The 13th Sign

( 5 )

Overview

What if there was a 13th zodiac sign?

You’re no longer Sagittarius, but Ophiuchus, the healer, the 13th sign.

Your personality has changed. So has your mom’s and your best friend’s.

What about the rest of the world?

What if you were the one who accidentally unlocked the 13th sign, causing this ...

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The 13th Sign

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Overview

What if there was a 13th zodiac sign?

You’re no longer Sagittarius, but Ophiuchus, the healer, the 13th sign.

Your personality has changed. So has your mom’s and your best friend’s.

What about the rest of the world?

What if you were the one who accidentally unlocked the 13th sign, causing this world-altering change—and infuriating the other 12 signs? 

Jalen did it, and now she must use every ounce of her strength and cunning to send the signs back where they belong. Lives, including her own, depend on it.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Jalen is only 13, but she’s already got a “shock lock”: a streak of hair turned pure white from stress. Having survived a near-fatal illness and the disappearance of her father, Jalen figures she’s seen enough tragedy, but now her beloved grandmother is hospitalized with breast cancer. Since they always visited a hokey New Orleans fortune-teller on Jalen’s birthday, Jalen honors the tradition. The horoscope is worthless, but a locked book she finds in the shop proves otherwise, as Jalen unwittingly summons the 13th sign of the zodiac—Ophiuchus, the snake. Jalen has one day to send Ophiuchus back to prevent permanent, dramatic changes to the world, and she must battle through every sign in the zodiac to do it. Everyone in Jalen’s world has been altered along with their horoscope signs, and most of the new faces she encounters are out to kill her, so it’s not surprising that emotional connections can be hard to find in this book. Tubb’s (Selling Hope) adventure is pulse-pounding, however, and it’s refreshing to have a resourceful heroine who doesn’t happen to have superpowers or ninja training. Ages 10–14. Agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary. (Jan.)
VOYA - Jan Chapman
We are all familiar with the twelve signs of the zodiac, but what if there were a thirteenth sign? This is the premise of this contemporary fantasy about a thirteen-year-old girl, Jalen, who visits a New Orleans psychic at the request of her ailing grandmother. Jalen is a cynic, but she becomes a convert when she discovers a mysterious locked book that, when opened, unleashes a thirteenth zodiac sign named Ophiuchus. Everyone's personality is suddenly altered due to the insertion of this new sign, and the other zodiac signs are not happy. Accompanied by her best friend, Ellie, Jalen must now do individual battle with each sign and find the secret that will send them back to the heavens. This middle-grade fantasy has some of the right elements for teen appeal—mythological monsters, a quest to save the world, and a vivid New Orleans setting—but the characters are only mechanical cogs and gears to move the plot, which moves rapidly but becomes repetitive and increasingly contrived. Jalen's struggle over whether to use the thirteenth sign to save her dying grandmother (thus irrevocably altering humanity) adds tension to the novel, but this issue is hardly addressed with all the monster battling. Still, the premise of the plot shows originality and may captivate fans of mythological adventure series, such as Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and Michael's Scott's Nicholas Flamel series. Keep it handy as a quick read-alike to recommend to readers who cannot get enough of this genre. Reviewer: Jan Chapman
Kirkus Reviews
When a teen accidentally unlocks the lost 13th zodiac sign, everyone's personality shifts, and she must confront 12 Keepers of the zodiac to restore global order. Visiting a fortuneteller in her hometown of New Orleans, skeptical 13-year-old Jalen finds an ancient horoscope book called The Keypers of the Zodiack. Unlocking the serpent clasp, she releases Ophiuchus, the 13th zodiac sign. Personalities suddenly shift, and chaos ensues. No longer under Sagittarius, Jalen's now ruled by Ophiuchus, who possesses tremendous healing powers humans will seek and abuse. Unless she can find and restore Ophiuchus to the heavens within 23 hours, all personality changes will be permanent. To do this, Jalen must destroy 12 Keepers who protect Ophiuchus. Armed with a new personality and forced to overcome her own fears, Jalen frantically dodges and outwits the wily, outrageous Keepers who morph out of nowhere. Scorpio stings, Gemini confuses her, Sagittarius launches arrows, Taurus tries to crush her, and Virgo plays on her emotions. Racing the clock across New Orleans, Jalen knows more is at stake than restoring altered personalities if power falls into the wrong hands. An original, action-packed plot, a resilient heroine, a twist ending and 12 sly, angry Keepers will hold readers on edge. The ultimate astrological fantasy. (Fantasy. 10-14)
From the Publisher
"An original, action-packed plot, a resilient heroine, a twist ending and 12 sly, angry Keepers will hold readers on edge. The ultimate astrological fantasy." —Kirkus Reviews

