AWRW Book Review: The Zodiac Collector, by Laura Diamond

thezodiaccollectorFor almost-16 year-old Anne Devans, the annual Renaissance
Faire means three things—her dad spending weeks in the smithy, her bipolar mom doing some manic costume making, and another ruined birthday for her and her twin sister, Mary.

This year, Anne wants things to be different, and she’s going to do things her way.

On the eve of the Faire, Anne (along with a reluctant Mary) conjures up a spell that will make their 16th birthday party a whirlwind event. Little do they know that it’s a literal request.

After the mini tornado in their room subsides, the girls realize they’ve invoked the power of the Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux. That’s the good news. The bad news is they also caught the attention of a sorceress named Zeena who has been collecting children born under each Zodiac Sign to enhance her power. Once she captures Anne and Mary, Gemini twins, the entire Zodiac—and the world—will be hers.

Anne leads the fight against Zeena, but her one-sided decisions could throw them into a world so far from home, even the Renaissance Faire would seem like a brilliant vacation. Between managing their new Zodiac powers, dodging their manic mother and trying to stop Zeena, they’ll get a 16th birthday they’ll never forget.

Book Details:

Paperback, 328 pages
Published by Spencer Hill Press
This Title will be Released on September 23, 2014

Genres:

Young Adult, Fantasy, Supernatural, Romance, Dystopian
12_Castor_and_Pollux_Elli_Crocker

The Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux

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“The renaissance faire wrecks my birthday every year.”

Twin sisters Anne and Mary want a Sweet 16 birthday party, and in order to have one, they must plan it themselves by any means possible… even magick. Their bi-polar mother is busy creating gowns for the renaissance faire, and their father has his own shoppe where he keeps occupied, and away from his manic wife, their mother.

Anne receives an early birthday gift from her grandmother, along with a warning…to study the Zodiac Spellbook she received, but not to use it without permission. But what harm can come from a little magick?

Turns out, plenty.

“Magick is real and as devastating as any mental illness.”

The girls craft a chant to keep their birthday plans a secret from their parents, and invoke the Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux, and inadvertently an old witch who doesn’t appreciate them stepping into HER territory. The temperature in their room plummets and the room shakes… a storm to top all storms is a brewing!

“She’s got to be more than a simple old woman selling fake magick and jewelry.

stardustAt the Renaissance Faire, where they are forced to work as walking advertisements for their mother’s dress business, they encounter an elderly woman who takes a special interest in them. She tells them that she collects Zodiac symbols, and offers them a gift of stardust.

Their lives change dramatically after this encounter, forcing the girls to unite together like never before, and stop this evil sorceress before it is too late and they are added to her “collection” too.

Or they may not make it to be 16, after all…

I knew this novel was promising when I read the blurb on Goodreads, and it far surpassed my expectations. A dystopian with mounting suspense, tons of conflict, and an interesting theme, this novel was hard to put down! Anything but predictable, Laura Diamond had me guessing what was going to happen next, throughout!

This isn’t your typical teen witch scenario. It was made all the better by including astronomy, a mentally ill mother who is off her lithium, identical twin sisters who couldn’t be further apart, and a touch of romance to round everything out. (Speaking of which, the mother’s mental illness was portrayed accurately, and I wasn’t surprised to read in the Author’s biography that she is a psychiatrist.)

And the climax…. whew!!! I did NOT see that coming!!!! Just wait and see, you will be, WOW! 🙂 I can’t even begin to describe how shocked I was at how it all played out. Did. Not. See. That. Coming.

It isn’t often that I read a young adult novel that I can REALLY get into, because the characters are usually a bit vapid, and there is always a love triangle as a sub-plot. Don’t worry my friends, twin sisters Anne and Mary are heroines worthy of praise! They are good, smart girls who are, bottom line, LIKABLE! I was rooting for them throughout, and you will too if you pick up this novel and give it a chance!

I received an advanced release e-copy of this book, from the Author’s publicist, in exchange for a fair, thoughtful, and honest book review.

You can Pre-Order The Zodiac Collector, by Laura Diamond HERE.

About the Author:

Laura Diamond

“Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist and author of all things young adult paranormal, dystopian, and horror. She’s a lucid dreamer, meaning she can direct her dreams while they’re happening. When she’s awake, she pens stories from her dreams and shares them with her readers. Laura has many published titles including the Pride Series (New Pride, Shifting Pride, and Tsavo Pride), the Endure Series (Endure and Evoke), The Zodiac Collector, a novella Sunset Moon in the Lore anthology, and several shorts stories. When she’s not writing, she is working at the hospital, blogging at Author Laura Diamond–Lucid Dreamer, and renovating her 225+ year old fixer-upper mansion.” –Goodreads Author Bio

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