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The Magic Circle review

The Magic Circle - Katherine Neville

This book started out great, yet proved to be a big disappointment. I was irked that the book ended up being a Harlequin romance disguised as a "Gnostic Adventure" as I like to call stories like this. Trouble is, the romance works better than the adventure(until the end, which is a letdown), though that's not why I bought the book. As far as the adventure, it's a jumbled mess of ideas that were better explored in Foucault's Pendulum. Everything is connected to everything else, but we don't get to dwell on any one thing long enough to get any depth, except for a subplot revolving around the secret teachings of Jesus which is unsatisfying. Tantalizing goals are held before the reader, then are not developed or revisited. The awesome climax you feel at the start that this book deserves is never reached or even approached, just maddeningly overdone flashback stories of the protagonista's convoluted family history. The only plot element with any red blood in it is the "flirtation with the dangerous bad boy" romance, and I thought the author just knifed that poor guy right in the back - he was the most interesting character in the book! I'd recommend Neville's The Eight way before The Magic Circle. Give that book a read, and this book a miss.