Saturday, September 13, 2014

Review: The Zodiac Collector by Laura Diamond

For almost-16 year-old Anne Devans, the annual Renaissance Faire means three things--her dad spending weeks in the smithy, her bipolar mom doing some manic costume making, and another ruined birthday for her and her twin sister, Mary.
This year, Anne wants things to be different, and she's going to do things her way. On the eve of the Faire, Anne, along with a reluctant Mary, conjures up a spell that will make their 16th birthday party a whirlwind event. Little do they know that it's a literal request.
After the mini tornado in their room subsides, the girls realize they've invoked the power of the Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux. That's the good news. The bad news is they also caught the attention of a sorceress named Zeena who has been collecting children born under each Zodiac Sign to enhance her power. Once she captures Anne and Mary, Gemini twins, the entire Zodiac, and the world, will be hers.
Anne leads the fight against Zeena, but her one-sided decisions could throw them into a world so far from home, even the Renaissance Faire would seem like a brilliant vacation. Between managing their new Zodiac powers, dodging their manic mother and trying to stop Zeena, they'll get a 16th birthday they'll never forget.

This book seemed to have at least three things I was interested in: twins, astrology, and Renaissance Faires.

In The Zodiac Collector, Anne and Mary are twins who have to deal with SATs, a Renaissance Faire wherein there'll be forced by their mother to advertise her dresses, and a manic-depressive mother who has stopped taking her medicine and won't listen when the twins if they can have a party. When their grandmother gifts her with a Zodiac spellbook, Anne convinces Mary to cast a spell that sets off some pretty unwelcome things.

For some reason, despite the fact that the blurb clearly says that they cast a spell and that they have Zodiac powers, it never occurred to me that magick would figure as prominently as it did. I figured that they ended up casting a wayward spell without knowing magick. As it turns out, their grandmother taught them when they were younger and they're actually aware of spells and how to cast them. As surprising as that was, though, I didn't really mind much as I did dabble in Wicca in high school (or elementary, I'm not sure), and I do remember some things. One of which is that it was a seriously bad idea for Anne to cast at least one of the things she tried to do.

As for the twins, I liked Mary so much more than Anne. I guess it's because I'm a Capricorn and I found Mary to be more mature and level-headed than Anne. Anne just rubbed me the wrong way for around 1/3 to 1/2 of the book. At least I liked the other characters, minus the villain and the twins' mother. The villain Zeena was scary at first but when her intentions were revealed more fully, she started to feel like every other villain I've read before and her effect was lost on me.

Thanks to NetGalley and Spencer Hill Press for the e-ARC. Publication date of The Zodiac Collector is on September 23, 2014.


  1. You'll learn a few things about magick.
  2. You get to see what goes on behind the scenes at a Renaissance Faire.
  3. There's some potential here.


  1. If you don't believe in magick, you might find the things here hard to relate to or believe.

The Zodiac power is our reagent. Physical contact is the catalyst. 

  1. You're fascinated by astrology.
  2. You believe in or practice magick.
  3. You like attending Renaissance Faires. 




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