Title: Black Moon (Zodiac, #3)
Author: Romina Russell
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Hardcover, 320 Pages
Published December 2016
Summary: One final secret stands between Rho and the enemy. But will the devastating truth be enough to destroy her first? Rho, the courageous visionary from House Cancer, lost nearly everything when she exposed and fought against the Marad, a mysterious terrorist group bent on destroying balance in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now, the Marad has disappeared without a trace, and an uneasy peace has been declared. But Rho is suspicious. She believes the Master is still out there in some other form. And looming over all are the eerie visions of her mother, who died many years ago, but is now appearing to Rho in the stars. When news of a stylish new political party supported by her best friend, Nishi, sends Rho on another journey across the galaxy, she uses it as an opportunity to hunt the hidden master and seek out information about her mother. And what she uncovers sheds light on the truth–but casts darkness upon the entire Zodiac world.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I'm so glad I did! I've been a huge fan of the series from the start, so needless to say, as soon as I got my hands on this book, I dove right into it. I was a bit worried that I would need some refreshing at first, being that it had been a decent chunk of time since I'd read the second book, but everything came back to me pretty easily, and Romina does a good job of incorporating recaps here and there.
So the story continues to follow our beloved Wandering Star and outstanding seer, Rho, as she attempts to save the Zodiac from a mysterious villain that nobody can quite pinpoint. If that wasn't hard enough, the fact that she's only sixteen/seventeen years old makes it even more difficult, because she isn't taken as seriously. So this book follows those struggles, as Rho also has to come to terms with her heart, her relationships, and even her family.
This book involves a lot of plot twists that you'd never see coming! I won't spoil any of them for you, but I'll just tell you that you get to learn a lot about who's behind everything, and there are also a couple of steamy and romantic scenes -- but between who, I'll never tell. You'll just have to read the book for yourself. ;)
What I liked most about this book is that Rho has a significant change in character, especially when you look back on what she was like in the first and second books. She used to be unsure, afraid, and submissive. But in this book, Rho uses her voice a lot more, makes more grown-up decisions, and asserts much more confidence. She proves to her older peers that she's worth respecting, and that sort of character change is really uplifting and inspiring. I picked up on it right away, and it became my favorite part of the story. The Guardians started to give her more respect and actually involve her in decisions, which is something that didn't happen much in the first two books. So that was a total "you go girl!" kind of moment.
There were so many shocks in this book, that every moment was something interesting! There was tons of secrecy, split-second decisions, drama, romance, and even some betrayal (some of which you wouldn't see coming). There's never truly a dull moment in this book, and it keeps you in suspense and always makes you want to turn the page. It kept me hook from the first page.
There are minor spoilers ahead, so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet! You guys, the ending of this book totally shocked me. The master wasn't the person I expected it to be, and that just goes to show that, as the master said, looks can be deceiving, and a false sense of security is more convincing than one may think. When I got to the part where the master revealed himself/herself (Aha! For those of you who snuck into the spoilers without reading the book, now you'll never know), I was floored. I had several suspicions on who the master could have been, but I never expected it to be this person. That possibility had totally slipped my mind. Romina definitely shocked me with this one, and it was really, really impressive.
All in all, Black Moon was another fantastic edition to the Zodiac series. I'm so super excited for Thirteen Rising, the fourth (and, if I'm not mistaken, the final) book in the series! The way this book ended made me so eager for more, and I'll be super antsy until August, because I. Need. To. Know. What. Happens!
Even if you aren't a huge fantasy or science fiction fan, I encourage you to give these books a try -- I'm not huge on either of those genres, and this series still ended up being one of my favorites! If you're curious about my thoughts on the previous two books in the series, you can check out mine and Amber's reviews of Zodiac (Book #1) and Wandering Star (Book #2)!