2 out of 4 stars
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In The Crystilleries of Echoland, Will Cleary is a twelve-year-old boy living in a world of portals, glowing leaves, and magical coins. There is also a very disturbing problem: children have been disappearing for years, never to be found. Will’s parents, once vibrant, are shadows of themselves since his twin sister, Emmy, disappeared. Will disappeared with Emmy the same night, but he somehow returned. He is the only child who has returned, a wolf and a falcon leading him home. Since then, the Cleary family has seemed paralyzed. His parents have gone through the motions of trying to look for Emmy, but they don’t realize they are in some sort of daze, doing the same things over and over. This inaction leaves Will growing up in a dusty, rundown house with his poor parents stuck in time. One dark early morning, Will decides to try to find a passageway to his sister by jumping into a frozen lake. What he finds is another realm, a world of people and their shadows. Some beings in this mysterious kingdom are welcoming, but some are dangerous. The kingdom is undergoing political upheaval, and Will is directly connected to the struggle for the throne.
I liked the premise of this book. I really enjoyed the first few chapters as the author began to introduce the concepts of the other realm and the types of characters who live there. I also liked that this book is extremely well edited. I found hardly any mistakes or typos.
I didn’t like that things seemed to get more and more confusing as the story continued. I found myself not wanting to continue reading, so I put the book down for extended periods of time, and that probably made the story more difficult for me to follow. The book is well written, but I found that there was more and more new character introduction added well into the heart of the book. I felt as though I needed a chart to help me understand the characters and their types – whose team they were on.
I rate The Crystilleries of Echoland 2 out of 4 stars. Based on the story itself, I would have given only 1 star, but the excellence of the editing caused me to bump it up to 2. I did not give it a 3-star rating because I found the plot confusing. And, keep in mind, that could be just me. Maybe I just did not take the time to reread so that I could understand the different character designations.
This book would be a good read for people who read a lot of fantasy and who like alternate kingdoms. If, like me, you aren’t really adept at following plots with complicated character distinctions, don’t try this one.
The Crystilleries of Echoland
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