Zodiac Academy Series Review

Fantasy Dark Romance Book Recommendation - Zodiac Academy Series Review - Zodiac Academy by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti

I am finally doing it. I am finally writing a Zodiac Academy Series review. Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti have created a series that will absolutely tear you apart, put you back together, and then leave you absolutely begging for the next book.

“The most important thing I’d learned in life? You can’t trust people. And you especially can’t trust boys with wicked smiles and equally wicked intentions.” 

Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti, The Awakening

I will not be doing individual reviews for this series because there are way too many spoilers, Additionally the 8th and final book are coming out in December of 2022. I have to say though, I will be glad when I can put this series behind me because as much as I like it, it’s been an emotional roller coaster.

This series is a fantasy bully romance, enemies to lovers with lots of twists and will likely cause emotional damage. It also has a large number of triggers. While I will try to list them all I may miss some so please check the trigger warnings in the books too.

Trigger Warnings

Since we don’t always get trigger warnings on books I like to give trigger warnings in my reviews. This can help people avoid certain triggers that could hurt their mental well being.

Possible Triggers in this book are:

  • Alcohol
  • Alcoholism
  • Amputation
  • Anxiety
  • Assault
  • Attempted Murder
  • Blood
  • Bones
  • Branding
  • Conversion Therapy (While not for LGBTQIA+ there are scenes that are similar)
  • Cults
  • Death
  • Decapitation
  • Depression
  • Drugs
  • Emesis
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Fire
  • Gore
  • Hallucinations
  • Hostages
  • Harry Potter References
  • Kidnapping
  • Misogyny
  • Murder
  • Needles
  • Physical Abuse
  • Poisoning
  • Profanity
  • Sexually Explicit Scenes
  • Slavery
  • Slut Shaming
  • Snakes
  • Spiders
  • Torture
  • Violence

For a list of the triggers I look for you can check out this link here. This may or may not be a complete list of triggers for this book, I do my best to make sure I mark anything that could be a potential trigger but I may accidentally miss triggers.

Zodiac Academy Reading Order

This series absolutely needs to be read in order and there are 8 books planned for the entire series, at least that I know of. While it’s always fairly easy to get the books based on the numbers I still like to put them in order by their actual names.

  1. The Awakening
  2. Ruthless Fae
  3. The Reckoning
  4. Shadow Princess
  5. Cursed Fates
  6. Fated Throne
  7. Heartless Sky
  8. Zodiac Academy 8 (Releases December 11th 2022)

Luckily this entire series is on Kindle Unlimited, so even if you only sign up for a month it’s absolutely worth it for this series.

1 The Awakening
2 Ruthless Fae
3 The Reckoning
4 Shadow Princess
5 Cursed Fates
6 Fated Throne
7 Heartless Sky
8 Zodiac Academy 8

Zodiac Academy Series Review

When twins Tory and Darcy find out they are actually Fae from Solaria and in order to get their inheritance from their parents they need to attend an elite school called Zodiac Academy. Here they will receive their elemental powers and learn how to control them.

Too bad not everyone is thrilled about the Fae sisters raised in the mortal realm returning to their realm. The Heirs rule the school and are set on making the lives of the Vega twins absolute hell. 

I’m only giving a synopsis based on the first book in the series because I do not want to spoil where this series ends up. However, if you’ve been on BookTok for any amount of time you likely already have at least a little bit of an idea of where this story goes.

While the first book sticks to this synopsis there is something darker brewing in the background that will take over the entire series as it goes on. It is hard to prepare you for the amount of twists that take place and how much emotional damage comes with reading this series.

There will be times where you firmly believe the characters in this story will never win or catch a break. Caroline and Susanne are just mean to their characters and readers. There is always a cliffhanger so if you haven’t read the series yet you might want to wait to read it until the beginning of December.

Those warnings aside… This series is so freaking good. I love it when a series just sits with you for months and Zodiac Academy does that. It’s dark, twisted, and beautiful. The world building is literally out of this world and beautiful. The character building is amazing. There are so many characters with different personalities brought to life. 

As the series goes on, while the trauma gets worse so does the interactions between characters. There are so many instances where I’m laughing out loud at how fantastic these characters really are.

