Reading time: 3 – 4 minutes
Title: A Circle of Souls
Author: Preetham Grandhi
Synopsis: (Taken from back of book)
The sleepy town of Newbury, Connecticut, is shocked when a little girl is found brutally murdered. The town’s top detective, perplexed by a complete lack of leads, calls in FBI agent Leia Bines, an expert in cases involving children.
Meanwhile, Dr. Peter Gram, a psychiatrist at Newbury’s hospital, searches desperately for the cause of seven-year-old Naya Hasting’s devastating nightmares. Afraid that she might hurt herself in the midst of a torturous episode, Naya’s parents have turned to the bright young doctor as their only hope.
The situations confronting Leia and Peter converge when Naya begins drawing chilling images of murder after being bombarded by the disturbing images in her dreams. Amazingly, her sketches are the only clues to the crime that has panicked Newbury residents. Against her better judgement, Leia explores the clues in Naya’s crude drawings, only to set off an alarming chain of events.
- slaaf – DUTCH – “Slave” (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/slaaf)
- Anansi – WEST AFRICAN/CARIBBEAN – “Trickster” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anansi)
I found “A Circle of Souls” to be a quick and enjoyable read. The novels brings readers right to the point without diddle dallying around useless information and meaningless characters. From the very first chapter you are thrown directly into the middle of a paranormal murder mystery involving a character who calls himself a “Slaaf” and his dedication to performing murderous rituals to ward off the evil “Anansi” just for a few minutes of peace. But this time – a young girl named Janet, arrives in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Brutally murdered and seperated limb by limb, little Janet decides to reach out from the beyond in efforts to bring her murderer to justice. But who will listen?
At the same time, a little girl named Naya (whose biological Indian heritage becomes of importance during this novel) is plagued by perplexing dreams that cause Naya to act them out unknowingly, placing her in dangerous situations. After Naya almost throws herself over a balcony during one of her dream episodes, desperate and worried adoptive parents bring Naya to a mental hospital to rule out a form of psychosis. Working closely with a psychiatrist named Peter, the two come together to help help Naya work through her dreams, somehow connecting them to the murders at Elephant Rock. But how can a little girl who has never been to Elephant Rock know so much about it?
I found “A Circle of Souls” to be a fitting Young Adult novel (although not categorized as one), as the sentence structure was too simple to be a thoroughly fantastic read for adult readers. I also found the characters to all lack separate personalities. They were all too “nice” to the point of it feeling unrealistic and fake. Interactions were very scripted and I felt I couldn’t properly bond to any of the characters because they were all in the same. I think with more intricate sentence structure and distinctive personalities, this novel would be an absolute thrill to read for all ages.
Even with said issues, I enjoyed “A Circle of Souls” for it’s storyline as Grandhi introduces us to many different cultures and folklore. “A Circle of Souls” will be an ideal paranormal murder mystery for young adults wanting to work their way into literature with adult topics.