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ZODIAC SAGA 2 The Balance of Power

Children/Young Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

Zodiac Saga 2: The Balance of Power, is the second book in the award-winning finalist for most promising series of fantasy/sci-fi. Zodiac Saga 2 continues the story of a bullied young boy named Cyrus O’Hara, a believer in Zodiac gods. Cyrus is now known as Lancaster in The Balance of Power. The Zodiac gods are known as the Sacred Twelve or the Elders of Zodia. There is an unknown powerful force seeking to destroy the Zodiac gods and the entire universe. Lancaster embarks upon a suspenseful journey with friends Sofia the fearless, Peter the great, and Judas the ghoul to save the world. Along the way they will encounter new friends, old friends, new foes, and old foes. A tragic turn of events leads Lancaster on a path that reveals a hidden secret about the Sacred Twelve. This secret helps him learn more about the meaning of family and his true identity.   

Reviews
From New York to Seattle, the present to the future, this fun, if messy, sequel to Zodiac Saga 1 takes Lancaster and his gang on a journey to find the Gems in order to help the Elders, the Zodiac gods. But soon after they start, they get severely sidetracked by a series of zany events, such as an unfair trial, crazy weather, silhouette zombies, unhelpful gods and their wily children, and the potential end of the world. By Lancaster’s side are Sofia, Taurus’s daughter; Judas, an undead ghoul; and Peter, the driver. Can Lancaster overcome a constant onslaught of trials and tribulations to uncover the truth about himself, or will the world fall to ruin on his watch?

This is a unique twist on familiar concepts that’s full of humor and personality; the immaturity of the gods is a quirky take on deities. But too many ideas are stuffed in this installment, and not all of them properly flow into each other, leading to an ungrounded patchwork effect. The only goals given are that Lancaster and his team need to “help the Elders” by “finding their gems” (concepts which won’t be clear to readers who haven’t read the previous volume), with no mention of how that would happen, whether there is a time limit, or what the stakes are if they fail. Thus, when the crew shows up in New York and things go awry immediately, it’s unclear how this impacts the larger mission. Also, most of these events do not get resolved by Lancaster, who’s often being called away in his dreams, being left behind by his friends, or leaving his friends behind, thus spending very little time with them and letting seemingly dire circumstances get resolved in the background while he works on his own mission.

Fortunately, between the well-defined smaller stakes, the plot twists, and the breakneck speed, this is an escapade that will certainly keep young readers on their toes. While this novel could use stronger connective tissue, there’s no denying this scramble against constant destruction will be fun for an upper middle grade audience.

Takeaway: Middle grade readers will revel in this quirky, no-holds-barred take on the children-of-gods trope.

Great for fans of: Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Cindy Lin’s The Twelve.

Production grades
Cover: C
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: C
Marketing copy: B+

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News
09/01/2020
Press Release

Zodiac Saga 2: The Balance of Power, is the second book in the award-winning finalist for most promising series of fantasy/sci-fi. Zodiac Saga 2 continues the story of a bullied young boy named Cyrus O’Hara, a believer in Zodiac gods. Cyrus is now known as Lancaster in The Balance of Power. The Zodiac gods are known as the Sacred Twelve or the Elders of Zodia. There is an unknown powerful force seeking to destroy the Zodiac gods and the entire universe. Lancaster embarks upon a suspenseful journey with friends Sofia the fearless, Peter the great, and Judas the ghoul to save the world. Along the way they will encounter new friends, old friends, new foes, and old foes. A tragic turn of events leads Lancaster on a path that reveals a hidden secret about the Sacred Twelve. This secret helps him learn more about the meaning of family and his true identity.   

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