Zodiac Academy Characters

There are a lot of characters in this series and new ones get introduced often so I’m going to stick with just a few of my favorites and the main characters.

Tory and Darcy are amazing and both have a lot of character growth in this series that we love to see. The heirs; Darius, Caleb, Seth, and Max, are an interesting bunch for sure. I really think we see the best character growth in these four. Though, Caleb and Seth are my favorites which isn’t shocking because I hated them when I read the first book. Lance Orion at first I hated him but he also grew on me.

Geraldine is by far my absolute favorite character in the series. She’s a little weird at first but as the series goes on you can’t help but love her. Gabriel is another favorite of mine and I loved that we got more of his story in Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac, you can check out my review here.

Xavier is another favorite but I don’t believe we really get into his story until about book 3 or 4. 

There are a lot more characters to love in this series but these are my main favorites. I really love how the characters work together and even speak with each other. Additionally, I love the journey that most of the characters take in their growth and in coming into their own. Especially seeing people become absolute badasses.

Zodiac Academy Reading Experience

I am not a fan of bully romances so right off the bat my anxiety spiked in the beginning and I almost DNF’d the entire series. I am glad that I pushed through though. I didn’t fully know what to expect because “adult version of Harry Potter” is not at all an accurate description of what this series actually is.

The world that Zodiac Academy is based in is a brutal one so when you start off in a mortal realm with mortal morals and acceptable behavior, it’s a bit jarring to go into a world that is cut throat and oftentimes violent. That being said, once you get past that initial this is abusive and unacceptable behavior it does become a bit easier to read.

My reading experience with this series wasn’t the best because I binged the series. IPinterest was so hooked that for about 9 day I did nothing but eat, sleep, and breathe Zodiac Academy. I do not recommend this. Do not stay up late 9 days in a row reading this series. I think it’s part of why I felt this series was extremely draining.

I am hoping to do a second read sometime likely in November before the release of the 8th book. I hope it’s a better reading experience because I know what will happen. I will say by the time I got to the end of the 7th book I seriously felt completely hopeless for our heroes. That may change in my second read through.

Star Rating

Before I rate this book I want to give you a bit of background about what my rankings mean. I typically read books that I check out through the Libby app with my local library or through Kindle Unlimited. 

I rarely buy ebooks unless they are cheaply priced or on sale. I also very rarely buy physical copies of books. I’m a bit of a minimalist so I have to absolutely adore a book to buy a physical copy that will be proudly displayed in my home.

So my ranking system is as follows:

  • 5 Stars equals I am buying a physical copy of this book. I will read this book at least 10 more times, it is the best ever.
  • 4 stars equals a great book. I might buy an ebook version when it’s on sale so that I can re-read it at least one more time.
  • 3 stars equals a good book. I likely won’t read again but I appreciate the story.
  • 2 stars equals “Meh.” I will not read this book again, it had a lot of problems and I did not care for it.
  • 1 star equals a bad book. I barely finished this book and I will never recommend anyone waste valuable book reading time on this book.
  • 0 stars is a did not finish book. I will never finish that book and it is banished.

The Zodiac Academy series gets 5 stars, 4 spice, and a case of tissues. Despite my experience being tainted by my hyperfocus I did feel that the series was well written, with a beautiful world, and amazing characters. I’m not going to take away from this series because I made the mistake of binging this so hard that I went without sleep.

Final Thoughts on the Zodiac Academy Series

I can’t wait for this series to be finished because I’d really like to not worry about what’s happening next. Caroline and Susanne keep dropping hints that they are just going to destroy us even more so my anxiety over the last book of this series is extremely high. Thanks to the authors, I do not appreciate it.

I will buy this series and I will do rereads because it is a great series. Additionally, despite their desire to destroy me, I love the authors. I’ve loved everything they have written and will likely continue to read their books for quite a while.

Other Reviews of Twisted Sisters Books:

Have you read the Zodiac Academy series? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on TikTok and Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite book boards.

Fantasy Dark Romance Book Recommendation - Zodiac Academy Series Review - Zodiac Academy by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti

Zodiac Academy Series Review - Zodiac Academy by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti - Fantasy Dark Romance Book Recommendation


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