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The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence Hardcover – January 27, 2015


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Zodiac
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Press (January 27, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423180852
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423180852
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.5 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–7—In legendary comic creator Lee's first prose novel, two factions, each comprised of people who harness animal power from the Chinese zodiac, fight to control the fate of the world. While visiting a museum in China, Steven Lee's life changes forever when he follows his mysterious tour guide's screams for help, leading him to a secret room where Maxwell, a power hungry war contractor, accidentally releases an ancient power into the world. Now equipped with the aggressive fighting prowess of the Tiger, Steven teams up with Jasmine, a fake tour guide who has been fighting Maxwell's group for years, to travel the world and find the other hosts. Along with a feisty singer, a brawler from Ireland, a techie, and an extremely shy girl, Steven must learn to control his powers. The first installment in a planned trilogy, Zodiac has everything readers would expect from Stan Lee: plenty of action, a fast-paced plot, a villain who is driven more by misguided ideals than pure evil, and a group of young, ordinary people trying to make sense of their newfound powers. Illustrations by Tong, known for his work on superhero comics in the UK, add to the book's appeal. A cliff-hanger ending leaves readers wanting more. Give this to superhero enthusiasts and fans of adventure stories; it will fly off the shelves.—Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ

Review

Gr 4-7 In legendary comic creator Lee's first prose novel, two factions, each comprised of people who harness animal power from the Chinese zodiac, fight to control the fate of the world. While visiting a museum in China, Steven Lee's life changes forever when he follows his mysterious tour guide's screams for help, leading him to a secret room where Maxwell, a power hungry war contractor, accidentally releases an ancient zodiac power into the world. Now equipped with the aggressive fighting prowess of the Tiger, Steven teams up with Jasmine, the fake tour guide who has been fighting Maxwell's group for years, to travel the world and find the other hosts. Along with a feisty singer, a brawler from Ireland, a techie, and an extremely shy girl, Steven must learn to control his powers in order to defeat Maxwell. The first installment in a planned trilogy, Zodiac has everything readers would expect from Stan Lee: plenty of action, a fast-paced plot, a villain who is driven more by misguided ideals than pure evil, and a group of young, ordinary people trying to make sense of their newfound powers. Illustrations by Tong, known for his work on superhero comics in the UK, add to the book's appeal. A cliff-hanger ending leaves readers wanting more. Give this to superhero enthusiasts and fans of adventure stories; it will fly off the shelves. Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ—SLJ

In this series opener that marks Marvel comics legend Lee's debut for kids, 12 people-some heroes, some villains-receive superpowers based on the signs of the Chinese zodiac. The heroes, of course, are the youngest characters in the book. The descriptive prose is as spare and unambiguous as an old-fashioned interactive computer game-think "Zork," from the 1970s. "[The stairway] was made of wood, with a creaky old railing beside it. The walls were worn metal, stained and weathered by time." But the book contains enough fight scenes for several issues of a Marvel comic, and they're joyously inventive. People reveal their characters by the way they fight. A tiny girl with the ability to teleport wins fights by running away, over and over again, until the other person is exhausted; she's the Rabbit. These confrontations aren't described with the clarity Lee and Moore use to talk about the settings. Readers may have to look at a few passages twice to figure out just who hit whom. Fortunately, Tong loves drawing battle scenes. Pages and pages are crammed with energetic black-and-white drawings of people bounding around the room. But the characters are so engaging that the scenes where they're joking around and telling ridiculous stories are more entertaining than the battle sequences. The prose may be too bare-bones for some readers, but the surprises are genuine, and the cliffhangers will bring people back for the next adventure. (Adventure. 8-12)—Kirkus

3Q 5P M After the death of his beloved grandfather, teenager Steven Lee is sent to Hong Kong by his parents who want him to become more knowledgeable about his Chinese-American heritage. Here, during an unexceptional class field trip to the New China Heritage Museum, something extraordinary happens when he breaks away from the group to investigate an unusual sound. There, in the museum's sub-basement, he witnesses the frightening transformative power created by the combination of ancient artifacts and modern technology. This discovery initiates Steven's inclusion in an international group of young people who have been recruited to stop the power-hungry Maxwell and his manic mercenaries from accomplishing world domination. Using the fascinating mythology of the Chinese zodiac as the plot device that drives the story, the authors have created a world in which the powers of twelve unique animals can be transferred to a select group of people. The characters that are destined to use the powers are extremely stereotypical; however, instead of being offensive and off-putting, this heavy-handed typecasting comes across as familiar and comical. This is understandable, as the text reads like a verbal description of a detailed visual. Basically, the narrative is a running description of the characters, setting, and action that would be found in each illustrated panel of a comic book. Action-packed and heavily illustrated, this first book in a projected series should appeal to middle school students who are fans of Stan Lee, anime, graphic novels, superheroes, and the works of Rick Riordan.-Lynne Farrell Stover.—VOYA

Lee, the famed co-creator of such Marvel superheroes as Spider-Man and the X-Men, presents his first novel. Kicking off the Zodiac Legacy series, this action-driven outing is very much what his fans might expect. Chinese-American 14-year-old Steven Lee, on an educational tour of Hong Kong, stumbles on a secret plot to control the super powers of the Chinese Zodiac, perpetrated by Maxwell, a mercenary general seeking world domination. Steven accidentally gains the power of the Tiger and is immediately drawn into an emerging group of zodiac-powered young heroes dedicated to stopping Maxwell and his band of similarly zodiac-enhanced thugs. As the two sides race around the globe to corral the remaining powers and their wielders, Lee and Moore deliver desperate chases, bombastic banter, and increasing spectacular confrontations, albeit with a tendency toward over- description ("Maxwell reached out and backhanded her across the face. His hand swept through the air, leaving a trail of Dragon fire in its wake"). This frenetic light adventure should please readers who already love the Marvel universe and nurse their own dreams of superpowered glory. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8 12.—PW

