3 out of 4 stars
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Dew Pellucid’s The Crystilleries of Echoland tells the story of William Cleary, a toddler who disappeared at roughly the same time as his twin sister, Emmy. Even though Will returns in one piece (and riding on the back of a wolf, to boot), his sister does not. While Will tries to live a normal life, his parents never stop searching for his lost sister. Years later, on his (and his twin’s) thirteenth birthday, Will discovers that his sister is still alive, but that she is also in an entirely different realm: Echoland. Will very quickly finds that Echoland is a reflection of or world, hidden beneath our feet. It is populated by duplicates of the people living in our world; we are the Sounds, and they are the Echos, and the law of the land is that, when a Sound dies, their Echo is executed as well. Further, Will finds out that he is the Sound linked with one of the most important Echos in Echoland. While he is aware that this means that every moment he spends in Echoland puts him in even more danger, Will is still determined to rescue his sister. In the process of doing so, he also happens to come into a contact with an ancient mystery that will decide not only his fate, but also the fate of both realms. With the help of his newfound friends and his own Echo, Will sets about saving his sister and, perhaps, both worlds.
One of the things that attracted me to this book was that, in one of the reviews listed on the summary page, the reviewer claimed that it was the perfect book for fans of Harry Potter. As a pretty big an of the original Harry Potter books, I respectfully disagree. Of course, there are some similarities between Harry and William's journeys (including the presence of magic and a young male protagonist) but, as a whole, I found this book to be something altogether different and altogether unique. I would recommend it to anybody who loves young adult literature and/or teen fantasy.
There were a lot of things that I absolutely loved about this book. For instance, the language the author chooses to use is generally extremely creative but also fairly simple, making this the perfect book for young adult readers. The story's progression is also really interesting, and the descriptions of what’s going on are detailed, but not too much so, and well-written. Furthermore, the illustrations throughout the novel are beautiful and really make it easy for the reader to visualize the events in the narrative. In short, this book was a pretty easy and quick read, and I would definitely read further books if it were to become part of a series.
However, this book is also flawed in some ways. For example, if you’re the type of person who does not have time to sit down and read this book in one sitting, or if you are not able to dedicate all of your attention to what’s going on in the novel, I do not recommend reading this book. The author of this novel gives you a lot of information very quickly, and your continued understanding of what’s going on depends on your ability to internalize and remember that information. The story also moves very quickly, which can make it really hard to keep track of the different characters and events that the story consists of. Other than that, I couldn’t really find anything else I disliked about this book, aside from two or three grammatical errors.
I rate The Crystilleries of Echoland 3 out of 4 stars. While I wanted to rate this book as "excellent," I believe that the novel as a whole moves a little too quickly and gives far too much information in far too little time. Aside from these issues, I felt that this was story was done really well and was deserving of at least 3 stars. If the author were to slow the pace of the story and space out the important information, this novel would definitely be deserving of 4 stars.
The Crystilleries of Echoland
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