Comic/GN/Manga · Fantasy · NetGalley · Young Adult

[Netgalley] The Circle by Damon Clark

Hey guys! So I was bored and curious, and next thing I know, I’m here reading The Circle by Damon Clark. It’s like magic! I received a free e-copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I decided to pick this book out because the cover looked really awesome. It had this creepy look to it but the style wasn’t really unappealing, which is usually the case with non-manga titles. The Circle is about a boy named Christian who has just moved to Shell Bay with his father after his mother died. On his first day of school, however, things don’t turn out well and he ends up becoming the punching bag for the popular clique. His salvation seems to come from a group of weird kids who pick him up on his way home from school, but as he soon figures out, things are much more complicated


In terms of a protagonist, Christian isn’t my ideal. He seems to be your average kid who hangs out with his dad making forts and develops crushes on pretty girls. But it turns out he’s really wimpy, which is probably why so many people take advantage of him. I think it’s fine to make it that way but the way he develops isn’t my cup of tea (he just seems so indifferent about everything that’s happening)

Considering the art from the cover, I wasn’t really expecting to see this sketchy type of art inside. The cover feels cleaner and more deliberate in its strokes but the actual story feels more wobbly and awkward. The places I felt this the most were with the fights. There’s an oomph missing to them considering Christian has a permanent bruised eye. It just feels like the guy tapped Christian’s cheek instead of seriously hurt him

Of course, there are other parts where I really did like the art, such as when the ritual is first completed. At that point, I hadn’t realized there was actual magic involved. Like Christian, I just assumed they were druggies and they put something in his drink. The way everything just looked distorted and colorful really pulled me in

In terms of the story, I just wasn’t convinced. The book is 132 pages long and I think it could have been developed more. I’m used to reading the 200+ page manga book so to me, this was really short

By the end of the story, I had too many questions swirling around: what’s going to happen with the investigation? if Christian goes to the hospital, the officers are going to find him there and what’s he going to do then? who is going to take care of Christian after all of this? will he just go to his grandparents’ house and if so what would he tell them? what are these kids parents going to do once they figure out their kids have disappeared? what does Christian’s future even look like at this point?

Overall, I ended up rating this a 2/5 on Goodreads for an It’s OK score. It’s a comic I could have passed up as the story is only average and the art was not my style. I did feel it was incomplete as a story, especially considering the questions I had at the end, but I also had little problems with certain scenes and how Christian reacted to them. Still, it was an interesting read for bored me

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