"The swiftly paced plot will please readers used to Hunger Games–style action." —Booklist

"An engaging, fast-paced adventure through both the streets of New Orleans and the astrological map of the sky." —BCCB

 

Praise for Selling Hope:

* "The well-synthesized period flavor extends right down to the one-liners that punctuate Hope’s earnest, easygoing, and perfectly pitched narration (‘This morning’s gravy was so thick, when I stirred it, the room spun around!’). In the end, though, it’s Hope’s relationship with her father—a sort of proto hippy-dippy naturalist who often seems more of a child than Hope—that steals the spotlight with a gentle and well-earned tug of the heartstrings." —Booklist, starred review

"It’s a good show with heroes, villains, and heart." —School Library Journal

"Readers find themselves drawn in by the countdown to possible doom and intrigued by Tubb’s subtle examination of the fine line between offering hope and dealing deceit. Kids bemused by the notion of mass panic might want to ask their parents what they did to prepare for the turn of the millennium." —BCCB

Children's Literature - Kasey Giard
When her grandmother is too ill to fulfill a birthday tradition, thirteen year-old Jalen finds herself in the creepy voodoo shop alone. Jalen is ready to storm out after another disappointing and ill-fitting reading—looking for her sign, but she is strangely drawn to a mysterious book sealed by an ornate lock. Too late Jalen and her friends discover that opening the book releases the thirteenth sign, causing a shift in the personalities of everyone on the planet and unleashing the other twelve signs, sworn to protect Ophiucus, the thirteenth. Now Jalen must fight the twelve, for only by defeating the other signs will she survive and restore order to all. O'Donnell Tubb writes a fast-paced and highly entertaining story which will appeal to fans of Rick Riordan's novels starring Percy Jackson and friends. This is a story of friendship, loyalty and destiny loaded with fun characters and desperate battles. Recommended. Reviewer: Kasey Giard
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312583521
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publication date: 1/8/2013
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 585,735
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb’s first novel, Selling Hope, garnered terrific reviews, including a star from Booklist, who said, “Tubb deftly ingrains a thoughtful ethical question into the story, but never overdoes it in this bouncy tale populated by a terrific cast of characters.” Kristin lives in Tennessee with her family.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Kate

    I dont care what those other people say this is a wonderful book you have to read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2013

    The 13th Sign. When I first heard of it, I literally spazzed. Wh

    The 13th Sign. When I first heard of it, I literally spazzed. What a brilliant idea! Like Jalen, I am a Sagittarius that feel like the horoscope didn't depict my personality right. And so I started wondering if there was a 13th sign. The idea intrigued me dearly. And recently I got into looking at horoscope more because of Midorima from Kuroko no Basuke (I miss you Shin-chan). So when Raincoast Books provided me a copy of The 13th Sign, I freaked. So on the night of January the 4th, I started reading and man I didn't put the book down until I was finished. I finished this within hours (and I read SUPER slow) so this is saying a lot! Now I am currently writing this review at 12:30 in the morning. I have to say my mind works better at night anyway.


    Okay let's talk about the cover. WOW! Is it ever gorgeous?! It somewhat reminded me of The Night Circus' cover and this Alice in Wonderland mythical depth. I adore it! It seemed goth but also elegant. I can't stop staring at it.

    I mean the book is not perfect for example, the start of the book. The book didn't start out very well. Maybe it was me but I was confused. I didn't understand the characters, ie who is Ellie, and what's her relationship with Jalen? How old is she? How about Brennan? Nina? Jalen kept on referring Nina as "her Nina", why? What is going on?(Oh Nina is her grandmother, after 43 pages I find this out). And I thought they were locked out of the house, how did they get in?

    So I was a bit frustrated with the beginning, but that said, if you look past all that, everything was good. I mean you get to be introduced to all the zodiac signs as people, almost like Greek Gods from Percy Jackson. Each of them had their own personalities that fit the horoscope. That was pretty cool. :) Oh speaking of Percy Jackson, there were many things this book resembled of Percy Jackson series. You know the Minotaur encounter in the lightning thief? There was something similar but with Taurus the Bull. So if you know the adventure Percy went on such as Medusa's lair etc, you get most of the action from this book. BUT! The big difference is that the Percy Jackson series seemed to had more layers and complexity. Some of the "fights" in this book lacked many excitement. It just didn't have the same impact as the Percy Jackson series but I mean, who can compete with Rick Riordan? He is practically a God himself.

