by Alice Reeds
Genres: Favorite, Young Adult
They wake on a deserted island. Fiona and Miles, high school enemies now stranded together. No memory of how they got there. No plan to follow, no hope to hold on to.
Each step forward reveals the mystery behind the forces that brought them here. And soon, the most chilling discovery: something else is on the island with them.
Something that won't let them leave alive.
*ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Echoes by Alice Reeds is a total and complete mind f*** in the best possible way. While the blurb reads like a YA horror story, this is an action packed thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end. Told in the POV of Fiona, the story jumps back and forth from chapter to chapter from the time they are in Berlin and when they are stranded on an island, but it’s done so well and so fluently, it doesn’t jerk you out of the story but rather fills you in on everything that they’ve gone through to merge the two together.
Let’s jump back a step. Fiona Wolf is the current Florida State lightweight kickboxing champion, taught by her father that failure is not an option. Miles Echo is the bratty, wealthy, entitled popular guy at her school with a high IQ and fluent in several languages who she can not stand. So when they get stuck together having both garnered an internship to Berlin from a company called Briola, it’s literal hell since neither one can truly stand the other. Once they get to Berlin though, things aren’t exactly as they seem and they must rely on one another if they’re to make it out of this alive.
The island that they “later” end up on after their plane crashes is brimming with even more danger when a mysterious creature tries to make them lunch. Added to that is the fact that they aren’t entirely sure how they got on the island. And yeah, there is a reason why later is in quotes. There’s just a plethora of paradoxes throughout that just made this book so good!! Added to that, the characters are deeper than what they first seem. Fiona, while strong physically, has been mentally abused for years by her father and Miles, while arrogant and pretentious, is more of a lost little boy after his brother’s death.
“Everything in the jungle looked like more of the same again and again, like someone had lazily designed a Minecraft biome where you’d get lost without a compass in two minutes flat.”
So there is a reason I picked this particular quote. Minecraft is a world that you create and manipulate to the needs of the players and this is exactly what the book felt like. These two are players in a much larger game that they don’t even realize. Everything around them is manipulated to make them think and react in a certain way. And well, as the title suggests, an echo isn’t something real, but rather a reflection of the original, or a manipulation of the original. As time passes, hazy and confused memories of Berlin begin to filter in and both begin to wonder what is real and what isn’t. Investigating the island brings even more dangers to light and relying on one another opens up new, reluctant feelings that neither one expected.
“At least I wasn’t alone in this. Tom Hanks had Wilson; I had Miles. Hopefully he proves more helpful than a volleyball with a handprint on it.”
I’m not going lie. I devoured this book from the first page to the last. I could not stop reading because every page was filled with questions and promises of more. This was sort of like Inception meets Lost with a bit of Cabin in the Woods and Hunger Games, and was reminiscent to a Christopher Pike or RL Stine book for me. There was a lot happening and I was engaged the entire time. I will admit, I didn’t need the romance between the two. Like, there’s a time and place for kisses and I get that they are being thrown together, but I would have been just as happy that they turn into friends and maybe decide pursue a relationship later on. I will say, since several reviewers also mention it, there is a cliffhanger but honestly, I saw it coming and, for me, it wasn’t one of those that made me angry. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of reading a Christopher Pike book, that’s exactly what that ending felt like. I do hope there is a sequel but at this time, I don’t know if there is or not. I would love to know more. There are still a lot of questions unanswered but I didn’t finish the book unsatisfied but rather, I finished it going “I need to reread this. There are clues in this book” and it isn’t until I reread it was that I saw things I had missed. I am so hoping this author continues to write more because I need more. I haven’t enjoyed a YA mystery like this in quite a while. Well done.