4 out of 4 stars
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The Crystilleries of Echoland explores the adventures of William Cleary. Will is a twelve year old boy on a quest to save both his family and the world. When he and his twin were kidnapped as toddlers, only William returned home. However, ten years later, the boy discovers his destiny when the route to Echoland was opened to him once more. Will was then launched into a dimension full of magic, greed, and politics. Could his new friends be trusted? Would any of the seemingly impossible strategies to freedom work? Only fate and fortune could decide.
The Crystilleries of Echoland is an excellent read. I give it 4 out of 4 stars. The writing style does a great job of providing detailed descriptions of scenes, making the story easy to picture while reading. The story also unravels slowly, revealing plot twists and surprises evenly throughout the text. There are no dull moments or slow spots. The plot starts with the accelerator pedal floored and the brakes do not hit until the final page. The Crystilleries of Echoland kept me on my toes throughout the whole experience.
Moreover, the characters are likable, relatable, and deep. The interactions between William and his friends illustrate valuable morals and ethical concepts. The power of friendship itself is challenged on several occasions. The Crystilleries of Echoland especially focuses on the characters' abilities to choose allies based on character over appearance. The ethics revolving around the treatment of pets and the value of animals are also expressed through the political context as well as ageism and racism.
On the other hand, the writing style requires some patience from the readers, as the details for the characters are gradually revealed, rather than allowing the audience to get to know them right away. Though the complexity is fun, sometimes I wanted to understand certain aspects of the characters when they were introduced, rather than three chapters later. The characteristics of the different races and the workings of the Echoland dimension wait until around the fifth chapter to let readers know what is going on. I had to infer a lot of the connections and concepts specific to the text for a while. As an adult reader, I did not mind having to wait, but I do not think the intended audience would necessarily appreciate it. The listing said The Crystilleries of Echoland was written for young adults. Defining that age range may be helpful to future readers. For example, a fourteen year old may or may not have the patience required to wait to understand Echoland or the characters. However, a sixteen or seventeen year old may enjoy the layers of mystery a lot.
Overall, The Crystilleries of Echoland was an awesome story to read. I would definitely recommend the book for ages sixteen and older. The plot is riveting, the characters are complex, and the ethics presented are important. I would definitely reread this book in the future.
The Crystilleries of Echoland
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