"And don't forget - there's a code, somewhere, for everything. You can do anything."
Publisher: AAA Reality Games
Book Links: Goodreads
Another surprising read for me. Echo's Revenge is, in two words, entirely unique. I truly haven't read anything like it, and it is a massive breath of fresh air. At first I was slightly apprehensive, with the main character being young, and the narrative taking on a similar tone to accommodate. But while you do get the sense that Echo's Revenge has been written for younger readers - a point that should be commended, and for any parents out there looking for a book for their child, you should absolutely pick this one up - the story should keep even older readers hooked.
Fourteen-year-old Reggie is revered in the gaming community; he's smart, quick and utterly unbeatable at his favourite game: Echo's Revenge.
But when he and his brother, Jeremy, hatch a plan to beat their mother's abusive boyfriend and escape to their father, they have no idea of the adventure about to unfold.
Echo, the titular character from the game, has entered reality.
And he's hunting down all the players who've managed to cause him pain.
But will Reggie be able to match his cyber-skills in reality, or will the newly named Echo 7 succeed in taking Reggie and his brother down for good...
Echo's Revenge feels like the most modern novel I've read in awhile. Sounds strange doesn't it? But for me, the novel feels very modern with its incorporation of technology and its use of video games. And I don't mean futuristic, it feels very now, as if what happens in the story can easily be mimicked in real life as we know it. This lends the story, which is already thoroughly distinctive with its plot, a more relatable and immersive feel. It's also paced well, and action-packed.
Its characters are where I have the most problems, and also the most investment. Reggie and Jeremy as our two forefront characters are easily connected to; they draw out sympathy, determination and a camaraderie that's pleasant. There are also some wonderfully envisioned people throughout the novel. But there's a vastness to the cast, especially 3/4 through the book when - SLIGHT SPOILER - the group are trapped in Echo's lair. There isn't enough time to connect with the others, and too many names are slung around at points, eliciting some confusion.
But, in essence, it's the positive themes that truly rule. The overall feeling of teamwork, the two brothers' connection, and hope really makes this an all ages read. It's especially perfect for younger readers.
While its ending requires some suspension of disbelief, it wraps everything up pretty well, leaving enough mystery and questions for the reader to want to continue on. I certainly do, and once I've cleared my TBR, I'll be picking up the next in the series.
Next Instalment: Echo's Revenge: The Other Side, Part 1
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