Winner of the Writers' League of Texas's Discovery Prize for Middle Grade/Young Adult!
"The Powerses' worldbuilding and writing will keep [readers] hooked. They will find themselves questioning what is fact and what is fiction and cheering Adam on as he journeys in this new, strange world. A gripping, philosophical paranormal thriller."
"In this intriguing tale of life and death (literally, there are soul guides and a grim reaper), siblings J. L. and M. A. Powers explore the intersections of fear and power in relation to limbo, as Adam and his newfound friends try to become everything they are supposed to be...[This] will keep readers on the edge of their seats, wanting more--which is good, considering this is the first of a series."
"Fans of Holly Black and Cassandra Clare will enjoy this series starters."
--School Library Journal
"This novel was well constructed and rich in detail. The characters are well rounded and realistic...I enjoyed this novel very much and am excited for the next book in the series. I would recommend this novel to fans of Reaper fiction and any fantasy."
--Life My Way (blog)
"A very entertaining read."
--Read Explore Repeat (blog)
"If paranormal is your thing...give this one a try."
--Reading Through Life
"You won't want to put this one down: it's Hogwarts for soul guides, with family rivalries and developing powers aplenty. The writing flows and the characters have a rich depth to them, even with their own secrets that we may or may not find out before this volume ends. Thank goodness it's the first in a series; I have more to look forward to and so will you. Give this to your Gaiman fans, for sure; hand it to your Potterheads that are ready to meet a new group of friends. Give it to your readers that enjoy seeing life from a different point of view."
--Mom Read It
"Broken Circle is perfect for anyone who has ever been intrigued by figures of death (like the Grim Reaper, or the Underworld), enjoys YA fiction, and also likes boarding school settings."
--Utopia State of Mind (blog)
"Broken Circle's exacting mix of myth, science and the paranormal discloses that the whole world's destiny is at stake if powers and abilities like Adam's fall into the wrong, crepuscular hands. The Powerses have placed a sympathetic kid and his crew bravely in the midst of some very big questions (it's OK to think Harry Potter). What happens gives a different spin to everything on Earth and whatever may come after."
--The Center for Fiction/Junior Edition column
Adam wants nothing more than to be a "normal" teen, but his reality is quickly leaking normal. Afraid to sleep because of the monster that stalks his dreams, Adam's breakdown at school in front of his crush Sarah lands him in the hospital.
As he struggles to cope with his day-to-day life, Adam can only vaguely comprehend some sort of future. His mother died when he was only four and his eccentric father--who might be an assassin, a voodoo god, the reincarnation of the Buddha, or something even stranger--is never available when Adam really needs him. Even his paranoid grandfather, who insists that people are "out to kill the entire family," is no help.
Adam's life takes an even weirder turn when a fat man with a gold tooth and a medallion confronts his father regarding Adam's supposed "True Destiny." Adam is soon headed toward a collision with life, death, and the entities charged with shepherding souls of the newly dead, all competing to control lucrative territories where some nightmares are real and psychopomps of ancient legends walk the streets of North America.
About the Author
J.L. Powers is the award-winning author of three young adult novels, The Confessional, This Thing Called the Future, and Amina. She is also the editor of two collections of essays and author of a picture book, Colors of the Wind. She works as an editor/publicist for Cinco Puntos Press, and is founder and editor of the online blog, The Pirate Tree: Social Justice and Children’s Literature. She teaches creative writing, literature, and composition at Skyline College in California’s Bay Area, served as a jurist for the 2014 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature, and is launching Catalyst Press in 2017 to publish African writers.
M.A. Powers is J.L.’s “little” (but much taller) brother. He has a PhD in the oncological sciences from the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He is currently a stay-at-home dad and lives in Maine.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Thanks to the #kidlitexchange network for the free review copy of his book – all opinions are my own. I had a blast following Adam along on his (crazy) adventures. And it was funny! I wasn't expecting the humor to be so prevalent throughout the story, but it was a fantastic surprise. (Be forewarned, though, that some of the comments are mature.) I'm not going to say too much about the story because there are things the synopsis doesn't tell you and you don't find out about them right away. In fact, Adam doesn't know these things, either. So you learn about them when he does. And it was a brilliant way to hold the reader's attention. The story is centered around a dark fantastical concept, but I loved it. And I love even more the fact that I had no idea what to expect when I started reading. Everything about this book kept me engaged, and I'm so glad I read it. Now I'm going to sit here impatiently waiting for another installment. Because I want more of this world!
Adam Jones is not your average teenager. His mother passed away when he was four-years-old. His father is distant, emotionally and physically, most of the time and his grandfather is a cranky, paranoid old man who believes there are people out there who want to wipe out their family. All Adam wants is a normal life and the courage to tell his friend Sarah how he really feels about her. Adam also suffers from terrifying nightmares that leave him desperately avoiding falling asleep. When lack of sleep and too much caffeine leads to an incident at school, his father decides that it’s time for Adam to learn about the family business and sends him to a special boarding school in the middle of nowhere. While there, Adam will learn the truth behind his nightmares and why he is so different from the other kids at his school. Most importantly, Adam will discover a place where he feels like he belongs. But not everything that’s happened around Adam is good. There is a group of dangerous people causing chaos around the world, and if they find the school, all of the students may be in danger. Together with his new friends, can Adam uncover the mystery brewing in his own backyard before someone gets hurt, or is it already too late? I’ll admit, there are few books that I have read featuring a Grimm Reaper that I actually enjoyed. Many of them either mocked the Grimm Reaper or made him out to be a creature of pure evil. The concept of the Grimm Reaper fascinates me, especially since he, or a similar creature, appears in many cultures. Because of my views on the Grim Reaper, it is difficult for me to find novels that I actually enjoy. This novel was well constructed and rich in detail. The characters are well rounded and realistic. The plot line lacks some mystery for the readers, seeing as we are already aware of the Reaper before Adam is. However, there are other mysteries that the characters are faced with that are very intriguing. I enjoyed the many characters and appreciated their differences of personality. I enjoyed this novel very much and am excited for the next book in the series. I would recommend this novel to fans of Reaper fiction and any fantasy. I received my copy of this novel from LibraryThing.com giveaways for the sole purpose of providing an honest review before the publication date October 3, 2017, and have permission from the publishers at Akashic Books to use the cover artwork image featured above. stephanietiner.weebly.com