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Broken Circle

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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  34 reviews
"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."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Adam can't even grow a man beard yet, but he can do something his friends can't do--go to Limbo and back. P

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ebook, 320 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Black Sheep
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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  71 ratings  ·  34 reviews


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Kim
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Please tell me there's a sequel coming, Powers siblings? Because as much fun as this dip into Adam's world of soul guides and Limbo and feuding families and evil wannabe-Immortals has been, I can't leave Adam and Rachel and the family now.

Not now, when...well. I suppose I should probably avoid dragging a host of spoilers into this review. But suffice it to say that there must be much more of his world that Adam has yet to understand, and I want to be there when he discovers it—and discovers how,
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Jennifer
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Received advanced reader copy from author. Review is honest and unsolicited.
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

When Adam’s dad sends him to a boarding school so he can “take over the family business,” Adam has his suspicions what that business is but he isn’t completely certain. He is certain that nearly every time he falls asleep, he is haunted by a monster that stalks and attempts to attack him. Will boarding school help with that?

What a fantastic & unique premise to this start of a series {it wil
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Mason Jones
After my daughter read this one, she recommended it to me since she enjoyed it. I did too, but I couldn't really give it more than three stars. It's another entry in the kid-doesn't-fit-in-and-it-turns-out-that's-because-he's-special/magical/etc genre, of which we really have quite enough at this point. Nonetheless, once we get past the initial introductions, the story is a good one. As usual, he gets into trouble at school because of his special-ness, and gets sent to a school for kids who are ...more
Amber
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 fac
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Erin
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I generally don't read YA fiction, but it was co-written by a friend of mine from grad school with his sister so I picked up a copy. I found it to be a delightful coming-of-age story about a misfit boy whose family secret is that they are grim reapers and he is biologically destined to become one too. Dealing with the enormity of that issue, the challenges that come with the global supernatural community of which they are a part, and the general problems with being a teenager all contribute to t ...more
Stephanie - Adventures Thru Wonderland
*I received a copy through KidLitExchange on Instagram for review. That does not affect my review*

When I signed up for this book, I thought it was a neat idea, but didn't expect to give it more than a 3 - 3.5-star review. As I started reading it, I quickly realized this story has a lot of potential! While there was a dash of instalove and some other relationships the seemed to happen instantly, it wasn't enough to bother me. I did enjoy the characters and found myself liked many of them instantl
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Liz Friend
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it
The story: After a psychotic episode overtakes him at school, Adam's father ships him off to a private academy to get help. But it's not just any rehab center--in fact it's a training facility for soul guides, those tasked with leading the dying soul through death, into Limbo, and out into the Other Side. Child of two warring guide clans, Adam has been raised with no training on how to use the giant powers roiling inside him; he doesn’t know enough to avoid La Luz (a shadowy organization seeking ...more
Pop Bop
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Everybody Do the Limbo Now!

This book's plot follows a familiar enough overall arc, but it struck me as entertaining and imaginative, and really quite well crafted, with lots of unexpected zigs and zags and more depth and feeling than I originally anticipated.

The story is this - Dad is an X. Son, Adam, is an X also, but has been hidden, and has been kept in the dark about his X-ness. Mom was an X, but a mysterious sort of X, and anyway she disappeared under odd circumstances. Now, the other X's h
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Stephanie Tiner
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 s
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Diana
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
BROKEN CIRCLE was written by brother and sister team M.A. Powers and J.L. Powers.
This title was sent to me by Akashic Books in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.
BROKEN CIRCLE is a very intriguing and interesting book. It is fantasy reading and the press kit says the title is a young adult novel. I would agree that the young adult classification is very appropriate. The main character is 15 and many of the other prominent characters are in their teens as well. The plot centers on essent
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Stephanie Tiner
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, librarything
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 sl
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Courtney Giraldo
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Adams has high hopes for life as a normal teenager but when you can see peoples "shadows", can tell when someone is about to die, and have a crazy demented spirit woman haunting your dreams, life just can't be that simple. His father is less than helpful, always away on business, most likely as a member of the mofia, or something? After his dreams start to become a little too real, Adam is whisked away to a boarding school....for soul guides. Playing catch up is hard, and something stalks Adam i ...more
Amanda
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 Stars.

"Hi, I'm Adam Jones and I'm not an alcoholic. My problem? When I fall asleep, a demon woman from Hades tries to hug me to death. She drags me into the bottomless pit of hell. And no, I don't do drugs. Raise your hand if you also struggle with inappropriate demon abduction! Come on! Don't be shy."

Adam Jones always thought he was a normal kid. Okay, so he dreams of a demon who almost kills him every night, but other than that perfectly normal. But then someone shows up at his door, cl
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Nicole
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Powers had better get to work writing a sequel if they haven’t already, because I am quite eager to read another installment in the lives of Adam, his father, and everyone else. The characters each had their own individual personalities, some were easy to like and others easy to despise. I loved how mysterious Adam’s dad was, even to his son. It gave more of an element of mystery to the story. There were some crazy twists – wraith anyone? But they just made me love the story that much more. ...more
Keri
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would say this is more 3 1/2 stars but I decided to round up this time. I found the premise of the story about the grim reaper to be very interesting. I liked how there are different territories and clans that make up the soul guides and I really enjoyed Adam as the main character. I really didn't like how in the dark poor Adam was, which also made me the reader in the dark. I feel like if his dad or the principal at the boarding school had given at least a little more in depth explanation as ...more
Vanessa
The concept is solid.
The execution is a bit of a mess...

