Miranda's Reviews > Echoes

Echoes by Melinda Metz
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Mar 22, 11

bookshelves: young-adult, paranormal
Read from March 14 to 17, 2011 — I own a copy

Echoes is a fun, easy read book that you can just sit back and relax with. It’s sort of like those late 90s-early ‘00s paranormal teen shows; it’s cheesy at times and a bit ridiculous in how it solves major issues, but it never pretends to be anything but cheesy and ridiculous.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed these books. It doesn’t follow the formula most paranormal YA does these days, where a girl has a mysterious power, then she meets a guy who knows more about her than she does herself, something forbidden is keeping them apart, she finds out she’s the key to a major world changing event, etc. Really, the only part out of that that Echoes fits into is “girl has a mysterious power”. The rest is a nice change of pace from the rest of paranormal romance YA that’s out there today, and something that should be seen more often.

The characters were pretty well written, and had lives outside of each other, and interests outside of who they were dating/falling in love with. I especially loved that Rae focused on things other than Anthony, the guy who helps her figure out what her power is. In fact, no attention is made to any kind of romantic relationship for them until the third book. They have other things to focus on, namely trying to figure out who tried to kill Rae, and if they’re going to strike again. It was really nice to read about people who weren’t overly concerned with falling in love, or being in a relationship. It’s not something I see in paranormal YA these days, which is a shame. Rae also isn’t right about everything ever, and occasionally does some very stupid stuff and has to face the consequences. She tends to do big stuff for others without asking if they want it done at all, like a HUGE part of the third book. It was nice to see a lead heroine with some actual faults instead of traits that are being passed off as weaknesses but really aren’t.

I was also impressed by how Anthony had a learning disability, and Metz consistently writes him as always having trouble with it until he begins to learn how to handle it. A lot of “disabled” characters I’ve read in YA are only disabled when the plot calls for it, or otherwise it’s a weak try to get the character to seem flawed.

Rae’s power was pretty cool and creative. I’d honestly never heard of anything like it before and I was glad that Metz explored some of the possibilities of having such a power, and what the limitations and drawbacks were. And Rae does actually suffer some consequences from using her powers, instead of it always helping her and never hurting her.

The books are pretty short, only typically around 230 pages (though I think they removed some scenes for the bind up), but a lot is packed into those pages, and the pacing is very well done. I was never bored with the books, as something was always going on to actively keep my interest.

I did have a few little quibbles, though. Like Rae’s power; it just randomly starts one day, with no real reason, and no warning. She’s never had hints of it before the novel starts. Why did it take until she was 15-16 to suddenly start working? If she were younger I guess it could be explained away by being jump started by puberty, but she’s not. Nothing seems to set it off; one day she’s just walking down the hall, then suddenly she can hear voices. Maybe it’s explored in later books, but for the first three I was wondering about it the whole time.

Another quibble is that I didn’t realize that the book had changing POVs between Rae and Anthony, as the summary on back made it seem like completely Rae’s own story. However I quickly got over that, as Anthony is a major part of the book as well and Rae’s closest friend. There was one point in the first book where Rae is in an intense situation and then it totally cuts to Anthony’s POV, where nothing is happening. It felt completely out of left field and just a stupid way to up the ante, as it were, because after half a page it immediately goes back to Rae, and nothing of value was contributed by Anthony’s short random appearance.

All in all Echoes is a fun read, and I hope they put the rest of the series into a bind up so I can finish Rae and Anthony’s story.
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Reading Progress

03/14/2011 page 177
34.0% "I'm enjoying it, but it's definitely kind of mindless. Rae's power is pretty cool, though, and well thought out."
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