When Thomas Hunter is shot by an unknown assailant, he falls into unconsciousness and wakes up in another world. A world where evil is contained and where good reigns. Unfortunately, he wakes up in a black forest, where the evil is contained.
He soon escapes the forest and meets the people of the land. Only they already have an opinion about him. They think that he lost is memory and has been dreaming out the histories, meaning Tom's world. They tell him that their world is the real one, not the other.
When Tom falls asleep in Other Earth, he wakes up on Earth and tells his sister about it. She, of course, tells him that Other Earth isn't real; that Earth is the real one, he is only, dreaming about Other Earth. Tom is confused, as is the reader, about which world is right. That issue is not resolved in this book.
Tom continues to fall asleep and wake up in the opposite world. He repeats this pattern over and over again throughout the book.
To throw a twist into the plot, Dekker combines the alternate world genre with a medical thriller. Raison pharmaceuticals is secretly developing the world's most deadly virus with which they can wipe out the world. Tom finds out about this from the people of Other Earth because it happened in their history.
The whole concept of this book is extremely original, unlike any other series I've ever read. I believe I understand the meaning of the Circle and which world is the real one, but I could still be wrong since this is the first book of four.
The romantic subplot is actually necessary in this book. When Tom arrives in Other Earth, everyone has already decided that he is going to fall in love with Rachelle. Might as well get it out in the open if you're going to have a romantic subplot. But this romantic subplot is actually necessary, after reading the end.
The characters are good and believable, something rare for this genre.
I didn't see the end coming, believe it or not, but it is directly continued. We'll have to wait and see about the rest, it's hard to know what a series is going to do these days.