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title: The Betrayal
author: Sheila Hendrix
series: Dark Circle #1
published: 28 September 2010
source: book tour
buy/shelve it: Amazon | Goodreads
One brother races against time to save the other before it's too late. When Matt has a dream, it sends two brothers on a hunt for a cave. Matt doesn't know why they have to go there; he just knows they have to go. When they arrive, Matt finds out that the vision turns out to be a trap. A Darkness like no other wants to control Matt and kill Zack. When a demon asks Zack a question, "How far will you go to save your brother," Zack replies, "As far as I have to." Now something like they've never faced before is on a deadly mission to destroy everything the brothers hold dear and if they are not careful, neither of them will be able to escape.
The Betrayal is the first in the young adult paranormal Dark Circle series. Zack and Matt are brothers, abandoned by their parents at a very young age. Other than a brief stint with their grandmother, they have been left to raise and protect themselves against the world. Having supernatural powers, Matt has been drawn into a life of hunting and eliminating evil with his ever protective brother by his side. In The Betrayal, their quest for evil has led them to a mysterious cave and a sadistic, cruel demon with just one thing on his mind, the total destruction of the brothers and everything they hold close. I really enjoyed the plot line and the many twists and turns and unexpected developments through out the story. It was definately darker than your average young adult novel, but it added to the feel of the story.
The descriptive imagery was excellent, allowing me as the reader to visualize in detail the action and environment of the story, bringing the demon to life for me. There were some disjointed passages from time to time that distracted me from the flow of the story, in large part due to some editing misses with punctuation. That was really my only complaint with the novel, the amount of punctuation errors. The premise of the story was really interesting, but the distraction of the errors sometimes interrupted the reading of the story.
Zach and Matt, the main characters were well-established as good people with hard pasts, and both were very easy to relate to, to like. Shane became an unexpected main part of the story and was also an easy character to like. Bryan and Tony, friends of the brothers, while supporting characters, had an interesting subplot of their own, and I hope we see more of them in future books in the series.
I hope that the author does a prequel for this series some day, as there were references to events that took place prior to the start of this first novels. Some of those events sound like they would be a great basis for novels of their own!