First of all - when I read the advanced copy of this book it did not have a cover yet. But goodness, isn't it just gorgeous? It's so minimalistic and elegant - I absolutely love it!
Echowake is a fantasy steam punk novel. Here is the synopsis:
Flying through the clouds on the backs of giant air whales, a young man is constantly on the move to avoid a pressing darkness. His dark dreams have always kept him alone, but now he finds himself desired by opposing groups. The Cytech inventors guild wants his talent, and a group of powerful Mystics wants him outright dead.
I am always wary when it comes to reading a book that I haven't heard anything about yet. I'm always afraid that it will turn out to be another one of 'been there done that' cliche stories. With Echowake I was able to cast my fears away from the very first pages. There was nothing cliche about this story.
I was plunged deep into the world so unique and engaging I wasn't able to stop reading. There are flying whales (which are used as transport), cat-people (well, just one, but he is so worth it!), breathtaking landscapes, dark magical secrets, amazing steam-punk inspired inventions and much, much more.
The main character of the story is Trede, who I absolutely adored, because, ready for it? Trede is not very social!! How often do you get an MC who's very introverted and anti-social? Not that often to be honest, and I was so glad for it. It was so refreshing to watch him journey on, trying to warm up to people, trying to put himself out there in the world. He is not left to be lone for long though, as he soon meets his new best friend, about whom I will talk in a minute (because he's my favorite) and other interesting characters.
Trede's little group grows as they encounter villains and dark forces. I loved how all of the characters were strong headed and driven, either by curiosity or long-life goals. There are many twists and turns, and many action scenes definitely worthy of steam-punk fantasy.
If you know me at all, then you know that I'm always on a look out for amazing side characters to love and cherish. And I definitely found one in this book. Well, there were few actually that I enjoyed tremendously, but I don't want to spoil anything, so I will just talk of one.
All main characters need a great best friend sidekick, and Traz is probably the sidekick of all sidekicks! Big reason being is because Traz is one of the cat-like creatures.
Now, think me a huge nerd, but Khajiits from Skyrim, HELLO!! Maybe that's why I had such an easy time imagining Traz, for I just imagined him as a Khajiit - that didn't take away from his character one bit, I'd say it added to his awesomeness even more.
Traz was funny, brave and very intelligent. I will say that he was like a little sunshine of the whole group, but with claws. It was so easy to distinguish him from the rest of the characters - Traz had his own way of speaking, which was absolutely delightful to read.
Big thanks to John G Stevens for letting me read a very early version of this novel. I enjoyed my journey with these characters and would absolutely love to read more about them (hopefully there will be more)
Freelance BETA reader.