Saturday, September 24, 2011

Book Review: Circle of Fire, by S. M. Hall

Circle of Fire, Book 1 of The Maya Brown Missions, is an action packed, sit-on-the-edge-of-your seat, rip-roaring adventure that younger teens will most certainly enjoy.

Maya’s family was killed in Serbia during the revolution and she was rescued by, and eventually adopted by Pam. The story takes place in Great Britain, and Pam is head of the government’s Counterterrorism Unit. Maya’s original family was Muslim, but Maya wants nothing to do with her heritage, since terrorists (who are Muslim extremists) have threatened harm to both Maya and Pam.

Pam is kidnapped in front of Maya while they are jogging, and the story never stops after that moment. Maya, of course, is not going to listen to authority. She has her own ideas about where her mother is, and she runs away to rescue her. Rescue doesn’t come as easy as Maya had hoped. There’s much deception and danger, and it is difficult for Maya to figure out who she can trust.

Not only is there the kidnapping, but the terrorists have vowed to blow up tourist attractions in major cities. Will Maya have to sacrifice her mother, or even her own life, to save thousands of potential victims?

This book will appeal to those younger teens who want nothing but action. There’s nothing particularly original here, but the story is satisfying. Hall includes a message about Muslims and the extremist philosophy which isn’t preachy but works well into the story. One must certainly suspend a great deal of disbelief at what Maya is able to accomplish, but if you allow yourself to go along, this is a very suspenseful, exciting story, with a nicely wrapped up conclusion.

Fans of Horowitz’s Alex Rider Series will find similarities here. The second book is called Breaking the Circle which is reported to be available February of 2012 (but I believe that’s in the UK.)

Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, Aug. 23, 2011
Copy obtained for review from LibraryThing Early Reviewers
290 pages

Rating: 3/5

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1 comment:

  1. I just had a kid looking for a good action book (he finished The Genius Files and wanted more like it). I'll have to recommend this one. Thanks!


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