Rating 4 out of 5 magical coffee cups
“When twelve magical superpowers are unleashed on the world, a Chinese-America teenager named Steven will be thrown into the middle of an epic global chase. He’ll have to master strange powers, outrun super-powered mercenaries, and unlock the mysterious powers of the Zodiac.“
I gave this book a shot because of Stan Lee. I’m not ashamed to admit this because Stan Lee is . . . well, Stan Lee. I should be able to stop this review right here and all of you should read it just because Stan Lee is a part of it. We can debate the worthiness of the second book later.
But I’m sure that isn’t going to work so fine, I will go on.
This is a Middle Grade book based off the twelve Chinese Zodiac signs that jumps into the action pretty much from the first chapter. Both good and evil have gained the powers of the Zodiac and the battle begins.
In the book you can only gain the power that you are born into, meaning if you are born in the year of the dragon then you can harness the power of the dragon. Simple enough. I then had to look up my sign (oh, I might be showing my age here) I found that I am the year of, wait for it,. . . the pig.
I was a little hurt by this at first because I was being introduced to the mighty dragon, the fierce tiger, the powerful ox, and I can’t help but think the pig is going to be silly. Turns out the pig is pretty cool and super smart. I can live with super smart.
Much of the book ends up being retold through different viewpoints which is a little odd because I found myself thinking “Didn’t this just happen? Oh, this is so-and-so’s point of view. Got it”. The repetition did make the book very easy to understand, even with a good amount of people running around (remember: twelve zodiac signs), so I really didn’t mind it after awhile.
This book contains some illustrated pages giving it a little bit of a comic book feel that is fitting but not over done in anyway. My favorite illustrated page was of a boat with the epic name of Excelsior.
I found this to be a fun and entertaining read. It is very much a story about teamwork and friendship. I will happily seek out the second book.
There are also two free ebooks (The Vanguard Archives and The Zodiac Archives) that give a quick little summary of each of the characters and a preview of the first six chapters if you are just curious. Go read! Then we can talk about what Zodiac powers we could have. You all ready know I’m the pig, what are you?