3 out of 4 stars
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In the state of Alaska, lives the twelve-year-old boy Will Cleary. Ten years ago, he went missing with his twin sister Emmy. As it turns out, their disappearances were not uncommon as there are one thousand and seven worth of pages of names of people who have vanished. But out of those people, only Will was able to come back. His parents are still searching for his sister up to this day, but it seems that Will is the only one who holds the clues as to where they were taken when they disappeared. Deá the wolf, Damian the falcon, and a strange glowing plant accompanied him when he came back. One day, in the hopes of finding his lost sister, he plunged into the pond where they vanished years ago, only to find himself waking up in a completely different world and in an adventure that is bigger than what he expected.
The Crystilleries of Echoland is a fantasy novel written by Dew Pellucid. It is about a place that is different from our world, yet it is a realm that mirrors our own. Echoland is the place of Echoes. They are translucent beings that are duplicates of our people, which they call Sounds. Both Echoes and Sounds are in danger of being killed because of a law that was put up by a usurper. In this coming-of-age book, Will discovers why he was saved, and the position he is in to protect both races. Dew Pellucid is the pen name of Tal Boldo, and her “fortunerific” world of Echoland has been 12 years in the making.
From the start of reading the book, I can see that the author has thoroughly imagined and built the place of Echoland in detail. She has a clear vision of how her world looks like and how it differs from ours. The idea of having an Echo that is living in another realm where fortune tellers, magical crystals, and evil murdering creatures dwell is interesting and will surely attract young adult readers. The main characters are likable and it is easy to root for them to win. And as with any coming-of-age story, it is complete with a loyal best friend that is enjoyable and amusing to read. The book also has wonderful illustrations which aptly describe each chapter.
While Echoland was effectively described in the story, the narrative left me confused at times. The way the story was told felt bumpy rather than fluid, and I found myself rereading paragraphs to better grasp what was going on. It is like when a writer visits their world frequently that they know exactly what’s happening in the action, but falls short at looking at it from a reader’s point of view, who is new to their world. Nonetheless, the basic skeleton of the story is laid out well, and the plot is understandable. Some minor characters’ names were unusual (like Bog Slippery and Dartboard) which, somewhere down the story, were also confusing and I had to remind myself who specifically they were again.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I think the way the author delivers and describes the movement of the story can be improved but overall, it was a joy visiting Echoland. I would recommend this to young adult and older readers, who enjoy fantasy adventure books.
The Crystilleries of Echoland
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