Saturday, 3 October 2015

Book Review: A Circle Around Forever by Robert K Swisher


Synopsis: The outstanding characters in A Circle Around Forever create an epic tale that will fill you with wonder and touch every emotion that is humanly possible: A spirit that is all of the sky, pictographs that come to life to protect and also teach, ghosts of evil and ghosts of good will, stones with the knowledge of immortality, people that are both young and old at the same time, a man with the gift of rainbows, a lady whose tears sprout acres of flowers, a murderer, a boy born with all the knowledge of the world, an evil ghost that longs for nothingness and whose sole purpose is to defeat all who love, a love between two people that started with the beginning of time and is tested to its limits, a battle between Love and Hate that can either plunge the world into darkness or light.

Review: A Circle Around Forever works on so many levels that it is hard to quantify exactly what the author has created here. The story of how wicked Grandma Bertha controls her grandson from the grave is quite something. When he starts exhibiting actions that no young child should be able to do, and how he cryptically talks about the 'voices', one might think they are in for stock horror fare.

When it's done correctly, there's no problem with that.

I have to say that this book came highly recommended to me, so expectations were already high. What I did not expect was my own expectations to be blown out of the water.

It's not a long book, but maybe that's because it is written so well. I was pulled in from the start, wanted to let it go and indeed had things to do. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it - another good sign.

The battle of good versus evil takes on a new meaning in this book. It's amazing that amongst the amount of popularist pap that so often hit the top of the charts, or are fawned over on book programmes that lavish praise on the author but rarely have a book to back that praise up, that this title would have been possibly overlooked by me.

The book has a real power to shock, not in an overtly grisly way (although when it does, it is executed brilliantly). I'm trying to think where I may have read a story like this before, and I cannot offer another story to you like this one.

There are some biblical references which serve to highlight the overall seriousness of the book, but the author never drags us down into a 'repent, lest ye will be judged' situation. It's pretty much perfectly balanced between thriller, epic, horror, and ultimately is a story that makes you think.

My only regret is not getting to this story sooner.

Some may find the tone is too bleak or unsettling for their liking. For me, this was one book I didn't want to end. I can give it no higher recommendation than that!