The Zodiac Legacy
By Stan Lee, Stuart Moore & Andie Tong
First of all, allow me to say this, I really enjoyed this book, children’s books are my personal favorite, and while not all of them are the best I can say without a doubt that this book was well worth the time and money to purchase. If any of you who looked at my pick-a-book post saw this and guessed this was the next thing, well you’d be right. I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to talk about it. So lets get started.
When twelve magical superpowers are unleashed on the world, a Chinese-America teenager named Steven will be thrown into the middle of an epic global chase. He’ll have to master strange powers, outrun super-powered mercenaries, and unlock the mysterious powers of the Zodiac.
Alright so let me say that, again, this is one of my personal favorites to pass along to all readers, young and old. As it was co-written by one of the greatest minds of the past three or four generations, I find it hard not to feel invested in the story. Alright so allow me to start off with the characters.
Steven Lee, the Tiger
Steven Lee is the main protagonist of the book; we start with him on a school field trip to china, where he’s stuck in some museum with his fellow classmates, and from there hi-jinks in sues. I must say when first meeting Steven I was a bit put off by him, he seemed to be a bit emo for my tastes but for the most part he was well rounded. Still I won’t deny that his stubbornness sometimes caused him more trouble in the story than anything that the villain brought forth. Steven’s not the brightest kid around but his ideals are in the right place, but I don’t like how his folks ignored him just to run their fancy-shmancy company. Steven notes to us that the only person that he has in his life that really loved him was his grandfather, who taught him all about the Zodiac, right up to its convergence. Steven has one of those character flaws where if he was in real life, you’d want to slap the crisp out of him, but you don’t because he’s well likable. Though I must say, he needs to work on his leadership skill and listening skills. A lot.
Jasmine & Carlos
We meet these two simultaneously in the beginning of the book, and early on I got one of those, no-nonsense attitudes from Jasmine, she’s also a smart mouth. Carlos is the nerd of this cast and spends all his time with tech and helps where he can. While Carlos has no power of his own, Jasmine has the Dragon Zodiac and is the most powerful of the side of good. Ah yes Jasmine’s sarcastic remarks and attitude has a balancing effect on Steven as she is the yang to his ying (eh, eh I’m the next Barbra Pun-klman!) As Jasmine is more out spoken, Carlos was more reserved as he seemed more contempt in keeping his distance in battles, not bad, but I wasn’t sure what to think of him. These two certainly seem to be able to work together much better than apart but in the long run, I really did like these two, maybe even more than the next characters I’m about to discuss.
Liam & Roxanne
Liam, the Ram (Goat)
Roxanne, the Rooster
OK so still toward the middle of the book we introduce Roxanne and Liam. Liam is a Irish guy, I think in his early twenties, and Roxanne is a native to Paris, France also over the age of twenty (though I’m not a hundred percent sure). So Roxanne is a musician whose overall goal is to reach the top of the charts of France as the number one singer, and Liam…well he has no goals, but he’s always itching to fight with someone. These two are polar opposites of each other and create conflicts within themselves and those around them, Liam has full control over his power as Roxanne could no longer sing as her voice would turn into a rooster screech, burning all those whose ears the sound reaches. I didn’t really feel any special connection with Liam, Roxanne however, i really loved how strong she was, even when he entire life and potential career came to a hiatus, she kept going, no matter how many times she wanted to quit.
I hate to say this, but Liam, to me, was nothing but muscle, in terms of character he had his own life and goals but no drive to achieve anything really, he just loved fighting. Liam in the story he really knew what he was doing, even if he had no drive, so all in all, he’s balanced.
Kim, the Bunny
This is the next major character in the book and the final Zodiac that’s recruited to the good side in this book, her name is Kim. She is my favorite character in this book, her ability as the bunny allows her to vanish and reappear anywhere as wants, even from one continent to another, but it takes a lot of energy to do that. She’s the shy and timid girl who constantly vanishes as she doesn’t want anything to do with anyone (Like Daria, but Kim’s a positive Daria). So she runs and hides when she needs to, as a villain, Dog, has the obsession to capture her. Steven and co. have to work together and track her down as she could be a great ally for them to have. The reason I liked Kim was simply because she didn’t want to feel trapped, she lived in a small American town that was on the verge of collapse. I really sympathized with her the most of all the characters and why not, because she really has a good sense of right and wrong. Kim is my favorite.
Duane, the Boar
I hate to say this, but Duane was the most forgettable character in the cast, he’s pretty cool, but he’s twice as bad as Roxanne, in terms of control. I will have to reread because of all the characters, he’s the most forgettable to me.
Now our next villains
On the other half of the Zodiac signs, Dog, Ox, Snake, Horse, Monkey and the other Dragon are the antagonists who are led under Maxwell, and his “pathetic little band,” Vanguard. Maxwell is one of the worst villains, on in terms of bad writing but in terms of motivation. H wants all twelve Zodiac signs on his side so he can become his own super power and take the world hostage. Maxwell…yeah he’s a bitch, a prison bitch, I want him dead! He and his whole band deserve death! Honestly I could not stand even a second of screen time for them, Dog and Snake are my least favorite, Dog is nothing but a pea brain in a massive body while snake is a bitch! I really hoped one of them died in this book. You know dreams don’t come true. At least those ones. So now these guys just made me think of Hydra and S.H.E.I.L.D mixed together as one unit of endless baddies. Boy If I wasn’t half-way through the second book already…no never minds that’s for next week.
Alright plot time!
Now this is what you call a plot, there’s a good balance of action, humor and suspense pull into the story. It’s kind of like Fire Emblem Fate if that was set in a futuristic world, the characters and stories they tell have real meaning. That’s what the plot of this story is like; if you’re a fan of Fire Emblem this book is perfect for you. Another thing that gets me is how the authors really know their stuff, I was reading this and it felt like I was watching a marvel movie, like I was a kid again. That’s a feeling I love when reading middle grade books like this. However not everything was fun and exciting, as there were some dry parts in this plot, but unlike…the LAST book I read, the dry spots were few and far between. The pacing was also a bit slow for my taste, while I don’t like endless action on every page, I also don’t like when a plot has the characters do next to nothing when they should be doing something.
This happened only once in this book and I really had tolerated it as I was hoping to get some kind of happy ending with story. I was not disappointed for most of the book, I must say if Stan Lee hasn’t written a book like this before, when then curses that he didn’t do it sooner. Aside from those negative attributes, the story really makes you feel for the characters, there is one scene where I wished so bad to be there and help out the team (I can be the monkey, but I wish to be a dragon). I also really loved how the Zodiac powers were used and how each character had what they could do, but no one Zodiac could act without another help and that’s what really sold this book for me. I really liked its characters (almost) and that the story had all sorts of twists and turns that kept me guessing.
So there you have it, I should say, unlike the other sets of books I’ve read, this one is on-going and I’m currently reading the second book as of writing this. I must say it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to sit and read a kids book and I must say, I really quite enjoyed it.
Anyways, please leave any comments, thought feeling; have you watched any Marvel Movies? Did you know this book existed? Please let me know and I hope you all have a good day/night and I hope to see you all for the next one, later.
I am your father!