The Mighty Zodiac: Starfall

J. Torres, illus. by Corin Howell and Maarta Laiho. Oni, $14.99 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-62010-315-9
Torres (BroBots) introduces a complex mythology that riffs on figures from the Chinese zodiac in this action-laden first book in the Mighty Zodiac series, in which animal warriors attempt to defend the land of Gaya against rabbit-led forces of darkness. After the death of a celestial blue dragon, six stars fall from the sky, and the Moon Rabbit Army descends on Gaya. On the brink of death, the serpent Master Long calls upon the warriors he has trained—the Mighty Zodiac—to capture the fallen stars and propel him to his place among the stars. Torres quickly introduces the Zodiac members—Buta, a flamboyant performing pig; Rang, a duplicitous rat; and the powerful Great Tiger Ho—but slowly unravels their backstories through flashbacks and dialogue so that, by the final battle, readers care about who they are and why they fight. The action sequences are nearly nonstop, and Horwell and Laiho make good use of shifting perspectives and dynamic compositions to sustain a high-energy atmosphere that lays a strong foundation for future tales. Ages 9–12. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/23/2017
Release date: 03/01/2017
Genre: Children's
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