The Circles Series
Finished: Nov. 22, 2010
First Published: Dec. 29 2009
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: YA, fantasy, urban fantasy, christian fiction, graphic novel
One of the benefits of the last shift at the Java Hut: free caffeine ...
Acquired: Received a review copy from Thomas Nelson.
Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a graphic novels panelist.
Ted Dekker is one of my favourite authors and I was very excited to read this as I haven't read any of his fantasy yet, meaning I hadn't read the original novels this graphic novel was based on either. Absolutely amazing story. Part fantasy and part urban fantasy. Thomas Hunter is nicked in the head with a bullet and starting from that point on whenever he falls asleep he travels between two realities. One a medieval sort of world where evil is fast encroaching upon good and he is the one who can find the answer to saving the world by finding the long lost Books of Histories and travelling into the other reality gain information. While in the modern world he realizes that the two worlds are somehow connected through him and here he may be the only one with the answer to a terrorist who is unleashing a deadly virus on the world if his demands for nuclear submission from the entire planet are not met. Eventually Thomas starts dreaming on purpose to travel between worlds, sometimes needing a bash over the head or a sedative to get to sleep quickly.
In the alternative Earth, good and evil are much more visible than they are in the modern reality but as Thomas travels he never knows which one is the dream and which one is the reality. Ultimately this is a fantastic Christian allegory of the Gospels, the Passion of Christ and the power of Baptism. An utterly thrilling story on many levels. Often reading like an episode of 24 when in the modern reality. There is the president under pressure, terrorists, kidnapped scientists and such but on the other hand when in the alternate reality it reads more like a grown-up, more violent Narnia-like story and how the two combine makes for a riveting read. The artwork is topnotch. Beautiful, dark and bold whichever is needed to represent the mood. Overall, a stunning piece of allegorical Christian fantasy.
Of course, the original novels are written for adults, but I would classify this graphic novel as a cross-over suitable for both adults and young adults. There is a young adult set of novels that compliments the series that are being turned into GNs as well. I think at this time 4 of the 6 books have been done. I'll wait for an omnibus edition like this one.
I enjoyed this so much that my next foray into Dekker's backlist is going to be this series, which also has a 4th book (Green), and all it's various offshoot series.