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Circle of Nine: Beltany Book One in the Circle of Nine Series Paperback – 24 Sep 2014
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About the Author
Valerie Biel is a Wisconsin native with a love for travel that inspires her novels for teens. Once upon a time, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Journalism and Political Science. More recently, she moved back to small town Wisconsin, happily violating her teenage vow that she would never do so. When she’s not writing or traveling, she wrangles her overgrown garden and reads just about everything she can get her hands on. Visit Valerie on her website at www.ValerieBiel.com, where you can find her blog posts and some really cool stuff about her books. For regular updates, 'Like' Valerie's page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ValerieBielBooks.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Brigit is fifteen years old, and until now had lived a normal life with her mother. She has friends who are normal friends and a boy friend. This is the story of her life, but also the history of her family. A trip to Ireland for Brigit's first Beltany ceremony (Beltane is May Day) swings the story around. I loved the book, it gave me suspense, history, the struggle of good and evil, all the while building in a natural flow to the climax which was unexpected. This book took me longer to read than it would have if my own life hadn't been interrupted several times while reading it which annoyed me to no end. I was so involved in the story that interruptions were a complete bother. No matter, it was easily picked up when I was able but I intend to read it again from start to finish as it should be. I also look forward to reading more from Valerie Biel. Great storyline.
First, I loved the story. The author obviously did her research and put a lot of time into crafting the family history of the protagonist, Brigit. The characters are also well written. I had no trouble believing them, and I felt as if I was a part of their world, even if only for a while.
Now for the not so great. When I finished writing my first book I had two of my middle school students beta read for me. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to hear how much they loved it. And, they did…except the ending. They told me that they had invested in the characters and the story but were disappointed that the ending just “fizzled”. I now know how they felt. This book drew me in to the story, then just kind of stopped. There was never the major conflict that I kept expecting, and the smaller conflicts were resolved in just a few paragraphs. I was able to rewrite the ending to my book, and I wish this author had done the same. It was very anticlimactic to say the least.
Another problem was the formatting. Although it was not the worst Kindle book I have read, there were still a lot of blank spaces on several pages, and there were words left out of sentences. The blank spaces could have been prevented by using a tool like Kindle Create to format, and the missing words should have been caught in proofreading. This kind of thing is what makes it hard for Indie books to gain the respect the stories they tell deserve.
Overall, I did enjoy the book and have put the rest of the series on my TBR. I just hope they are a little more exciting.
Ireland is one of my most favorite places I've ever been and Valerie brilliantly brought it to life.