When we received last month’s book to review from Parragon Books I knew it would be the perfect read for our oldest daughter Siobhan who just loves to read fiction of all kinds, what I wasn’t prepared for was how much our youngest Lara (aged nine) really enjoyed the mysterious novel by Stan Lee. She is our little reluctant reader and in a house full of book worms although she loves to be read to, she is a little less keen to read a whole novel herself.
The Zodiac Legacy by Stan Lee is a fantastic mystery novel suitable from 8+ and the mixture of text combined with beautifully illustrated comic style pages makes this a really compelling read. This book started out with Siobhan (16) reading it from cover to cover in two days, she just couldn’t put it down! It was then Lara’s turn and it became a new book to read aloud before bed, she enjoyed it so much she has started taking it to school every day to read in class too! What a success and I think the draw for my nine year old was the fact it’s a mix of eye catching comic style illustrations and a fantastic mystery which starts with a school trip and unfolds into a really interesting story.
The story is full steam ahead the moment it begins and comic creator Stan Lee’s exciting style makes The Zodiac Legacy (the first in the series) a real page turner. It’s a classic good overcomes evil tale and the main character Steven stumbles across twelve pools of mystical energy only to discover they are based upon the science of the zodiac. Danger, battles and of course the powers of each of the zodiac symbols follow (Steven takes on the power of the Tiger) and he is one of a group of young people around the world who must fight and triumph over evil. It’s a fast paced adventure story that has you hooked from the first chapter and if this is an indication of Stan Lee’s first novel, roll on the following two!
Steven is a fourteen year old Chinese American who struggles to fit in with his American peers and while on the trip to China, feels that he doesn’t fit in there either. The book delves into his isolation and how he copes with finding his place in the world and this journey of his self -discovery really resonates with the teen reader I feel. Steven is not alone and a group is formed to battle (there are quite a few battles!) against evil in an epic global chase. The relationships between Steven and his new friends is pivotal to the story and follows their own struggles and powers and how the friends cope and work together. Learning about them all and how they are linked together, really sets the scene and gets the reader ready I’m sure for more epic adventure in the following books in the series.
If you or your child (as it’s a really good read – child or adult!) enjoy action packed engaging stories this is a great book with super heroes, super powers, humour, battles, friendships, sarcasm, and plenty of dynamic adventure. My daughter’s both liked the way the story unfolded and the way Stan Lee draws the reader in with real, believable characters and the out of this world situations held their imagination to the very last page. With Stan Lee’s background in comic books (Marvel, Spiderman and XMen) it’s no surprise this book has been a huge success, due to his fast paced, absorbing, high energy story as well as the wonderfully represented characters and scenes courtesy of Andie Tong’s illustrations. Take a look at the short YouTube video at the end of this post to see Stan Lee himself talking about the book.