Echoby Alicia Wright Brewster
Publication: April 25th 2013
by Dragonfairy Press
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
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.
I have read so many great SF books this year, especially in the young adult market, that sometimes I worry that I’m being biased… unfortunately, I won’t be able to disprove that today, because this was yet another fantastic YA SF adventure that I just loved. :)First of all, I loved our main heroine’s name - Ashara. That is so beautiful, and her nicknames, Asha and Ash, both adorable. Loken, her on again off again BF in this book, is also original and strong. They made a very nice couple and Loken’s concern for Ashara was touching from start to finish.This book is cool is so many ways, but the main one for me was the whole rewinding time thing. The world is about to end, but the world has been about to end for a while now, it’s just some paranormal beings in this futuristic “second Earth planet” can rewind time. Each timeline is ten days and in that ten days they have people with special elemental powers do things to change the outcome, which is the end of the world.In the middle of this is a sort of political/religious “disagreement” of how people view the end of the world. One faction thinks this is just destiny. If it ends, well, that’s how it was supposed to go. The other faction, the one Ashara and Loken are part of, believe it’s their responsibility to change things.Pretty heavy! But also pretty cool, because it sets up a nice message for how people of different belief systems can work together for a common goal.The people in charge, The Council, are the ones who can turn back time, and they seem to have an unlimited number of times to be able to do this, but really, that’s not the case. Once they get far enough along in the timeline that they know they will fail, they can rewind and start again but it takes a certain skill set to do this.Only certain people retain the memories of the past timelines, and when we start the story, we’re on the fifth timeline and Ashara wasn’t even aware that the rewinds had even started yet. She soon learns that this time, for the first time, she is to play an important role in thwarting the end of the world. She’s done something in the last timeline that may save everyone...or may kill everyone.Ashara was a great character because she was imperfect, and not in a stupid way either. She makes mistakes, she pays for these mistakes, and yet, she is still willing to do the big deed to make sure she plays out her role in a way that she wants to, not how others want her to. She is a strong, smart, female character who has lots of cool power, and just the right amount of confidence.I also loved the romance, which was not a lot, but I the relationship between Ashara and Loken was sweet and believable. He was the perfect counter balance to Ashara when she was weak, when she was powerful, and when she was vulnerable.Sometimes time travel in books can be overwhelming. A lot of times actually, because it’s hard on the brain to get this stuff down in your mind. In addition, sometimes authors can really get a lot of stuff wrong. They don’t think it through properly, or they don’t understand what is and isn’t possible, and they wing it. But this was not the case with Echo, the time stuff is very simple, yet also plays a major role in the major reveal about how and why Ashara is different. It was written very well and explained clearly and I can’t wait to read more of Alicia Wright Brewster’s stories. She delivers an exciting adventure, with no swearing, no sex, and filled with positive messages for teens who like futuristic SF.
Alicia Wright Brewster is a mild-mannered lady of average height and above average paranormal obsession. By day, she works in an office. At night she is an author, an electronics junkie, and a secret superhero.
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.