Echo North: a tale of magic and love

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Format: 
Hardcover
Pages: 389
Top 3 Genres: 
Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
My rating: 
Set it on fire/ If you have nothing else to read/you need to read it/Run and buy it.
Source: 
Provided by Chapters Indigo in exchange for an honest review. 
To buy the book on Chapters: 
here
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Hey guys! Remember when I told you about Echo North and how excited I was to read it? Well, I did :p and if it was not all I was expecting, it was still a pretty nice and magical journey!

Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world falls apart after her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf—the same creature who attacked her as a child. The wolf presents Echo with an offer: for her to come and live with him for a year. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes.
In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, Echo discovers centuries-old secrets, a magical library full of books-turned-mirrors, and a young man named Hal who is trapped inside of them. As the year ticks by, Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf’s enchantment before her time is up—otherwise Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever.

Stepping through the Looking Glass

It all started with Echo, a little girl marked by a wolf, on a cold winter day. And growing up as the outcast in her village. Until she makes a deal with that same wolf to save her father’s life and agrees to spend a year in his magical house. There, she will slowly realize that the wolf is under a spell, that the house is in danger and that an evil Queen is behind all of that. And Echo, brave and kind, will get on a quest to break the curse… and understand who she is. We follow her through her discoveries in the enchanted house, but also through her adventures in the magical library (which is kind of every bookworm dream: she can step into literary worlds, how great is that?). Will she be able to save her wolf and herself in time?

« I learned very early that in the old tales of magic the wicked were always ugly and scarred, the good beautiful; I was not beautiful, but I wanted to be good, and after a while I couldn’t bear to read those stories anymore. »

And entering a world of fairy tales

I was so curious about the universe in Echo North: a retelling of East of the Sun and West of the Moon and Beauty and the Beast that could only be good! Well, I was both right and wrong: the universe had some great building, with a magical library of mirror books, a Russian inspired setting (all the snooooow), and an enchanted house with incredible rooms. Add to that some evil fairy Queen, magical Winds and a talking wolf. All great elements right? Unfortunately, I still had a hard time getting into the book. Everything was there, but it was not always woven well together to me. Sometimes it was like the author just added too many elements together, and it didn’t feel right.

There was also a large descriptive part in the book, which can be ok, but it really has to keep me hooked. It was not the case here, and it took me quite a while to get to the more « active » part… and then some things just happened too fast! This would have been the part where more development could have been done if you ask me.

In a few words

I’m still struggling to have a final opinion on this book. I enjoyed the writing and the beauty of the retelling, but I also felt that it was slow and sometimes just trying to fit together too many pieces.

See you for a cup,

Elise

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