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The Circle of Lies: 05/23/16

The Circle of Lies by Crystal Velasquez

The Circle of Lies by Crystal Velasquez is the second in the Hunters of Chaos series. Ana and her three Temple friends want to find out what's happened to her aunt and uncle. Their teacher and mentor has left for Mexico leaving them to sort out their new powers on their own.

As Ana was undeniably the protagonist in the first book and given the Cancun cliff hanger, I expected the bulk of this book to be in Mexico among the Mayan ruins and surrounding villages. That's how so many of these tween fantasy adventures go nowadays.

I am delighted to be mistaken.

It's not that I don't want to know what happened to Ana's family but it's rare to be completely surprised by children's fiction. For many children's books, there are formulas that get followed. It offers familiarity and predictability something that publishers like because it sells books.

Velasquez, though, takes the reader up to the staging ground of the familiar plot trail and then veers off, forging a new path. She does this by getting one of other girls expelled &mdeash; Shani. To further mix things up, we don't go to Egypt. Instead, we go to India.

That's not to say that plot threads are dropped. Mexico is in the book too. It's just done differently. It's part of a bigger picture that gives us a chance to learn about Shani as a character and to see how the other three can work together without her.

I'm super excited to see where the series goes next.

Five stars

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