Book Review: The Circle by Damon Clark, Alyzia Zherno, Sami Makkonen

The Circle written by Damon Clark, with artwork from Alyzia Zherno and Sami Makkonen is a graphic novel. It follows  Christian, a teenage boy, who moves moves to Shell bay with his single father after his mother dies only to be bullied as the new kid at school. He finds friendship with the "Weird" kids and unknowingly joins them in an occult ritual that allows a darkness to possess each of them. Through the help of his gypsy neighbor, Christian will learn that the only way he can reverse the ritual is by killing off his circle of friends before they kill him, or before the darkness takes over his soul. One by one he will face them all, and in the end he will have to make the hardest decision of his young life.

The Circle takes the typically hard time of moving and starting a new school with more specific issues like grief, loss, and bullying. It takes the non-unexpected route of the occult- and continues with some loosely explained motivations and reactions that did not quite resonate with me. Sadly, like the story, I found the majority of the artwork to fall short of my expectations. The cover art was nicely done, and is most of what had me request the title from Netgalley. However, the bulk of the book did not have the same appeal. It felt a little unpolished, but not in the dark Burton way that would have enhanced the read. There is a decent amount of action, significant gore, and more cursing that I have heard from any teenagers ( even when I was one). I was hoping for something more original and visually stunning based on the cover, but was disappointed. Perhaps readers that are a little younger, and not ones that have seen The Craft and read a large variety of books and graphic novels that have already covered similar ground will enjoy the read more than I.
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