Monday, July 29, 2013

Echo (The Soul Seekers #2) by Alyson Noel

Echo, the second book in Alyson Noel’s Soul Seeker series, is set in Enchantment, New Mexico.  Enchantment is a dead end town with not much going for it.  It is run-down and boring.  But what it lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for in magic.

Since I did not read the first book in the series, this is what I managed to piece together.  Daire, a young woman is a Soul Seeker.  There are prophecies that predict that she will be able to save the world from bad magic.  Her boyfriend, Dace, is a twin—and his brother, Cade, is completely dark. He seeks to take over both the upper and lower worlds.  While Cade is wicked, Dace is practically the personification of good.  His love for Daire motivates him to help her in her quest to restore the world to its rightful beauty.
 Unfortunately, Cade and Dace are not merely twins, but they are echoes of one another.  Any feelings that Dace has are unwillingly shared with Cade, including his love for Daire.   Of course, there are epic battles and plenty of teen angst.  And sex!  (I would classify this book as Young Adult, and the sex scene is tastefully done.  Also, there is a scene that is a bit on the unwilling girl—willing boy side, so be forewarned.)  For some of the book, Daire and Dace attempt to stay away from each other, but their love for one another makes this a losing prospect and they have to save Enchantment together.
On my soapbox, but I think that Young Adult books should be as well written as adult books, and I found some flaws with this one.  My main gripe is the overpopulation in the book, and the way characters are presented.  A character would be introduced and called by name.  However, it would be several pages before you were told the relationship of this character to others in the book.  If you had read the first book, maybe this would not be a problem.  But an author has an obligation to make the relationships clear, even if the reader is starting with book two of a series.  In addition, some of the back-story was so poorly explained that I was not sure what was going on.  At times, it felt as though I was reading a foreign language.
The undead Richters, who are the enemy in Echo, are only described as soulless, but I was completely confused about where they came from.  I was interested in some of the secondary characters like Xotichl, one of Daire’s friends and Phyre, one of Dace’s ex-girlfriends.
The glimpses of New Mexican culture and mysticism were interesting, but there was not enough there to be compelling.  I can see, however, how this book might be appealing to a younger audience.  There is just enough angst to make it fun to read for a teenager.  And with the “will they stay together or won’t they?” story line, it is sure to appeal to the younger set.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Regina

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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