My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Review: Echo: The Curse of the Blackwood Witches

Echo: The Curse of the Blackwood Witches Echo: The Curse of the Blackwood Witches by Yasmine Maher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An urban fantasy with the chosen one trope.  While it was a fairly easy read and it comes with the “feel good” ending I was looking for, it took a few strange mind bender trips toward the end that didn’t quite work for me.  This was not helped by the tendency to use flashbacks as info dumps (a lot of which could have gone into a prologue).  Then stir in a healthy dose of time travel hijynx and it seems like we get a bit of "try everything and hope somethings works" approach to the story.  Add this to a general feel of a simple writing style typical of YA fantasy,  and the narrative comes across as pretty mechanical.  The magic system of connecting with souls to "grimoires" was actually kind of interesting, as was the elemental divisions of magic (into 8).  

All that said … I did still enjoy it as something I didn’t have to think much about (so a solid beach read or airport/travel pastime) and it kept me engaged enough to rock through it fairly quickly and the author avoided any big mistakes that would have been hard to ignore … so I might pick up the next one if I am in the right mood.

I was given this free advance review copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#Echo #BookSirens.

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.