Mystical espionage agency vs. Lovecraftian horrors.
Jules was born with a gift, but until now, he's only used it for small and selfish reasons.
That will all change as he's inducted into The Circle, a secret international organization that takes the magickally gifted and puts them to work, fighting the forces of darkness, saving an unknowing world from malevolence that hides in the shadows.
And Jules knows shadows all too well; he can command them to do his bidding...
But it's not just The Circle that has their eye on Jules. There's another Magickian that watches him, intervening in his life, trying to put him on a path to discover the truth.
Because The Circle is not what it seems. The world is not as it seems.
And soon, Jules will have to choose between the status quo or the greater good.
Either way, the lives of everyone he loves will hang in the balance.
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NOT Your Disney Genie!
I had the pleasure of LISTENING to a copy of this book read by the author. Initially a bit flat, as the story takes off the author gets more involved in his narration and does some terrific voices including quite a credible accent for his American-born hero. I almost always enjoy when authors read their own books as you get to hear the characters as s/he does--sometimes quite differently than you might have imagined them from the words on the page or the characters on a screen (movie/TV adaptations). After finishing the audiobook I did go back and read the first few chapters, surprised to learn that the head of The Circle is Beryn rather than Baron Comstock--pronounced, after all, the same, and, as the primary setting is London, noble titles would not be unexpected at CEO levels. In fact names are often my biggest challenge in a narrated book as I am a rather visual person, but the freedom to do other things (driving, laundry, riding a bike) while educating and entertaining one's mind is a real joy.
Now let's talk about the story. The particular talent of our hero is new to me and the style of "magick" used, involving sigils, and the various nonhuman creatures were, largely, as well, at least in their present adaptations. I am, of course, familiar with both the Disney and 1001 Nights (well, at least one of the English translations of the "Golden Age" Arabic original) versions of the Aladdin story of the genie/djinn) and was delighted with the spin Mr. Isserow put on the tale. Having not read Lovecraft, my knowledge of Cthulu is severely limited but he/it gets to play, too. Imaginative, creative and fast-paced, blown up bridges and chases, this adventure does call out for a Hollywood treatment but also does quite well in its present formats and I would recommend it for middle school (no sex; some graphic violence but well within tolerance for any who already read science fiction/fantasy; PG-13) on up.
- karina Larson