Review by Ashley Louise -- The Crystilleries of Echoland

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Ashley Louise
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Review by Ashley Louise -- The Crystilleries of Echoland

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[Following is a volunteer review of "The Crystilleries of Echoland" by Dew Pellucid.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The Crystilleries of Echoland by Dew Pellucid is a captivating novel based around Will Cleary, a boy who was the only child to return of many that went missing. Despite Wills wish to have a normal life as a normal boy, he ends up going on a daring quest where many secrets are revealed that lead him to find what out what happened to his still missing twin sister Emily. As a toddler Will returned from the mysterious place he and all the other children disappeared to riding atop a wolf with a falcon in tow, making him an ideal candidate to learn the most important secret of all just before his 13th birthday.

The Crystilleries of Echoland encompasses magical aspects in a frozen fantasy land with frightening laws in Echoland such as the Law of Death, which states when a Sound dies in the real world the corresponding Echo must be killed. We follow Will on a winding path filled with secrets, adventure, thrills and frights meeting other important characters and learning of a translucent world where reflections come alive. It becomes a race for answers before not only does Will's realm fall to pieces, but also the hidden world of Echoland and the missing children are lost to us forever. Will treks on bravely to conquer the many challenges and fears he will face.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this novel is how beautifully Pellucid paints the picture of a world where echoes live on from the sounds of the real world. Her descriptive storytelling describes a gorgeous landscape like that of a winter wonderland with a terrible evil living inside, drawing us in the more we read. I found myself unwilling to take a break from the story, needing to know as desperately as Will what happened to the missing children and what other secrets could be found in this picturesque world. The downside of this otherwise fascinating story was the abrupt scene changes and offset conversations which left me feeling confused with the need to go over certain parts to make sure I had not skipped a passage by mistake.

This murder mystery young adult novel fits it's target audience perfectly, however the story is complex and interesting enough for the older reader, particularly fans of the Harry Potter series as it invokes similar emotions throughout. While the story could absolutely be fun and fast-paced, loved greatly by my inner child much like the popular, magical stories of my childhood, this novel is best for the older young adults as the deaths and disappearances of the children leads to frightening thoughts of the evils in our real world day-to-day lives.

Overall, I would rate The Crystilleries of Echoland a 3 out of 4 for its imaginative and original story, likeable characters and immersive experience. Had the transitions between scenes been smoother and easier to follow, I would have rated this book a 4, but don't let that scare you away from this excellent read. I recommend this book to anyone looking for adventure and an escape.

The Crystilleries of Echoland
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"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." - Kurt Vonnegut

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