2 out of 4 stars
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The Crystilleries of Echoland by Dew Pellucid is a highly ambitious novel about an alternate winter world where our reflected selves live. This place is called Echoland and the inhabitants are called Echos. The Echos call us Sounds. One Sound child, Will Cleary finds his way to Echoland by searching for his sister who has been missing for several years. Will discovers ages old riddles, frozen lakes full of untold treasures, huge libraries and monsters. Will also meets his Echo, the most important boy in Echoland.
In this story of The Chronicles of Narnia meets Harry Potter there are a lot of plot points going on and I think the author loses her threads a few times. There are characters that appear without any introduction. Actions happen without any reason. I found myself flipping back to see what I missed, when a character entered a scene, or why there was a fight scene happening and I realized that I had not misread something, it just seemed like entire paragraphs of expository prose was missing.
Readers who enjoy fantasy like Harry Potter would enjoy this story for the most part. There was a lot of magic. There was an orphanage setting that seemed similar to Hogwarts. The magical animals were fun and interesting. The world building and magical usage could be built upon for more explanation and for a more enjoyable reading experience.
Readers who enjoy realistic fiction would not like this book. This is definitely a fantasy title as well as a young adult or even a juvenile fiction title. I would give this to readers at a grade level of 6 or younger. The main character is a twelve year old boy and he makes decisions like a typical twelve year old. His voice and actions are very true to his age.
In all, I would give The Crystilleries of Echoland by Dew Pellucid a 2 out of 4 stars. I did not like the lack of world building for a fantasy novel, nor did I like the lack of character development or introduction. Also, the character names taken from classic literature was very confusing to me. For example, Frankenstein, Cyrano de Bergerac, I thought these characters in the book were going to do something similar to the classical literature characters that would warrant the name, and they did not. It was more like placeholders for names that did not actually get changed, similar to using a your own name for a character in a book, which also occurred in this story. I just felt like this story got away from the author and it needed more work to be complete.
The Crystilleries of Echoland
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