Thursday, April 25, 2013

REVIEW: Echo by Alicia Wright Brewster

Echo Echo by Alicia Wright Brewster
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Despite an arresting premise, the book failed to dazzle me.

+ the heroine

I found Ashara lacking. I don’t expect YA heroines to be kickass straight out of the box, but I do expect them to exhibit a trait that would make me root for them. The book dressed up her as the Chosen One, but she acted more like a supporting character than anything else. Ashara was underwhelmingly ordinary. I understood her. I connected with her. I did not hold her issues, feelings, and limits against her. Nonetheless, I couldn’t bring myself to think her of as a heroine despite the fact that the story was told in 1st person POV from her side.

It took two-third of the story for her fierceness to finally gain teeth. Alas, it was her super magic that made Ashara fierce. Her super magic served as a crutch because without it Ashara was impotent. She did have moments of awesomeness, moments when she finally shined as a heroine, but those moments were very fleeting. Loken, Ashara’s love interest, was more interesting than her.

+ the romance

I greatly appreciated the paucity of angst. I think this the first time I read a YA where the couple were previously each other’s ex; it was rather refreshing. It took almost no effort for me to believe the two loved each other and would do anything to save the other. I thought the romance, second to the battle scenes, was one of the best things about the book. (The third best thing would be the time magic used to manipulate timelines.)

+ the issues

I didn’t care for the fact that the religious characters, barring a few exceptions, were portrayed as violent, hypocritical extremists. It reeks of lazy world building when an entire group of people is brushed as evil.

In the middle of the story, Ashara got imprisoned. Before her imprisonment, Ashara was a girl who always kept her family in her thoughts in spite of whatever was going on. However, after her imprisonment, she never once thought about her family, e.g. sending word to her family that she was (relatively) fine. Worse, Ashara started being reckless with her life in spite of her promise to her family and herself to be cautious and not make them go through the pain of suffering the loss of another loved one. Ashara was pretty reckless before, but she always kept that side in check and kept her promise. In short, Ashara was not consistently characterized throughout the story.

Third issue, I did not care for the high body count. So many characters died. On one hand, it was realistic because it was the Apocalypse. On the other hand, it started to get ridiculous. The first few deaths had an impact, but the ones afterward, I couldn’t bother to give a shit. The deaths were becoming meaningless.

Fourth issue, I didn’t receive clear cut answers for what caused the Apocalypse. The book focused so much on the evil Mages and Ashara that it forgot that they didn’t directly cause it. They contributed to the Apocalypse, but they didn’t directly cause it. The plot essentially left the answers in the dust as it ran furiously towards the climax.

In Conclusion

I rate Echo 3-stars for I liked it. Despite the myriad of issues, for what it was worth the story entertained me. I was never actively irked or bored. The issues never pushed me to the point of frustration, the plot engaged me, and the ending satisfied me. The book was good sci-fi fluff. Sometime a bag of roasted potato chips can be fulfilling.

Goodreads | Amazon

Post a Comment

You can also comment on the Goodreads version of my review. Click on the rating located in the beginning of my review to get to the webpage.