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The Twelve

(The Twelve #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  256 ratings  ·  60 reviews
The Zodiac Legacy meets Spirit Animals in this epic, own-voices middle grade fantasy duology.

Usagi can hear a squirrel’s heartbeat from a mile away and soar over treetops in one giant leap. She was born in the year of the wood rabbit, and it’s given her extraordinary zodiac gifts. But ever since the mysterious, vicious Dragonlord hunted down her parents and all those with
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by HarperCollins
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Avvai Yes! It's good if you're interested in the Chinese zodiac signs. It'll make you want to have your own animal powers!…moreYes! It's good if you're interested in the Chinese zodiac signs. It'll make you want to have your own animal powers!(less)

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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  256 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I wanted to get July's Owlcrate Jr because they were going to have some cool Zodiac and stuff and I was right! Click on the Goodies Link below the pic to see all the things!

Pippa DaCosta
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My daughter absolutely loved this book (from OwlCrate last month). “It’s the best book in the world. I love it soo much.” << You can’t get a better review, really! 😂 The cliffhanger ending (her first cliffhanger) destroyed her though. She needs the sequel NOW.
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Actual rating: 3.9

So, The Twelve follows the story of Usagi, a 12-year-old girl who was born in the year of Wood Rabit. Her zodiac gifts allow her to hear every sound (even the tiniest one) from a mile away and soar over treetops in a giant leap. Her younger sister, whom she calls the Horse Girl, Uma, can make a fire out of nothing and run in spirit speed. Together with their best friend, Tora (who was born in the year of Tiger), the three of them try to hide their zodiac powers as those
Sam (she_who_reads_)
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a ride!! This middle grade is absolutely packed with action and adventure, found family relationships, and a whole lot of heart. I loved the Zodiac element, and the ways in which it was woven into the story- I learnt so much! Usagi is a wonderful main character, and her determination is inspiring. I think middle grade readers will find a lot to take away from them book, and like me, be dying to get their hands on the next book!
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was my son’s first OwlCrate delivery and we absolutely loved reading it together every night! What an excellent vocabulary Cindy Lin has utilized here. Other than the occasionally repeated gnarled hands we learned lots of great, new words and really enjoyed this unique and distinct world of the Zodiac Heirs.
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
The digital arc of this book was kindly provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ website in exchange for an honest review.

3,5 stars

This is a fun middle-grade fantasy based on the Chinese zodiac system where people can be born with certain powers based on their birth year. I found the plot simplistic but quite exciting in the beginning, the characters were likable and the world building was rather unique. But I also didn't like the writing style that was too heavy for such a book, in my opinion,
Then she realized they were home—a new one.

Usagi lives with her sister and her friend in the forest after her parents were murdered and they were orphaned in the war. The blue dragon's rule is strict and every person with even the hint of zodiac power is taken away. What will Usagi do if the one thing matters the world to her is taken away?

First and foremost , if you're familiar with middle grade fantasies .. this book will be a big surprise for you.

The twelve is actually perfect and offers the
Ms. Yingling
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Usagi lives in a world where some children are born with extraordinary powers, either ones that are animal like qualities or work with the elements. She lives with her younger sister Uma and friend Toma, since her parents were killed when the Dragonlord took over and outlawed anyone with powers. Times are very hard, and the children survive by stealing food and trading it for necessities through Aunt Bobo. When they bring her some rice to trade, they watch a perfo
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won an ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway!

Okay, so I already liked the concept of this book before I even received it. Asian-inspired fantasies seem to do better in the middle-grade genre than in YA because in middle-grade novels there's usually more action and less romance, and The Twelve totally lived up to those expectations. There is no romance featured in this book at all, and the training and fighting make up most of the book. And it was awesome training and fighting.

Just be aware
hallie bertling
Sep 15, 2019 rated it liked it
good concept.
i wish we had a bit more character development (personalities) of each person.

it also took me (mea culpa?) about 4/5 of the book to realize people can have both a spirit animal AND an elemental power.

lots of confusing info up front.
not much action until the last 80 pages or so.

beautiful cover.

but i love SHADOW OF THE FOX (julie kagawa) and CIRCLE OF SHADOWS (evelyn skye) so much more. (those are both YA and not young readers, though.)

so it was fine, but i guess i need a re-read to e
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This one was okay. I liked the beginning and the ending. That's where the action and intrigue was. The middle was slow. It was training and learning. The magic and setting were interesting. The powers were based on the elements and Chinese zodiac. ...more
Really 3.5 stars. This is quite good but I guessed a few twists. I also guessed some of the heroine’s behavior. Much of this is from Eastern traditions and beliefs and makes a really good story. I am definitely going to read the next in this series!
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some middle grade books are quick, entertaining reads and others are rich novels with complex worlds that can take longer than an adult novel. The Twelve is a middle grade novel steeped in rich folklore and beautifully written.
Amanda - Cover2CoverMom
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
You can read all of my reviews on my blog -> Cover2CoverMom Blog

*3.75 Stars*

I received this book after winning a Goodreads giveaway for the first time since joining Goodreads in 2014! I did a little happy dance when I received my email that I was one of the lucky winners selected to receive an ARC of The Twelve. I am a complete sucker for any type of Asian inspired fantasy, especially within the middle grade audience.

