, she starts the book as a Sagittarius, but after she unleashes the thirteenth sign, becomes an Ophiuchus, or a leader and basically awesome. Like, Jalen stops second guessing herself and just does things. I love that. I mean, okay there are some things that she sits and thinks about like — a dilemma concerning Ellie. Speaking of which, Jalen is a totally awesome friend, like she will do whatever she can to help her BFF out. Also. Jalen doesn’t spend the whole book mooning over some guy. Yay middle grade. YAY.
I quite liked the setting of The 13th Sign. It’s set in New Orleans, which I’ve never been to, unfortunately. Anyways, the tasks to save the world take the trio all over New Orleans and they come into contact with quite the interesting melting pot. I loved that, also I got really hungry while eating because food was described several times. I am also under the impression the New Orleans has good eating. Can any of you confirm or deny that? ALSO! The worldbuilding is fairly cool. Like, I enjoyed the magic involved. I liked that each of the signs embodied the personality traits ascribed to them and that the traits had something to do with the challenge. Seriously, big yay for quests.
The 13th Sign by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb is a pretty decent middle grade book. It’s easy to follow. The plot doesn’t go into confusing territory. The concept is interesting. And seriously? Awesome setting. However, The 13th Sign isn’t exactly a book that reached down into my soul and left me feeling changed. I’d recommend it to actual middle school students as well as to people who’ve been through the whole hey baby what’s your sign phase.OH and I did like this one as a palate cleanser sort of read.
Disclosure: Received for review
Other reviews of The 13th Sign by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb:
All Things Urban Fantasy – “The intriguing premise was squandered by poor execution.”
Ashley Loves Books – “A lot of the resolutions to the battles were abrupt”
The Housework Can Wait – “It’s the whole “don’t judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree” thing”