    So overall, this book is a fast-paced adventure that's for sure. It is full of magic, myth, danger and more! Once the story got started, the pace was fast. It kept things interesting and not dull. One adventure followed another, one Keeper after another. If you like Percy Jackson (but a step down), why not give this one a try?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I absolutely enjoyed The 13th Sign by Kristin O¿Donnell Tubb, an

    I absolutely enjoyed The 13th Sign by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, and I truly believe it is a story that MG readers will thoroughly enjoy.  Why?  Ummmm…because the twelve signs of the Zodiac come to life!  Yes, you heard me…pretty awesomesauce right?

    The 13th Sign opens up in a voodoo shop in New Orleans, and on main protagonists, Jalen’s, birthday! After many years of tradition where Jalen and her grandmother, Nina, come and get their tea leaves, palms, or tarot cards read.  But this year, Nina is in the hospital battling cancer, so this year, Jalen has brought her best friend, Ellie, with her.

    It’s in this shop that Jalen comes across The Keypers of the Zodiak book.  After being told by the shop keeper that she can’t have the book, Jalen and Ellie take the book and go to Jalen’s home to try and open it.  After figuring out that the key to open the intricate lock on the book is in her grandmothers jewelry box, Jalen started an unbelievable event that changes everyone in the world.

    Jalen unknowingly opens up a 13th zodiac sign, Ophiuchus.  And in doing this, apparently Jalen has angered the other 12 zodiac signs, and they come to life and are now after Jalen to stop her from gaining the power of Ophiuchus.  And now, the zodiac signs have deemed Jalen as their challenger and will stop at nothing to stop what Jalen has started.  One by one, the signs come after Jalen and her friends, and one by one, Jalen and her friends have to defeat the signs and send them home into the stars.

    The idea and concept of this book was one that I found so interesting.  I loved the idea of all the different zodiac signs to come to life, and allow us to see some of their powers.  I loved how the key to defeating these signs was to decipher a cryptic answer found within the descriptions of the signs.  And I also loved the idea that because of the entrance of this 13th sign, the personalities of every one has been altered…whether it’s for the better or for the worse.  I also really enjoyed the side story regarding the disappearance of Jalen’s father.

    Author, Kristin O’Donnell Tubb does a fantabulous job of grabbing the reader’s attention with the multitude of battles.  Her descriptive writing skills are amazing, and you can’t help but get caught up in the moments.  I also really loved the emotional side of the story when dealing with Jalen’s grandmother.  Just reading the intimate moments between Jalen and Nina were tugging at my heartstrings.

    I was a little annoyed the extreme 360 to Jalen’s mother’s personality when the 13th sign was released.  I couldn’t really understand how she could freak out as much as she did to Jalen.

    I would recommend this read to MG readers everywhere!  Fans of horoscopes and zodiac signs will devour this quick read, and will have them totally comparing themselves to the zodiac descriptions found in the book.  I  know I did, and I am such a Cancer!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 19, 2013

    "This is a REALLY GOOD Book"  That is high praise from

    "This is a REALLY GOOD Book"  That is high praise from a middle grade boy!  My son and I both loved reading The 13th Sign.  Author Kristin O'Donnell Tubb carries us along Jalen's fast-paced adventure to try to recapture all of the Zodiac signs she unknowingly released.  From hot air balloon rides, to racing away from archers, to escaping from Leo the Lion, the action never stops. We loved learning about the Zodiac signs, characters, and personality types!  Someday, we would love to find a dusty old book titled, The Keypers of the Zodiack, and start our own adventure!  

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  • Posted February 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I started reading The 13th Sign thinking it is a young adult nov

    I started reading The 13th Sign thinking it is a young adult novel, however soon enough I found out it was a middle grade novel. I don't read much Middle Grade novels but I continued reading The 13th Sign because the synopsis sounding interesting, plus I am a sagittarius, just like the protagonist. Jalen somehow unlocks the 13th sign, Ophiuchus, and as a consequence, the personalities of everyone in the world shift depending on their new star sign. Logical, fair judges turn into emotional ones, diplomatic and rational presidents turn into hotheads and declare war; basically the whole world is crumbling and the only way it could be saved is if Jalen defeats all 12 signs and meets with Ophiuchus within 24 hours. Thus, Jalen, along with her best friend and her best friend's brother, embark on this journey. The whole book passes by with Jalen fighting each zodiac and defeating him or her using her judgement of the star sign itself with the help of the Zodiac book she unlocked. In all honesty I found it a bit repetitive, different zodiac sign but same fight, and same result in the end, her winning. I know that is how it is supposed to go but I felt that is too simplistic, which is why I tend to not read Middle Grade books often. I didn't get much depth from the characters and I just hoped there was a bit more complexity in the end solution and some sort of shocking ending. I do understand that this is a middle grade book and I would only recommend it to middle grade readers, because while I did enjoy this book, it isn't one I would recommend to strict YA readers. If Tubb ever writes a YA novel, I would definitely be interested in reading it because she is a great author. 

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