3.5 Stars Publishes on September 11th
Netgalley and Torteen provided an e-galley of EchoRoom for an unbiased review.
Parker Peevyhouse turns out a solid debut in Echo room, which begins with a groundhog day motif. This tool could have dragged on but works because like Rhett and Brynn, readers have no clue what is happening.
In all honesty, I am a sucker for narration that can’t be trusted. First person point of view comes courtesy of Rhett who awakens with a gash on his head and has no clue how he came to waken in this huge, enclosed chamber with Brynn. All he knows is that he keeps waking up in it, in the same manner, day after day.
Bit by bit they are able to put together pieces of information. The earth has been decimated, torched with nothing but huge bugs running around it. This is interrupted by the “of course” moment in the book.
Sparks fly between the two main characters. This wasn’t necessary. Brynn is a strong, independent character in her own right. But. There it is… Rhett and Brynn figure out there’s more of a connection and interest between them than they first realized. Moving on…
The end kind of just happened. That was a bit disappointing. Once they realized that the earth was pretty much toast (literally) and that there were ginormous … ok maybe I haven’t gotten the enormity of the bug issue across…
….like that big, someone who I picture being played by Woody Harrelson if there was a movie comes along and just mind vomits a bunch of essential information (about the bugs, the government… I’m keeping this vague on purpose… you don want to read the book, yes?) to them. At that point the book basically ends. There are some great philosophical debates that could have been more flushed out.
At some point you have to at least start wondering just how bad this chamber is compared to what is waiting for them on the other side. Ultimately, you know what decisions the character makes but at least have the debate. Make them think through it. Especially after Woody Harrelson gives them the whole low-down. Wrap-that up into the ending and have the sequel start off with the answer and take-off from there. Just a thought.
Now you are wondering… wait did she say sequel? Let’s be honest. This is the young adult world. When doesn’t it sequel? One simple tweak would make for a huge upgrade coming from Brynn’s point of view. She is a much more interesting character than Rhett. Even for those that liked Rhett’s point of view, it would be a good way to mix things up.
If you like vague, untrustworthy narration where you are in the dark with the characters for the first part of the book, you have a better shot of liking this book than others. I imagine I like the book more than those that don’t like that kind of specific type of writing.