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Circle of Fire (The Maya Brown Missions) Paperback – August 23, 2011

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Maya Brown Missions Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Four stars: A lightening-fast, high octane thriller... The book's success lies in the fact that explorations of motive and meaning do not slow down the page-turning urgency that lies at the heart of all thrillers. Books for Keeps Deals with issues of racism, violence and religion with delicacy and sensitivity, while managing to give us a fast-paced, high-octane ride from start to finish. Armadillo Magazine

About the Author

As well as writing for teens, S. M. Hall is a journalist whose work included a column for the Guardian when she was living in the States. She has taught speech and drama and was recently involved in staging a musical in Qatar. Her husband, who was in the rock business, is custodian of John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool. They also have a house in Derbyshire.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Maya Brown Missions
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Bks; 1 edition (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847801218
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847801210
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,363,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Description (from Amazon):

Maya Brown is bored with being cooped up in her grandmother's house over the summer, and is dying to get involved in her mother's intelligence operation against a group of would-be terrorists. But when her mum, Pam, is kidnapped by the criminals, Maya is suddenly plunged headlong into a world of intrigue and danger. Can Maya find out what the terrorist cell are plotting in time, and without putting her mother's life further at risk? And is the mysterious Khaled luring her into a trap, or a secret ally?

A fast-paced thriller by an established author of teenage fiction, with a fiesty and charismatic heroine who will appeal to boys and girls alike. This is a gripping adventure story that also deals sensitively with issues of inter-racial understanding and the social causes behind extremism.

Review:

Circle of Fire:The Maya Brown Missions was a great volume in a series that could really go somewhere, but for as action-packed and fast paced as it was at times, it did have its slow moments where I wanted to jump ahead to a more exciting chapter, (which I didn't do because I believe in reading the whole book). The plot was very exciting and well-thought-out, especially the espionage, terrorism, and cultural aspects which were very well-written and researched. Teen heroine Maya Brown is a DIY kind of girl with a spunky and smart attitude, even if she gets herself in a bad situation she manages to think her way out of it. Both guys and gals will appreciate and enjoy the overall tone and dialogue; there's even a little bit of slang/violence for those teens who like a slightly "edgier" read. I can't complain about anything other than those few slow moments, most of the time I was hooked and couldn't put it down. I will read future S.
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Format: Paperback
I received "Circle of Fire" from Library Thing in exchange for a review:

While on a run with her mother, Pam, Maya notices a strange man lurking by a BMW. She thinks it's odd, but doesn't say anything knowing that they have guards following them. What Maya doesn't realize is that that the strange man has people waiting to kidnap her mother further down the trail. From that moment on, the story is full of twists and turns.

I enjoyed "Circle of Fire", but I don't know if I'll rush into reading the next book in the series ("Breaking the Circle"). The characters, aside from the bad guys, were well written. To me, the bad guys, especially Omar, seemed like every other bad guy out there. The whole seeking respect thing, it didn't work for me. On the plus side, Maya and Khaled, who you're never really sure is trust worthy until the end, are both interesting, strong characters. I enjoyed watching them work together, between Maya's stubbornness and Khaled's deception; it makes for a fun read.

As for the ending: I think while it was wrapped up somewhat nicely, I still had a ton of questions - enough to interest the reader in the next book. There's even a portion of the first chapter of "Breaking the Circle" included at the end. If you're looking for a story with a strong female main character that's quick and interesting, you'll probably enjoy "Circle of Fire". I did like it, but I didn't love it.
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