About the Book:
Title: The Zodiac Trails
Author: Michele Khalil
Publisher: Indy Pub
Release Date: July 24, 2020
For as long as anyone could remember, there have only been twelve Zodiac Signs. Gifted by the stars with two abilities each, the twelve signs had maintained balance in their world for centuries. Now, a thirteenth sign threatens to upend the balance…
Talah grew up hearing about her ancestral homeland called the Galaxy. Hidden away on Earth from the world her parents had escaped from, she dreamed of becoming a true Zodiac. When her chance finally arrives to compete in the Trials and join her people for good, she is all too eager to prove her place. But beneath the lavish parties and power lies a dark secret their history had forgotten. And with it, a boy she thought she’d never see again.
Firas had spent his whole life training for the Trials to take his true place as the Soulinus heir. But when he is hunted down for the extra abilities he was born with, he has to learn to survive. Now the leader of a people facing genocide, he has to outwit a centuries-old society with powers that rival his own.
Thrust into a forgotten civil war neither truly understand, Talah and Firas must find the balance between tradition and freedom.
Oh my gosh! This was so intense! I loved the world, the unique fantasy, the interesting characters, it was all great. I was immediately interested from the description. I am always intrigued by mythology and fantasy, but I have not had the chance to read many inspired from zodiac. From the start, I entered another world. The world of the Zodiacs is full of elemental abilities and ancient Middle Eastern and Asian influences. It was so cool to see a world pulling from there and to learn a little bit about the ancient culture. Some of the descriptions of architecture and clothing were so pretty! The concept was also really cool, I love the idea of having special abilities based on zodiac sign.
The story was so interesting! Throughout the whole book, there were new revelations in every chapter! Up to the very last chapter, there were new twists. Disclaimer, this is not a stand-alone. This is not even a mostly conclusive, but with a few strings pulling towards the next book kind of story. This is a full-on cliff-hanger ending, I need the next book immediately kind of story. I think I might have screamed a little when the book ended. The action in the story was exciting, the intrigue was surprising, and I loved the character’s connections.
Characters are always my favorite part of a book. Firas was so passionate and committed. He felt such a connection to those like him, those different from the molds Zodiacs had, the traditional abilities each sign possessed. He has had to survive and lead a people who have faced and continue to face genocide. It was sad to see how he had to face such cruel stoicism from those who he formerly knew and trusted. It was sweet that he had found new connections with his people. I liked Talah’s strength. She wanted to help people, but she felt the pull of fitting into her new world and pleasing her family. She really cared about the people in her life. Talah was very loyal, which made some of the surprises in the book all the more shocking and impactful.
I really enjoyed this book and would totally recommend it! It is fantasy, a bit on the older teen spectrum with some violence. It also has a dystopian vibe, which can endear or turn off some. Again, beware that this is the first book in a trilogy and does not have a neat ending. However, it is interesting, compelling, and really cool!
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.