Alicia Wright Biewster
Published April 25th 2013
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
The countdown clock reads ten days until the end of the world. The citizens are organized. Everyone's been notified and assigned a duty. The problem is . . . no one knows for sure how it will end.
Energy-hungry Mages are the most likely culprit. They travel toward a single location from every corner of the continent. Fueled by the two suns, each Mage holds the power of an element: air, earth, fire, metal, water, or ether. They harness their powers to draw energy from the most readily available resource: humans.
Ashara has been assigned to the Ethereal task force, made up of human ether manipulators and directed by Loken, a young man with whom she has a complicated past. Loken and Ashara bond over a common goal: to stop the Mages from occupying their home and gaining more energy than they can contain. But soon, they begin to suspect that the future of the world may depend on Ashara's death.
About the Author
Alicia Wright Brewster is a mild-mannered lady of average height and above average paranormal obsession. By day, she works in an office. At night she is an author, an electronics junkie, and a secret superhero.
In her virtually non-existent free time, she loves to read, watch movies, and eat food. She is particularly fond of the food-eating and makes a point to perform this task at least three times per day, usually more.
Time travel, I find, is always a tricky topic. You really have to be careful about the things that characters are allowed to do, so that they don't cause a paradox and cause the world to implode. At first, before I had begun reading, that was what I thought might be the cause of the 'end of the world', but Biewster avoided such an annoying and common mistake by defining that each time the Elders wound back time, they entered a new timeline. An elegant solution that was emphasized by Biewster's use of the term 'echo,' to describe the populace in the timelines that is not the original - they had become an echo of themselves. I love the depth of thought that author has put into Echo, proving that time travel can be a beautiful thing when done right.
Biewster's world building in Echo is done well. She created a whole other Earth where we have two suns, instead of one, that, by some, are treated as Gods, and result in elemental manipulation abilities within the populace of the planet. I liked how this new planet still held onto some of the key features present on our own planet, like the division that religion causes on society, and the importance of family.
The character relationships in Echo where done well under the compressed time frame when considering the amount of new people Biewster had to introduce to the novel. I loved the dynamic of Asha and Loken. There relationship was unique in the way that it wasn't something where they had to developed the feelings throughout the course of the book, that just wasn't a realistic option when it only spans 10 days. You could really feel the connection that they have when reading a scene in which they conversed. And it was also refreshing to have a story where the girl wasn't pining over two guys - even though I thought there was the threat of that with Rey. Rey, Rey, Rey. Now he's a pretty damn cool guy and joy to read about. Such a bubbly and outgoing guy that threw caution to the wind and has a good sense of honour and loyalty - and a thing for crude jokes and the ladies ;) . Krin and him together is cute and I felt that they really balanced each other out.
I felt that the mages, being the source of evil in this novel, could have been a more monstrous thing. The only thing that seemed to be terrifying about them was there eyes. Maybe their appearance wasn't what was lacking, but perhaps it was that Biewster didn't demonize them enough? I just never felt sufficiently scared enough for the characters that set out to face them. Then, of course there is the Elders. What a bunch of popups arse-holes! I mean, I know they where only doing what they thought was right for the greater good, but dang, would it kill them to have a little heart? A little empathy? To me, the Elders felt more like the demon of the novel than the mages.
The only that really bothered me about this novel, was the ending. Now, I don't mean that it is a bad ending, I just think that it could have been done with more finesse. The last few chapters leading up to the final one of the novel, are action packed and keep you caught up in the tension and thrill of the story. However, the action, the antagonist, the underlying plot of the story, just suddenly come to a halt. It threw the story off balance, had me questioning the resultant of the novel, and, most of all, it didn't give me the satisfying closure to the story that I sorely needed.
Echo is a light sci-fi read that has love, loyalty and betrayal all wrapped up in one tempting and delightful package.
3 out of 5