Saturday, April 27, 2013

Review: Echo by Alicia Wright Brewster

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.

Title: Echo
Published April 25th 2013 by Dragonfairy Press
ISBN: 0985023023 (ISBN13: 9780985023027)

 Ashara is assigned to the Ethereal task force (a small group of Ethereal practitioners) after showing her ability for it in one of the previous timelines, but she doesn't remember it. Why? A Seer foresaw the end of the world, except they don't know the cause. They Elders rewind time, more than once, but only a select few remember the previous timelines, so when Ashara's powers manifest during one of the timelines she doesn't remember it. Powers almost always manifest at a young age, because Ashara's did not she is the only one on the task force that doesn't know how to use her powers. She frequently runs away from scary situations at first, but eventually she grows, learning that she can be strong and independent.
In the Ethereal task force there is four other people, Krin, Mauryn, Elis, and Jin. Right away the other girl in the group, Krin, and Ashara become friends. It's easy to tell why, she's such a sweet character, but is definitely independent from the start. Elis and Jin aren't really seen much, but I found Jin's home to be something I didn't expect. Mauryn played a bigger part than Elis and Jin, but was also different from all of them, he wore a piece of red cloth tied around his wrist, and I guess I have to explain before you understand what that means. While there are practitioners and non-practitioners, there are also Believers, and non-Believers. Simply, Believers believe in the two sun gods, Ra and Solaris, and usually wear something red or yellow. For the most part Believers and non-Believers don't get along, so it's pretty unusual for Mauryn to be there.
Usually Elder Ethereal leads the Ethereal task force, but this time she doesn't, Loken, Ashara's ex, does. This makes the story even more interesting, because usually the ex isn't a love interest, and to make it even better the best friend is her cousin, which means there can't be a love triangle between Loken, Ashara and her best friend! If you don't mind me spoiling it, there isn't a love triangle at all, and I found the romance, which there actually isn't much of, to be amazing. Loken (who is a Bender, which just means he's a metal practitioner) was a pretty cool character from the start, I loved how no matter what, he was always trying to protect Ashara.
The best friend I mentioned earlier, Rey (a Breather), also protects her, but that's not what I like best about him. It's how light his character his, he's either always laughing or joking around and makes everyone around him smile. He gets pretty close to another girl throughout the story, and I thought they were perfect for each other. I won't name names, but I will say it's pretty obvious who it is once you read the book.
I liked how in the beginning Ashara could identify which element someone practiced just from the items they carried. Benders usually had a weapons belt with a short sword and a dagger, the Breathers element was all around them, so they carried nothing, a Mover would carry several vials of dirt on their belt, while a Flooder would carry several vials of water, a Burner would carry a miniature flame thrower, Seers (who technically aren't practitioners) would wear a traditional black hood, and it was never explained for Ethereals, but because their element was everywhere too, they probably wouldn't carry anything either.
Overall I loved the book, and unlike most books I read, this one isn't in a series. I still hope the author changes her mind and writes a sequel.

"When I get a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes.” — Erasmus
Book Nerd and Proud, 

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