I wasn’t sure exactly how this could be both the beginning and the end of the Circle. White seemed to end things pretty well for the original trilogy and the Paradise Novels made it seem that everything was just moving on. Green picks up right where Sinner left off.
Here’s the breakdown.
The story starts with Billy, the one who put Thomas Hunter in the Black forest by writing in the Lost Books and who can now read minds, meeting with Monique and Kara, the two women most involved in Thomas Hunter’s life. Shortly after that meeting, we are introduced to Janae, Monique’s daughter. That’s all the characters for this reality.
In the other reality, there is Thomas, leader of the Circle, and Chelise, his wife. His son Samuel, who has been chafing under his father’s non-lethal treatment of the Horde, is becoming a catalyst. On the Horde side of the conflict, there’s Quorong, Chelise’s mother, and Ba’al, who from what I can gather is actually Billos from the Lost Books series (that I have yet to read).
I have to say that the character of Billy was not what I expected. I knew he was troubled because of the monastery in Paradise and the books, but I never thought he would be what he turned out to be. I also have to say that I was a bit saddened at how easily certain people in the Circle fell away at the end, but I do know that it will probably happen like that. It was interesting how at least one of them knew they were being seduced by evil, and went along with it anyway.
So it starts with Billy looking for Thomas’ blood, one last vial of it that he believes Kara and Monique hid after the Raison Strain incident. They deny it and keep Billy from reading their minds by wearing dark glasses (he has to see their eyes directly to read their minds). They assign Janae to keep an eye on him, but that turns on them when Janae and Billy dose themselves with an alternate strain of the Raison virus, which forces Monique, desperate to save her daughter, to use the vial that she had denied existed. As in the past books, Thomas’ blood transports Billy and Janae to the other reality.
In the other reality, Thomas is dealing with the Circle starting to fracture. And his son is leading the way. In response, Thomas offers a challenge to the Horde not unlike Elijah and the priests of Ba’al in the Bible. Quorong’s priest, aptly name Ba’al, mixes a little of Abraham’s test into it and calls the Shataiki, evil bats working for Teelah, the evil one, to kill Samuel.
There is quite a bit I love about this book. It’s another that I could not put down once I got into it, and it didn’t take long for that either. It was interesting to read through this and then go right into reading the Circle Trilogy graphic novels. I basically got to read Green as both the end of the series and the beginning all at once. I must say that is does a very good job of being both, but you’ll get the most out of it if you read the rest of the related books as well.
Be sure to pick this one up when you get a chance.