The 13th Sign
By Kristin O'Donnell Tubb
Expected publication January 8, 2013 by Feiwel & Friends
What if there were 13 zodiac signs instead of 12? What if the discovery of this sign changed who you are, who your friends are? What if everyone you know has undergone a personality transformation because of this 13th sign? And what if, in order to reverse the personality changes, you had to battle the original 12 zodiac signs? Jalen is about to find out.
When I read the blurb for this title, I couldn't resist requesting it. It sounds like a really interesting premise, even if you don't really believe in the zodiac - I, like most girls, used to faithfully read my horoscope, hoping to get a glimpse into my future (don't we all wish we had some way of knowing what fate awaits us?). Of course, I outgrew that, but I still think the concept of the zodiac and signs is interesting. So I was definitely intrigued about this premise. What if there was a new zodiac sign and everyone's personality shifted to reflect their new signs (though, according to the dates in the book, my sign would have remained the same)? Unfortunately, I think this book was a case of cool premise, flawed execution. I had a hard time getting invested in this story, mainly because I wasn't at all interested in the main character. I get what the author is trying to do - this book is about more than just Jalen's quest to restore the zodiac. It's also about Jalen still dealing with her missing father and, now, the terminal illness of her beloved grandmother. But I don't care enough about Jalen to care about either of these things. Additionally, Jalen's own near-fatal bout with sickness is mentioned several times throughout but we never really know what she was sick with and how that illness came about. Another thing that bothered me about the book was the assertion that everyone's personality was changed by the unlocking of the 13th sign. As I mentioned, my sign would have remained the same, and, looking over the revised zodiac dates, that would be true for a number of other folks as well. So, not everyone's personality would have changed; it's simply convenient to the story that Jalen and everyone she knows would undergo the personality transformation.
Overall, I think the book showed promise but ultimately failed to live up to its potential. Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy provided via NetGalley.