There is very little world building. While I don't need pages upon pages of explanations, I need more than just passing comments that are a weak attempt at making things seem thought out.

Action scenes are very clunky and confusing. I'm not sure how the action is at once too detailed and yet not detailed enough, but it is.

Pacing is another thing. It takes almost 1/3 of the book to get any where. But then as the book is coming to an end, y
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Mel
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting concept with a very flawed execution. Adam Jones is one of the few humans tasked to ferry souls over to the other side, guiding them through their personal Limbos. He is sent to a special school that advocates a "jack of all trades, master of none" approach that would be interesting in how it applied to Limbo guidance, but it is barely mentioned except as background and does not play into the third act climax. The relationships and plot points are explained over being developed natur ...more
Shem Buhler
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway-wins
I won a copy of Broken Circle in a goodreads giveaway

3.5 stars
I thought this book was fun, interesting, and definitely kept me wanting more. In fact, that is one of my only complaints, that at times, I really wanted certain topics to be fleshed out a bit more(and I mean this about events throughout the story, not just things that could be addressed in any potential future installments). Overall, it was a quick read that I quite enjoyed. Also, hoping there will be a sequel because I feel like the
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USOM
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is more like a 3.5 for me. I enjoyed the school aspects, as well as the blend of mythology and the present day. But I felt confused by a great deal of this, partly because the narrator himself is confused and kept in the dark. But it felt a tiny bit like the blind leading the blind. That being said, if you like mythology about the dead, a YA setting, and a boarding school background - this could be for you!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the
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Dixie Keyes
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Fantasy lovers who love novels in the vein of Neil Gaiman and perhaps Octavia Butler will enjoy this book. Although not as fluidly written as the work of Gaiman, readers can enter into parallel worlds, those of dreams and Limbo. Adam Jones doesn't understand his family dynamics and ends up at a special school that will expose all the secrets. Death, fear, and destiny are all front and center. I think this book would make a good TV series--the characters have the depth and are the right age to en ...more
Matt
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a promising start to a YA series. It deals with a series of mythologies usually untouched by YA, so for that, it is refreshing.

A few of the secondary/tertiary characters blended together making it hard for me to distinguish between them at mention alone.

The supernatural elements were also a little hard to follow. I'm hoping that in any future sequels, more time is put into the logic of how these elements exist in a "realistic" world.

Will be keeping my eye on this series for any future s
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Jamie
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my thoughts in any way.
Adam is a 15 year old who doesn’t sleep for fear of falling into his bad dream. He is sent to a boarding school to learn how to take over the family business, which is a mystery to him. I really liked this book. The story was so different from anything else I’ve read. Adam was a likable character and didn’t feel forced into a teenager mold. I’m looking forward to reading the next book.
Bussola Vespucci
I really wanted to love this book. Reapers! Yay!
Unfortunately, there are 2 common tropes that bug me (I find them rarely done well), and this book starts out by using both of them.

Trope 1: "I just want my life to be normal."

Trope 2:
"I will not reveal anything about our magical family to my offspring because of reasons."

The story is actually pretty good, aside from those two things that bug me, and the world is definitely compelling.
Ted Niblett
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Too short! The compelling main character and the world he inhabits have endless potential, but the authors chose to keep this introduction brief. Now that they've hooked a few of us with this solid start, here's hoping they follow it with several more volumes, though they have their work cut out for them to keep the wonder going.
Erica
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-school
Rating based on an ARC.
I hope there's a sequel!
If you're worried that it's too close in concept to the Arc of a Scythe series, don't. It feels much different and the worldbuilding is different. I'd love to see how it develops.
Elizabeth/Ayana
I found the story enjoyable but the writing style seemed a little difficult to follow and I found I missed some important points within the timeline.
There was also a strong attempt in humour but it repeatedly fell short in delivery.
2HatahetZayd
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Eh, the story is apparently first in a series or something. Motivations improved towards the end, but I actually don't think anything further on will hold up, as a major character conflict was completely resolved. Alright, but not especially invoking.
Tena
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-goodread_wins
I won this in a GOODREADS giveaway. I enjoyed reading "Broken Circle" by the Powers siblings. It incorporated new spins and unusual characters. A good teen read.
Crystal
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this copy in a Goodreads giveaway. This was an enjoyable, good teen read. There was an interesting storyline and unusual characters. I look forward to the sequel.
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The daughter of a geologist and a journalist, J.L. Powers spent much of her childhood camping and searching for fossils in the American West, and considers herself a true “desert rat.” She grew up on the U.S.-Mexico Border in El Paso, Texas.

She’s taught African history and freshman composition, research and argument, creative writing, and literature at the University of Texas at El Paso, Stanford
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