3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Twins William and Emmy Cleary went missing at the age of two. William’s pets rescued him, but Emmy was nowhere to be found. Ten years later, Will is face-to-face with two translucent beings called Echoes inhabiting his childhood pets to keep him under surveillance.
Confused? Well, allow me to explain a bit more. At the time of each birth, a mirror-image of the child is also born. These see-through Echoes live in Echoland, separated from the Sound realm where we live. However, the destinies of a Sound and its Echo are entwined by the Law of Death. By this law, an Echo is compelled to die when its Sound dies. When the former king’s brother usurps the throne of Echoland, he wants the young prince out of the way. Since Will is the prince’s Sound, killing him will ensure the execution of the Echo by the Fortune-tellers and the Fate-sealers. Burdened with this terrible destiny, can Will find his way through Echoland, survive the devious plots, and assist his twin back to his family? Why does he steal the Royal Shekel, a coin that holds the key to all secrets? To know more of his quest, you have to read The Crystilleries of Echoland by Dew Pellucid.
As with many fantasy stories, this novel depended largely on the author’s world-building abilities. Tal Boldo, using her pen-name Dew Pellucid, rose to the challenge. Essentially a snow-covered see-through place with an abundance of crystal balls, Echoland comes to life as a mesmerizing magical world. Pellucid has taken care of even the minutest detail of the imposed laws of this world.
The descriptions are vivid, the imagery beautiful. The accompanying illustrations added a whole new level of depth to the magic of Echoland. The use of cool colors such as blue and green set the icy and mystical tone. The see-through appearance of the Echoes was evident in the translucent drawings. The gaping mouths of the Fate-sealers indicated the wordless agony they create in their victims. Those illustrations by Andy Simmons and Tal Boldo complemented the story with absolute perfection.
Pellucid set the pace right from the beginning without any preamble and steadily maintains it until the end. The entire novel is divided into 63 bite-sized chapters that make the read easier for the young adult generation.
As Will continues his exploration, we get to know more about the myths and fables of Echoland. The author allows the reader time to digest the new bits of information as they come. The plot includes several well-placed twists that add to the thrill.
However, my opinion of the book is not without complaints. For one thing, the characters seem flat and two-dimensional. Some of the pre-teen boys behave like whiny children. A few characters remained a mystery. Moreover, the flow of the dialogues was not always consistent or even coherent. You had to be extremely attentive to grasp the context, especially when the boys were making plans of their quest. Additionally, some of the action scenes lacked the sense of urgency and failed to captivate me.
Considering the above-mentioned points, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. A couple of very minor mistakes did not detract from the reading experience. I heartily recommend this novel to young adult readers who love fantasy stories. However, the adults who do not mind a bit of magic in their books will equally enjoy this novel.
The Crystilleries of Echoland
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like Shrabastee's review? Post a comment saying so!