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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Review: The 13th Sign by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

What sign are you? Do you believe that your personality, the way you behave right now is affected by the zodiac sign you're in? What if your sign has changed? In this interesting debut by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb, readers will find out what happens when the 13th sign, Ophiucus, is added along with the other 12.

Title: The 13th Sign by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb
Release Date: January 8th 2013
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Publisher (Thanks Molly!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


What if there was a 13th zodiac sign?

You’re no longer Sagittarius, but Ophiuchus, the healer, the 13th sign.

Your personality has changed. So has your mom’s and your best friend’s.

What about the rest of the world?

What if you were the one who accidentally unlocked the 13th sign, causing this world-altering change—and infuriating the other 12 signs?

Jalen did it, and now she must use every ounce of her strength and cunning to send the signs back where they belong. Lives, including her own, depend on it.

That hype and virtual mayhem that Ophiucus created was enough to make me interested in this book. It started of with 14 year old Jalen getting a reading for her birthday. It was a tradition started by Nina, her once bright and adventurous grandmother who's now fighting to live on. Jalen just wants everything to be okay. Maybe being a Sagittaruis wasn't helping her at all. And so she found a mysterious book about the zodiac, and in her persistence to unlock it, she has also unlocked the 13th sign, Ophiuchus. Now Jalen's on a hunt to send back all the other 12 zodiacs to the heavens amidst all the personality shifts and zodiacs determined to stop her. Because of Jalen unlocks Ophiuchus' power, she will be able to save her Nina, and maybe reunite with her long lost father. All of this Jalen needs to do in 24 hours, or everything is permanent.

The concept behind the 13th sign is really interesting. It's one of the first YA attempts to write a story for teens about Ophiucus. While I don't like Jalen's doormat, easily influenced personality, the shift when she unlocked Ophiucus made her a little more likable. Better to have spunk and fierceness than be timid. It will take a while for the personality shift problem to convince readers that it is a real conflict in the book, but what's fun in this is the introduction and incorporation of all the 12 zodiacs, their different earthly forms, personalities and how they tested Jalen and her resolve to conquer Ophiucus. The trials Jalen faced were enough to give readers some tension. Though I didn't care much for Brennan's character whose personality felt like it shifted more than once with his erratic and inconsistent behavior, Ellie, though irritating at times, provided enough spark in the story with her support to Jalen. Also, Gemini, the playful zodiac who might or might not be a friend or a foe, lend the story enough mischievousness for it to be quite an engaging read.

Overall, it's a good reading experience. Even though I had difficulty connecting with some of the characters and the inclusion of the zodiacs in particular scenes created some moments of confusion in the story, it's still quite an enjoyable read. I definitely enjoyed Jalen's quest to defeat all 12 zodiacs. The author was able to stitch together the connection between Jalen's father and her involvement with the 12 zodiacs quite neatly, and her dedication to her Nina is the part that I loved the most in the 13th sign. My only complain for this is book is that Ophiucus' presence didn't give the story quite the impact I was expecting it to despite being the central source of conflict. I wish it was made more believable, that the story gave more of a sense of foreboding and impending danger than it does instead of it coming from the police hunting the characters and the zodiacs all throughout the story. It felt a little bit contained within Jalen's circle. I'm quite unconvinced with how unlocking Ophiucus can destroy the world, as there was not enough in the story to show that it really was happening. More chaos, more destruction, instead of everything just being a product of Jalen and her friends imagination. Also, a little romance wouldn't hurt, as this book has very little to almost none. If there was anything between Jalen and Brennan, it wasn't shown clearly. The concept behind the book was creative, I wish it was just utilized a little bit more.

Despite the difficulties I had, the 13th sign is still a good read. Though this might appeal to a more younger audience, it's not a bad start for Kristin O'Donnell Tubb. I would want to see more of her works in the future.

My rating

Content (plot, story flow, character):
It's quite a normal book.

Okay: Liked, but The Goddess demands more!

Book Cover:
Definitely one of my favorites this year!


  1. I haven't heard of this one, but it sounds unique. Glad you enjoyed.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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