The 12th book I read this year was Zodiac Academy – The Awakening as told by the boys, by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti. This is the first book in the series retold through the eyes of the Celestial Heirs.
A summary attempt
This book opens with Darius and Orion on a nymph hunt, just before Orion sets off on his mission to go and find the girls in the mortal world. Through the eyes of each of the heirs and Orion, we get to see their arrival in the fae world and the impact they had on their lives. This story also offers an insight into the pressure they were under and some of the motivation behind some of the heir’s more in-excusable actions. We also see more of the abuse Darius was suffering, as in the books in the main series, we don’t start to see from his point of view until later, when he has started to stand up to his father and begun his journey as a character. The plot follows up to just after the dance where the heirs pull off their big stunt against the twins and we see the pivotal moments with each of the heirs where they were pushed into being more vicious than their nature by their parents.
I enjoyed reading this story from the heir’s point of view and it was interesting to go back and see these character’s at the start of their story, having read all the way to eight book and seen their character progression. I thought it was really clever how the authors were able to roll them back to the start and it definitely helps you to understand the heirs motivation (however horrible their actions were). I enjoyed how they weaved the narrative into moments from the original book, showing you the lead up to it, what their true feelings about their actions were and, crucially, the moments when the heirs were at a precipice where they could have turned back, feeding into the whole theme of pre-destined fate and the stars ‘testing’ them.
If you liked Zodiac Academy, then this novella is a great extra insight into the world/ the characters.