Echo by Alicia Wright Brewster
Publication: April 25th 2013
by Dragonfairy Press
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
From the publisher—
The countdown clock reads ten days until the end of the world. The citizens are organized. Everyone’s been notified and assigned a duty. The problem is . . . no one knows for sure how it will end.
Energy-hungry Mages are the most likely culprit. They travel toward a single location from every corner of the continent. Fueled by the two suns, each Mage holds the power of an element: air, earth, fire, metal, water, or ether. They harness their powers to draw energy from the most readily available resource: humans.
Ashara has been assigned to the Ethereal task force, made up of human ether manipulators and directed by Loken, a young man with whom she has a complicated past. Loken and Ashara bond over a common goal: to stop the Mages from occupying their home and gaining more energy than they can contain. But soon, they begin to suspect that the future of the world may depend on Ashara’s death.
The phrase “hit the ground running” takes on new meaning in Echo and this is absolutely not a bad thing. Most of the time, we have to wade through a lot of worldbuilding and character development before the story actually gets going good but not this time. Ms. Brewster has wisely let the central premise take root immediately and, after all, why not? Would you want to putz around forever if your world was going to end in just 10 days or would you want to buckle down and get to whatever has to be done to stop the apocalypse?
I love the idea of a second Earth that was supposedly colonized by the very people who want a second chance at taking good care of their home planet and yet… their good intentions may all have been for naught. Or have they? If the Elders can rewind time repeatedly, might they find a solution to the problem in one of those timelines? If not, is it a given that they will rewind those ten days on an endless loop? Can you imagine the havoc that could cause in everyday life? The author takes the reader on a journey of despair and hope and redemption and, inevitably, heartbreak.
Ms. Brewster is such a good writer with an engaging cast of characters, whether they be good, evil or somewhere inbetween, and her storyline is one of the most creative I’ve seen in young adult fiction in quite a while. Ashara is very likeable, largely because she’s a strong person, not just a strong woman, but she also has some vulnerability, particularly when it comes to Loken. Ah, Loken, what a fella! Don’t get me wrong, though—Ash can be downright whiny at times and definitely difficult to cope with but that’s OK, it’s normal. And let me count the ways I love Rey.
One last thing I must mention is the cover. I could be dead wrong on this but I *think* the model is a woman of color. I can’t help questioning myself because I can’t find a mention of it in any other review I’ve located so, if I’m seeing it wrong, I apologize. The large traditional publishers have done a woeful job of promoting protagonists who come from non-white cultures, to the point where they have been known to deliberately have a white model portray a person of color as though no one would notice. They seem to think sales will be hurt if the cover art shows a black or Asian or whatever model and they apparently don’t recognize the value in (1) having a non-white girl or guy on the cover and (2) actually having a model who reflects the character. Anyway, if I’m not dreaming this up (which is always possible), Ash has “light-brown skin” and several other characters have varying degrees of brownness so I applaud Dragonfairy Press for doing what’s right.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, April 2013.
About the Author
In her virtually non-existent free time, she loves to read, watch movies, and eat food. She is particularly fond of the food-eating and makes a point to perform this task at least three times per day, usually more.
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