Reviewed by Vennessa Ng
Circle Trilogy (Black, Red & White) Graphic Novels by
"Overall I believe Dekker is on to a winner. The preteen to 30 year age group will love the high visual, fast paced graphic novels, which are bound to attract new readers to Dekker's ever increasing library."
Getting boys interested in reading is a common battle for parents. I struggled for years to get my boys to read, and it wasn’t until I introduced my oldest to Ted Dekker’s books that he really started to take an interest in literature. My youngest boy wasn’t quite ready for Dekker’s edgier novels, so when I discovered Dekker was to produce his popular Circle Trilogy as graphic novels I saw a great opportunity.
Today’s youth are saturated with visual media from television and computers to iPods and even mobile phones. How could a visually stimulating graphic novel not be of interest to a young boy?
As I predicted, my son devoured the graphic novels. Here was a boy who hardly ever read, yet now spent hours engrossed in the Black, Red, and White graphic novels. Not only are the graphic novels visually appealing with a great contrast of dark and vibrant colors, but they are also laid out well and are easy to read.
Each graphic novel encapsulated the multilayered storylines contained in each of the original full length novels.
Suffering from a superficial head wound from an encounter with a hit man in Denver, Colorado, Thomas Hunter passes out and finds himself in a future reality---a world where Elyon’s followers are threatened by Teeleh and his legion of bats from a black forest.
Thomas discovers that each time he falls asleep in one reality, he awakes in the other. Trapped between these two worlds, Thomas struggles to discern which is real and which is a dream.
When he inadvertently introduces the formula for a deadly virus from one reality to the other, Thomas must find a way to stop world wide devastation. He soon learns the two worlds are entwined, and the survival of both hinge on his skills and knowledge.
Fifteen years have passed since Teeleh and his army of black bats desecrated the Colored Forest. Elyon’s remaining followers reside in seven desert forests, their way of life continually under attack by the desert Horde.
Thomas Hunter, now a general in the Forest Guard, is frantic to stop the advancing Horde and makes the ultimate decision. For fifteen years he hasn’t dreamed. Now it seems the only way to save Elyon’s people.
Thomas awakes to a world under threat. With the virus airborne, the race is on to develop an antivirus that will halt the terrorist vying for world power.
Caught between the two realities, Thomas must find a way to prevent the destruction of both worlds.
Time is running out. One man controls the antivirus. Unless the world’s superpowers bow to his demand and hand over all their nuclear weapons, billions will die.
Thomas Hunter is the only man who can save the world. But in this reality, he is already dead.
Betrayed by the Horde, only a fraction of the forest dwellers remain. Lead by Thomas, Elyon’s followers are now known as The Circle and live deep in the desert. With a bounty on his head, and a forbidden love threatening the unity of The Circle, Thomas seeks to discover the power in the blank Books of History---and perhaps rewrite history in two realities.
Condensing a 350+ page novel into the few words allowed within the concept of a graphic novel is not an easy task. I was impressed with how well this was achieved, but there were a few disappointments.
Having read the Circle Trilogy previously, I could easily follow the storyline, but I found a couple of transitions where first time readers could stumble and become confused. A few spelling and grammatical errors also distracted from the enjoyment as I often had to reread the sentences to grasp the meaning.
As a lover of story depth and the emotional connection contained in most novels, I did find the graphic novels tended to restrict these enjoyments for me due to their limited text.
Overall I believe Dekker is on to a winner. The preteen to 30 year age group will love the high visual, fast paced graphic novels, which are bound to attract new readers to Dekker’s ever increasing library. However, I would recommend reading the graphic novels as an accompaniment to the full novels if you want the full enriching story.
Vennessa Ng lives in New Zealand with her husband and three children. As an avid reader with a passion for Christian worldview fiction, she works to help authors improve their craft through her freelance editing service, Aotearoa Editorial Services (www.aotearoaeditorial.com), and helps publicize books and authors via her review site, Illuminating Fiction (www.illuminatingfiction.com). She has also reviewed for Focus On Fiction, Infuze Magazine, Novel Reviews, 1340 Magazine, and now TitleTrakk. In her spare time she pursues her own passion for writing and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.