The Twelve is about 12-year-old Usagi who must rescue her little sister after b
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-from-2020
Usagi has been in hiding with her younger sister, Uma, and her best friend, Tora, ever since the Dragonlord’s army came to her village and hunted down all those with Zodiac powers. Usagi’s parents are gone, but she, Uma, and Tora have managed to stay away from the Dragonguard. They steal rice to sell, forage for food, and practice their own powers in the shadow of forest. One day, Uma’s overeager use of her Fire Horse powers get her noticed by the guards in town, and she and Tora are taken away. ...more
Oct 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019, ya, fantasy
An isolated island with warriors who have powers based on the animals of the Chinese zodiac is attacked by the Dragon Lord and his armies. Years later, three orphans find themselves hunted down because of their zodiac powers, and only one manages to escape. Usagi has Rabbit powers, but she doesn't know how to use them well. She falls in with a group of other zodiac warriors and begins her journey to understanding her powers, why her world is the way it is, and then sets off to save other childre ...more
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for an eARC of this book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy read by Cindy Lin. Usagi and her sister, Uma, have special zodiac powers in a land where such things are now forbidden. When Uma is kidnapped by the Dragonlord, Usagi desperately wants to rescue her, but befriends a group of Heirs of the Twelve who are willing to train her to develop her powers before she tries to set Uma free. Usagi's decision comes at a price she is unaware she's going to have
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, fantasy
Excellent fantasy! Usagi, her sister Uma, and their friend Tora are living on their own. Their parents were killed when the Dragonlord got rid of everyone with magical zodiac powers. The three girls know they have to keep themselves and their own talents hidden. They work together to survive after most in their community are either captured or killed. Born in the year of the rabbit, Usagi has incredible hearing and leaping. Uma was born in the year of the horse and can run super fast. Tora has i ...more
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Twelve is an enjoyable read. It has its ups and downs; there were parts I wasn’t enthusiastic about and others that I really enjoyed. At one point I had even decided I wouldn’t be continuing on with the series, but I ended up loving the last quarter of the book and changed my mind. Those moments I enjoyed played a huge role in my rating as I was originally considering giving it a 3 or 3.5 stars.
The author has the ability to make you feel for the characters and feel the emotions you are mean
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, lib2020
a really fun adventure! Girl with the powers of her zodiac symbol lives in a conquered land, in which the adults with gifts have been slaughtered, and kids that show them are rounded up and taken away by the oppressive government. Then she finds that there's still people working to bring back the fellowship of the 12 zodiac powers to its old power, and begins to train to be one of those people...but before she can commit to that role, she has to try to save her little sister, taken away from her ...more
Jessica F
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Failure does not predict future failure. It is simply a delay, not defeat. Failure is the seed from which success springs."

In a world where those with zodiac gifts are hunted for their unique abilities, Usagi spends her life hiding - and trying to keep her bold and bright little sister hidden, too. But when her best friend Tora and sister Uma get abducted, Usagi swears she'll find a way to save them. With the help of some new friends and the last great Warrior, Usagi learns how to harness her W
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and felt like it was a great introduction to a new series. I thought she did a great job showing the Asian inspiration and melding it into a believable story. It was a nice change that the story takes place over months, but at times it also made the story fell like it wasn't progressing fast enough. Also, it reminded me a little of the Star Wars prequels...not in plot or anything, but in the way that NO one explained why things were done so that the one being trained became f ...more
Nov 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Between 2,5/5 and 3/5. I enjoyed the story overall but to be honest I kind of lost interest at some points. Some parts of the plot are a little bit cliché and there's slow moments, but considering the target audience, this is great, I would have loved this book so much more if I had read it a few years ago! The messages are great ( I loved reading about failure and how it doesn't mean defeat, but more time to learn) I loved the initial idea of zodiac powers combined with element power. This is a ...more
Neal DenHartog
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found the premise behind this book to be irresistible and reading it did not disappoint. The world building was top notch, and the author took plenty of time to establish the characters and let their relationships bloom throughout the story. The build to the ending was a little slow for my liking, and I saw the twist coming well before it was revealed, but that did not detract too much from my enjoyment. I'm looking forward to see where this solid middle grade series goes next! ...more
Amy-Jo Conant
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
In full disclosure I read this book a little while ago so I am going off memory. Also, I do remember it took me a very long time to finish this book, entirely my fault for waiting until I was exhausted to go to bed and read a few pages before my eyes closed shut on their own account.

Generally speaking this is a wonderful fantasy novel that I think will appeal to a large audience. A great choice for fans of Endling.
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was such a fun adventure! I loved learning about the Chinese zodiac and culture. My knowledge of these topics were limited and after reading the book I want to know more! I really enjoyed Usagi as our main character and enjoyed following her growth throughout the story and cannot wait to see where our characters are going next!
Allie Hale
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Got it from the OwlCrate Jr. Box because I love anything zodiac. Reminds me a lot of Avatar the Last Airbender and Kung Fu Panda combined. Really good book, pretty fast paced in my opinion, but maybe that's just how young reader books are. I haven't read one besides Warriors since I was a young reader! Can't wait for the next ones in the series ...more
Mar 17, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tori Darland
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-kids
This was my latest read-aloud to my kids (9, 9, 11) and it was one we all really enjoyed. I wanted a little more from the ending but I understand it is a series and we are looking forward to the next book.
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A former journalist with degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University, Cindy Lin has worked for Sony Pictures Entertainment and has written and produced many multimedia news features for children, one of which received a Peabody Award. The Twelve is her debut novel.

Other books in the series

The Twelve (2 books)
  • Treasures of the Twelve (The Twelve, #2)

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