2 out of 4 stars
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The Crystilleries of Echoland by Dew Pellucid is a fantasy novel for young adults that follows the adventures of twelve-year-old Will Cleary. Will lives in a remote part of Alaska with his heartbroken parents. Ten years before, he and his twin sister disappeared along with other children all around the world. Only Will returned. He returned accompanied by a wolf and a falcon who refuse to leave his side. Will’s adventure takes him to another world, Echoland, where all living beings of this world, Sounds, have a corresponding Echo in their own land.
Echoland is in turmoil and only Will can set things right. His own hidden past unfolds as he is swept into Echoland’s politics, mysteries, and myths. Will meets many new friends and as many old enemies on his journey. Will he be able to unravel the ancient mysteries of Echoland in time to save this unusual world?
This novel is quite interesting, and the tale has many imaginative twists and turns. The world is well thought out yet often lacks in full background descriptions. The unusual is treated as commonplace and while this gimmick works in small doses, the author relies on this too often. Since Will is a stranger to the land, surprise and startlement could be well utilized to add the descriptive background the story is lacking.
The characters are enjoyable yet lack in depth. Since this is a young adult novel, much of this lack in character depth can be forgiven. However, combined with many cases of skimpy character introductions it causes confusion. I found myself having to refer to earlier passages to pin down which character is which. The dialogue is simple but also confusing in many passages as if the author expects the reader to understand a character’s sudden insight and follow a train of thought with no references.
My biggest complaint with this book, however, is the choppy writing style which I consider to be a massive editing issue. There are hundreds of sentences that begin with ‘And’, ‘And then’, and ‘But’. It seems like the text has been cut down into smaller sentences and the flow of the writing suffers tremendously. The few passages where this does not happen show a nice descriptive style and I feel the author has great promise in the realm of fantasy writing.
Overall, I give The Crystilleries of Echoland a rating of 2 out of 4 stars. The choppy writing style, vague background descriptions, confusing dialogue, and shallow characters prevent me from giving a higher rating. However, the imaginative story and unique world are very enjoyable and I could recommend it for any young reader of fantasy. I would not recommend it for older readers looking for the comparison to the Harry Potter series. The setting and plot are somewhat similar but this novel is in no way as in-depth or as well written.
The Crystilleries of Echoland
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