Monday, May 5, 2014

Book Review: The 13th Sign by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

Title: The 13th Sign
Author: Kristin O'Donnell Tubb
Genre: MG Fantasy
Pages: 272
Publication date: 2013
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

My rating: 4.5 spitwads / 5

From Goodreads:

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 upon it.


I had the pleasure of meeting Kristin at the 2013 Midsouth SCBWI conference. I was even luckier to get my copy of The 13th Sign signed by her.

So why do I like this book so much?

Tons of reasons!

1) The hook. The 13th Sign is a totally unique concept. Sure there are books out there dealing with the Zodiac, but this is the first one I've ever read about someone unlocking a thirteenth sign that throws the entire world out of zodiacal whack. I mean, come on! How cool is that? Answer: very cool.

2) The pacing. Kristin does an amazing job jumping into the action without sacrificing that emotional exposition that the reader needs to connect with the character. The MC, Jalen, transforms into a much needed heroine once the worldwide personality shifts occur. And it's at that moment when we discover the true awesomeness of the take-charge-and-kick-some-astrology Jalen.

3) The villains. Every amazing hero needs an equally amazing villain. This book has twelve. And they each come with their own strengths, weaknesses, and personalities. Kristin plugs a lot of humor into the manifestations of the signs, and the trials Jalen encounters with each one is pretty epic. I'm talking this-needs-to-be-a-movie-right-now level of epicosity.

4) The voice. Jalen's thirteen. She's going through some personal crap. Now she's unleashed a whole new astrological sign that turns the world on its head. And Kristin does a killer job of injecting those action packed moments of butt-kickery with some of the more emotional gems that make Jalen's thoughts, words, actions, and motivations so genuine and fun to read.

So should you pick this book up and read it for yourself? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then I would say you totally should.

  1. Do you enjoy fantasy?
  2. Do you like mythology?
  3. Do you dig astrology?
  4. Do you love strong female characters?
  5. Do you read books?
Question. Answered. You're welcome.

Happy reading!

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