3 out of 4 stars
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The Crystilleries of Echoland is a fictional book written by Dew Pellucid filled with magic and daring fantasies centering on a boy named Will Cleary. It took Pellucid 12 years to imagine and construct this very complex world filled with very well developed characters; the people are Sounds while the reflections that live in Echoland are Echos. Echos and Sounds come in pairs and have the same appearance, except Echos are more cold and transparent. It is much like having a see through twin. The world is also filled with many magical devices such as crystilleries, incendiaries, and safe passage rings. The world is described very beautifully, many places were made of snow-like material but were not cold like snow.
The book opens on Will pondering over what could have possibly happened to his sister when they both went missing about a decade before. The only evidence of their disappearance was documented in the Gravestone book. Will goes looking for his sister and soon finds much more than he bargained for. He is encapsulated in a new world where he is constantly challenged not knowing who to trust. Will finds out that all the things he previously believed were lies and is thrown into another world that he didn’t know existed previously. He is taken on a long dangerous journey that could very well get him killed. However, he embarked on this journey due to his sense of responsibility.
Pellucid’s book was pretty enjoyable and I would rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I gave this book a 3 because the plot is amazing, it is obviously fictional and fantastical but it is so original and authentic. The plot was too strong to have been a 2. I really love the storyline about Will and how he reacts to all the situations constantly being thrown his way. It was not quite a 4 because although in the beginning it is extremely interesting and I could not put it down, many parts in the second half were slow. There was too many descriptions of the scenery and not enough action, if the plot moved along a bit quicker that would be a big improvement. Also, many times I found myself stopping, confused as to what was happening in the story or who was speaking or taking the action being described. If the plot was carried out a bit quicker in the second half of the story and it was clearer as to what was happening to who, then the book could have been a 4. That is what I liked least about the book, that at times I had to stop, pull myself out of the story and reread sentences to try to figure out what happened.
The book takes you into an immensely unique world with a really strong plot. I am a fan of fantasy and this fits the description very well. The book is pretty well written and seems professionally edited with very few typos. I really appreciate the plot. The journey that Will goes on is very action packed and in most moments there is suspense that keeps my attention. It is evident that the book is very thorough in that there is a backstory for every important character and event which is so vital. In many books there are plot holes or undeveloped characters who are one dimensional and that takes away from the story. Sometimes the character’s actions are unnatural and they react emotionally but in a strange way. However, I found that as the story went on the characters became more natural in their emotions. So, I think that this will be an easy fix for the author.
I have to say that I completely love Peter’s character. His dialogue and actions are so natural and he is just an overall great character. At one point Will asks about what performances they are talking about and peter answers by saying, “The staff pretend to have talent.” I have only read a handful of books with characters as naturally witty and sarcastic as Peter is. He is my favorite character and I think the book is worth reading just to read about this character. Also, the way that the book makes itself relatable and explains the world it is in makes it so great. The different types of people, the way the government works, and each character’s background is made clear and I think that really allows for me to be in the world with Will. As Will found things out, so did I so I felt as if I was on that journey with him.
One of the things I love most about the book is that it is so interesting with the whole concept of the world being a reflection of one’s self with the added descriptions of all the beautiful snow-like buildings and secret rooms. It takes readers into a whole new world that is very different from what people know. However, what I love even more is that the book reflects world issues that are not far off from the real world’s problems. The book subtly tackles racism when it depicts Sounds and Echoes separated, judging one another. Pellucid even thought to include a mix of both, which are referred to as mongrels and are hunted in their world. It really makes me reflect about our own world and is much more than just a story. I think that the book would appeal most to middle schoolers and high schoolers but adults can also appreciate this book because of the underlying issues it takes on. Overall, I really like this book and I think it is worth a read.
The Crystilleries of Echoland
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