Fourteen-year-old Steven Lee considers himself an average Asian American teen, so when he stumbles upon a mystical ceremony deep in the bowels of a Hong Kong museum, he has no idea how to handle the apparent superpowers on display. And once drawn into the ceremony, Steven surprisingly discovers ancient powers-those of the tiger in the Chinese zodiac-rising in himself. Fleeing the evil Dragon Maxwell, Steven aligns himself with Jasmine and Carlos to seek out others being captured by released zodiac superpowers. He persuades them to Jasmine's side even as he questions her ability to lead. This is legendary Stan Lee's first novel (the initial title in a proposed trilogy for middle-schoolers), and he has created an intriguing new set of superhuman-both good and evil-who are empowered by the creatures in the Chinese zodiac. What the story lacks in character development will likely not be missed by readers, who are pulled along with Steven from one confrontation to the next. Enhances by Tong's punchy illustrations, this novel will be in high demand from graphic-novel readers and movie fans alike. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: What's hotter right now than comic book superheroes? The myth of Lee, a Marvel Comics icon, speaks for itself, and the promotional engine for this is already at light speed. Melissa Moore—Booklist

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By b00k r3vi3ws on January 27, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Steven, as a Chinese American kid in America, has always felt like a misfit. Now on a trip to China, he feels even more so, especially when his friends assume that being of Chinese decent, he can read everything in Chinese. He also has some parental issues, who always seem to be busy with their work and have no tie for him. On a class trip to a museum, Steven accidentally gets embroiled is Maxwell’s plan to take over the world with all the zodiac powers. Steven lands up getting the Tiger power and an ally in Jasmine. Will Steven and Jasmine be able to find the others with Zodiac powers before Maxwell and stop his master plan?

The first thing that catches a reader’s attention in this book is the pictures that are sprinkled throughout the book. Even in my e-ARC copy, they seemed attractive. I am sure that they would be more so in the print copies. The second thing about this book is its plot that has a very interesting Premise. Twelve supernatural powers are unleashed on this world and each related to a Chinese Zodiac symbol - one man in pursuit of controlling them all while others band together to stop him. While the plot and the pictures were complimentary to each other, there were instances when certain things felt too easy and convenient for the characters. Talking about characters, there are quite a few and mostly from varied backgrounds and cultures. This added to the flavor of the story. However, most characters felt one dimensional and lacked the depth and growth that I like to see.

The narration style of the author is simple and dainty. It is easy to get into the story and continue with it. There are lots of action and drama infused into the plot to keep it going. A faster pace would have been welcomed but it is okay as it is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jon (Scott Reads It!) on January 27, 2015
Format: Hardcover
When a book has Stan Lee’s name on it, you expect great things from the man who helped turn Marvel into an international sensation. The Convergence is the first in a planned series that tackles a team of young superheroes who each have a special power based on their zodiac sign. So much of this novel is a setup for our story and establishes what the Zodiac is and so, not enough time is devoted to developing our characters. The heroes and villains are almost cartoonish in nature and are mere husks, devoid of much personality.

Steven Lee is a Chinese-American teenager who struggles to balance his heritage and American culture. He’s never really felt like he’s been apart of anything and has felt like an outsider his whole life. When he finds out that he is a Tiger and is asked to join the Zodiac, it seems like this is what he’s been waiting for along. To defeat Maxwell, Steven and his team leader Jasmine need to recruit other Zodiac team members from all over the globe.

I applaud Lee and Moore for including very diverse characters from a variety of backgrounds, making this team more relatable. I believe that reader’s will find Steven’s cultural struggle very realistic and will only make him easier to empathize with. Considering that the majority of superheroes out there are white, it’s refreshing to see that Stan Lee is following Marvel’s mission to make superheroes more diverse in The Convergence. Zodiac will definitely appeal to those who loved Ms. Marvel and the female Thor and this novel is the answer to the public’s appeal for a different kind of hero.

Zodiac has a large cast of characters and many of them aren’t given enough page time causing the majority of the characters to be pretty basic.
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By Stacy Palm on January 28, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Once more our minds have been blown to smithereens by Stan Lee. First, he conquers the comic industry, and then he took over the movie industry. Now with the first book in his YA series, Zodiac, Stan seems to have put himself in a position to dominate the book industry. Next all he needs to do is make an award winning video game and he’ll effectively be our entertainment despot.

Zodiac itself is a pretty good book, it’s no Dracula, or Pale Fire, but it certainly is impressive for a first foray into literature. I already know what your first question is going to be, “Is there going to be one of those little scenes where this old guy with white hair and sunglasses is on screen and you’re all like “Hey look its Stan Lee!” No, there is no little scene like that but none the less Stan still managed to shoehorn himself in, as the main protagonist is called, Steven Lee! That’s like me writing a book were the main character is called Brendon Palm.

Other than that the book is pretty good. The plot is pretty straight-forward. Steve Lee wanders into a restricted part of a museum and gets hit by an energy beam that gives him and everyone else in the room, Maxwell a guy with a huge private army who’s gunning for world domination, and Jasmine a girl who’s fighting him, superpowers based on the Chinese zodiac. The rest of the book is basically Steven and Jasmine’s superhero team fighting Maxwell’s superhero team. Like I said it’s pretty straight forward. But then it just grabs you by your nostrils and doesn’t let go till the end.

Review by: Brennan Palm
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