The Circle of Lies (Hunters of Chaos #2) by Crystal Velasquez
Number of Pages: 240
Expected Publication: February 16th, 2016
In the first book of the Hunters of Chaos series, we were introduced to Ana, Lin, Shani, and Doli, four girls that attend a private southwestern boarding school. The four girls had just discovered they are the descendants of ancient shape shifting warriors or Wildcats, with Ana being (a jaguar), Lin (a tiger), Shani (a lion) and Doli (a puma). With their new found powers also came the responsibility of fighting the forces of evil and preventing the god Anubis from unleashing Chaos on earth. The story ended with Ana receiving a disturbing telephone call from her aunt and uncle. Link to my review for book #1 in the Hunters of Chaos series.
The Circle of Lies picks up with Ana and the girls uncovering that Ana's aunt and uncle may have gone to Cancun, the reason is still somewhat of a mystery, and the excuse that they give her really makes Ana begin to worry about them. Then Ana receives a late night telephone call from her aunt asking her to meet her in the school gymnasium. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a ruse so that The Brotherhood of Chaos can attack them. During the attack, Shani attempts to save them by hacking into the sprinkler system, but is caught on video camera and accused of vandalizing the gym, and ultimately she gets expelled. Unhappy with Shani being kicked out of another school, her mother sends her to Mumbai to live with her father. Shani's friends then venture to Mexico in hopes of finding any information about the disappearance of Ana's Aunt Teppy and Uncle Mec. Though now that the girls have separated, none of them are safe from the dangers the Brotherhood of Chaos has planned for them next.
The Circle of Lies has a very diverse set of characters coming from four varied backgrounds and cultures, each story gives little bits and pieces of information about the girls, and I'm fairly certain that the series will visit the countries the girls are from eventually. In this particular book, the girls traveled from the ancient runes of Chichen Itza to the Mumbai temple Shree Siddhivinayak. We're introduced to the city of Mumbai through Shanti's eyes, with its "chaotic traffic and oppressive heat." The Hindu God Vishnu and Mayan God Quetzalcoatl make an appearance, I for one always love reading the details about the gods, even if as in this series it doesn't go into large details, there still was enough to give a basic understanding about each of the gods abilities. The Circle of Lies is the perfect kind of book for an eight to twelve year old who likes a story packed full of action, mystery and shape shifting girls who can use their teeth to "shatter the bones" of the forces of Chaos or rip skin like "peeling a banana." My favorite thing is the solidarity that these girls share, how they work to stay together and share a common link. There is a nice recap of the first story at the beginning of the book, so I suppose it could be read on its own, but sad to say the story ends with only resolving one small piece. I do see the girls going on another trip in their future, better gas up the jet.