3 out of 4 stars
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The Crystilleries of Echoland by Dew Pellucid is an engaging, mystical and thrilling novel for young adults which captures the reader’s heart and imagination. Will Cleary’s twin sister, Emmy, has been missing since they were toddlers, leaving a gaping hole in their family dynamic, so much so that Will has never seen his mother laugh or smile. Will is a normal, intelligent boy who often thinks about his sister’s unexplainable disappearance. Ten years earlier, Will and Emmy both went missing at the same time. Will returned from the strange place he calls “beyond the pond” after only a week, but his sister never came back, even after all these years. Nobody can find a passage to this unknown world Emmy has been taken to; no matter how many books Dad reads or how many times Mom dives into the frozen pond.
But soon Will has a chance to rescue his sister from where she has been captive. A freezing, magical, merciless place called Echoland. Every person on Earth (the Sounds) has an Echo in Echoland; a shimmering, cold, and almost invisible replica of themselves. Will comes face to face with his Echo, who also happens to be the prince heir to the throne in Echoland, whose father, the king, was murdered in a conspiracy. Will must disguise himself in Echoland’s orphanage for castaway Echoes and Sounds, team up with his twin sister, and his royal Echo, along with a petty magician named Peter in order for Emmy to return to their family and for the prince to reclaim his rightful place on the throne of Echoland.
The world in which Will must quickly become familiar with is unique, charming, ethereal, and filled with beautiful imagery. The reader feels like they are shivering with the characters in icy and translucent Echoland. Each scene is filled with dizzying action and clever mystery solving as the reader begins to understand the place that Will has been thrown into. A huge asset in this book is the author’s masterful invention of essential side characters. From witty, awkward, and brilliant Peter Patrick Peterson and his scrappy dog Poudini to brooding, beautiful, and ruthless Auralius the reader will quickly come to love more than just the main character.
One thing I didn’t love about this book is that it, at times, felt a little bit too much like Harry Potter’s world in Hogwarts. There are slightly obvious parallels to Dementors, the magical library with the restricted section, the Marauder’s map, and each child choosing a pet. These similar elements didn’t take anything away from the book, but it would be better if the world was a little bit more original.
I would give this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is a well-written book with a dashing main character, clever side characters, and an unforgettable world. I would not give it a full four stars because of the lack of originality in some parts. I would recommend this book to young teenagers and older as there wasn’t any sort of graphic violence or inappropriate content. This book was clearly professionally edited as I didn’t notice any grammatical errors.
The Crystilleries of Echoland
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