blo Teens Read and Write: A Circle of Souls (Giveaway Points Post)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Circle of Souls (Giveaway Points Post)

A Circle of Souls

by Preetham Grandhi

pub: June 2009

352 pages

Giveaway ALERT! If you've already entered the contest, a comment on this post (within 5 days of post date) gets you 2 extra entries in our MegaBook Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, go to the contest post (or click on the contest link on the upper right sidebar) to learn about the giveaway and enter! Good luck!

This books opens with a grisly murder of a 10 year old girl and sets the reader off on a journey to find out who-dun-it.

Shortly after the killing, child psychologist Dr. Peter Gram meets Naya, a 7 year old whose parents bring her in because they found her sleepwalking...almost right off their balcony.

The two events soon connect when Gram comes to the hard to believe conclusion that in her dreams Naya is talking to the recently murdered girl, who is giving Naya clues to the killing. An excellent artist, Naya expresses these experiences in drawings which Gram takes to FBI agent Leia Bines. While both Gram and Bines are skeptical, they can't deny that the clues are helping the investigation.

There are red herrings to keep the reader from guessing the killer's true identity and the investigation follows a logical path. The killer is a nasty piece of work but believable and not a cliche.

I could have done without so much info about the process of the psychiatric diagnosis. but this is Grandhi's field so it would make sense for him to include it. I pretty much skimmed through these parts, and besides, we know that Naya's visions are real and there is no mental health issue.

I enjoyed the action sequences but I also enjoyed Naya's interaction with Gram and the dead girl. Naya, who has a family history of psychic phenomenon (she's adopted) is an endearing character. Grandhi shines in capturing the essence of a 7 year old and I was invested in her well-being.

I also enjoyed the cultural insights into India's spiritual beliefs. The author weaves this into the story gracefully and uses it to create an inventive twist for his readers.

I kept turning the pages to not only find out the killer's identity but also to see how things resolved for Naya and Gram.

It's a good thriller with a bit of gore, a supernatural edge and engaging characters. I recommend this for older teens (a bit too dark and graphic for younger ones) and adults.

And "Thank You" to Preetham for the review copy. Word is he is working on a sequel and you can check out his website if you'd like to get more info.

I have an ARC of A Circle of Souls that is one of the books available in our MegaBook Giveaway so be sure to enter! Click the link or see the post below this one.


Tales of Whimsy said...

Wow. Great review. "India's spiritual beliefs" = sounds interesting!

Alyssa Kirk said...

Juju - it was interesting and I liked that he didn't do it in a heavy handed way.

Krista said...

I have seen this one floating around lately. I will have to get it and try it! Great review :)

Crystal said...

Great review! I love a good page turner that you can't put down!

babygirlG said...

I've never read a book set in India before. Should be interesting.

Blodeuedd said...

Nice review, it does sound like an interesting book with a it of an edge

Llehn said...

This sounds awesomely brilliant. The Indian dynamics should make it unique.

Alessandra said...

This sounds like a great book. I hadn't heard of it before. Thanks for the review! (I've already entered your MegaBook Giveaway)

susan said...

Would love to have this! A few readers, Ari in particular were talking about the difficulty of finding YA mysteries and even harder mysteries with teens of color.

Thank you. Off to share your link.

Anonymous said...

A rare teen mystery! I just blogged this issue! Add me to the draw!

Alyssa Kirk said...

Krista- Preetham has been promoting this quite a bit.

Crystal - Thanks! Me too!

babygirlG - Sorry I didn't make it clear but it takes place in New England. Naya's family immigrated from India and she was adopted by an American couple.

Blodeuedd - definitely edgy. Not as much paranormal as I usually like but I definitely enjoyed it. It is more reality based.

Llehn - the India angle definitely gave it a unique twist.

Alessandra - he's a debut author so hopefully the book will eventually get more notice. He did a good job!

Susan - it can be hard to find YA with main characters of color. Jake, Gregory and I did review on three good ones. You can find them at

Thanks for sharing and good luck in the contest. Be sure to use the entry form and comment on the giveaway post.

campbele - Happy to add you but you have to comment on the giveaway post (right underneath this one) and fill out the entry form. Commenting on this post gives you extra entries but you have to sign up with the form first. Good luck!

Alyssa Kirk said...

campbele - I didn't that you commented on the giveaway post. Be sure to go back and do that so you can be included! The link is

Color Online said...

Hi Alyssa,

I completed the form earlier. Please let me know if you don't have it.

Thanks for the additional links.

Color Online said...


You might enjoy Mitali Perkin's, Secret Keeper if you're interested in YA set in India.

Unknown said...

I love a good mystery and I haven't read on in a little while. This one sounds good. I also like the multi-cultural aspect of it.

brizmus said...

it's so cool when fiction books contain non-fiction i.e. spiritual beliefs, cultural insights.
Very cool!

Emily Harring said...

I was unsure about reading this novel, but after reading your review I'll definitely check it out (:

Anonymous said...

Great review, just doesn't sound like my sort of book, though...

Anonymous said...

I've read some great reviews for this book. I'll have to get my hands on a copy.

Jessica said...

I'm glad you liked this book. I'm looking forward to the sequel. :)

Natalie said...

I've read and reviewed this one and it was definitely enjoyable. I was surprised to here that this is Preetham's debut novel.

Natalie @ Mindful Musings

Teddyree said...

Thanks for your well balanced review, I've heard lots about this one and I like edgy but I'm still undecided.

Sheere said...

The book looks pretty good. I find India settings very interesting!

Sarbear said...

Alyssa, I loved this book. Preetham really did do a great job describing the gore but not in a heavy way.

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