Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Review: The Circle by Sara Bergmark Elgren and Mats Strangberg

On a night after the apparent suicide of high school student Elias Malmgren, a blood-red moon fills the night sky. Minoo wakes up outside her house, still in her pajamas, and is drawn by an invisible force to an abandoned theme park on the outskirts of town. Soon five of her classmates—Vanessa, LinnĂ©a, Anna-Karin, Rebecka, and Ida—arrive, compelled by the same force. A mystical being takes over Ida’s body and tells them they are fated to fight an ancient evil that is hunting them. As the weeks pass, each girl discovers she has a unique magical ability. They begin exploring their powers. The six are wildly different and definitely not friends . . . but they are the Chosen Ones.

In this gripping first installment of The Engelsfors Trilogy, a parallel world emerges in which teenage dreams, insanely annoying parents, bullying, revenge, and love collide with dangerous forces and ancient magic. An international sensation with rights sold in 26 countries, The Circle is razor-sharp and remarkable from start to finish.

Best Bits: The book opens in quite a gruesome way, which, while technically not a best bit, definitely started off by hooking me. It's clear right from the start that there's a supernatural entity at work, but the reader doesn't find out what it is for quite some time. There were quite a few twists and turns, I was wrong about who was aligned with whom on multiple occasions. The authors definitely know how to create a mood, and I definitely enjoyed being unsure of what was going to happen in the end. It's a dark book, so if that's something you enjoy during the fall, this might be a great time to grab it.

Nit Picks: I'm not one to shy away from long books, in fact, I usually enjoy the wealth of information that would have to be cut to keep it around 300 pages. Still, it dragged. At times I had to go back and re-read because I caught myself skimming. The twists were great, but they weren't enough to keep me fully engaged with the mystery and plot when nothing happened for chapter after chapter. There were too many characters, as well. Even though I enjoyed them, I never felt fully connected with them. There were a couple of them that I empathized with on a basic level, and one that I absolutely disliked from the start. It was different from a series like The Daughter of the Moon (shout out to my 12-year-old self!), where each book focused on an individual member of a group, but the story continued to progress. I'm wondering if that's the way this should have been broken down.

The Circle
By Sara Bergmark Elgren and Mats Strangberg
Published by Overlook Juvenile
608 Pages
Received for review


Dazzling Mage said...

I got the sense that there were too many characters from the synopsis too. Still curious about it thought!

Great review!

Copyright ©2009-2013 Cornucopia of Reviews. All Rights Reserved.