Whimsy and reality collide in this shiny little fantasy. Think protagonist who only wants to be accepted and a quest that can make that wish come true. It wasn’t perfect, but I found it to be a blissful escape. Publishing April 28, 2015.
Echo lives a life straddling the human world and the world of Avicen, a race of feathered, magical people. Born into one, tolerated by another, Echo has never really believed she has a true home. When an opportunity arises that could make Echo welcomed wholeheartedly into the Avicen world, she jumps at the chance. However, the quest she embarks on will require a sacrifice of unknown proportions and an alliance with a feared enemy, opening Echo up to the possibility of losing everything. This was an intriguing and engaging read that blended the strange beauty of fantasy with the wry humor of reality. Echo’s insecurities and the bluff bravado they create will feel familiar and real to readers. The narrative is shared by Caius, enemy of the Avicen, and a few minor characters. Voices are distinct and they are used to develop perspectives of Echo and Caius that add depth to their characters. My only complaint is with the quest itself. There are too few tests, and they seem too easily conquered by the protagonist. This robs the book of that feeling that a hero/heroine has truly gained something more than a clue or prize in the journey to the end. The tests do cost these characters, but only one seems to really effect Echo in a lasting way. I didn’t really get the comparison of this book to The Grisha books — I’m a big fan of those, and this one didn’t evoke that series for me. It gave a Daughter of Smoke and Bone vibe, but they really weren’t very similar when it comes down to plot (this one is clearer and more enjoyable). Four stars.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.