Echoes

Posted: February 15, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Am I the only one who gets a deep feeling of enjoyment whenever I pick up a debut novel? I feel as if each one of those was a whole new world (which sometimes involves flying carpets, yes), like it was a pathway by which a brand new author brings something new to the genre through his or her point of view. But there something I enjoy more than discovering a new author and it is to read the debut work shortly after it gets published, before the reviews and the subsequent books that follow the success of the first one. Echoes has been one of those novels that by luck has fallen into my hands a couple of weeks after its release and I must admit that I have enjoy the book from the beginning to the very end.

Echoes

Strong Points: Characters and their development, the plot, the writing style.

Weak Points: Some punctual moments of the story feel somehow superficial.

Echoes is a novel written by Therin Knite which tells us the story of Adem Ademend, a 23 years old prodigy who solves crimes for a living in a futuristic society where countries don’t longer exist. Adem has become the best criminal investigator in the police force thanks to an uncanny skill to rebuild the crime’s scenes and figure out the identity and motives of the killer almost instantly, but a new murder has occurred in town and Adem’s gift is not proving useful this time for all his senses are saying that the victim has been killed by a dragon.

Undoubtedly the characters are the strongest point of the novel, especially Adem. From the very beginning the author manages to create a character that entraps us and wins us over due to his sassy sense of humor, his well-deserved arrogance and his need to find logic in everything he sees around him; Therin Knite has masterfully written a psychologically scarred character who at the same time is capable of maintaining a light tone throughout the novel. Adem is also surrounded by a strong cast of secondary characters who fulfill their own unique function inside the story and who have been created to the utmost detail, showing each one a unique personality that entraps the reader. All the characters, from the hateful socialite Regina Williams to the rough SWAT veteran Briggs, manage to trigger a reaction on the reader, making sure you won’t be indifferent to any of them by the time you turn the last page over.

Aden’s development is even paced and it doesn’t feel forced at any point. It answers to the events of the novel, changing through the story and being affected by the world that surrounds him in a plausible and believable. It is enjoyable to find a development so well written, both in Adem and, of course, in his secondary counterparts, especially the development of Dynara Chamberlain, who the author manages to evolve without making her loose the mystery that makes the character so alluring in our eyes.

The plot will entrap you from the very beginning and will keep you reading until the moment you finish the novel. While the book reminds us to some already well-established series such as The Twenty Palaces Society or The Dresden Files it stills offering something new to the genre that makes this novel something exotic. The mystery that surrounds the crime, which will make us suspicious of every character we meet, is alluring enough for the novel and the inclusion of the Echoes don’t feel out of place and are explained through science, making sense by the rules we have been given by the author about the world of the novel.

Therin Knite shows an elegant writing style which adds up as a quality to the novel. The author doesn’t fall into the irritating habit of explaining everything as soon as it happens, preferring instead to unravel it step by step, helping this way to create a mysterious atmosphere through the novel. Her way of giving information to the reader helps to underline its importance, such as the moment when we discover that Aden’s mother was murdered when he was six. Ms Knite could have told us that from the very beginning, but instead she waits to the right moment, once we have gotten to know her main character and using a digital picture’s frame to approach to the right moment. This example of a built-up, which happens more times through the novel, is an impressive example of timing which makes Echoes an enjoyable experience.

The only downside of this otherwise great book is that sometimes the characters’ reactions or the lack of them when it comes to some events or words of other characters take away some of the depths that they show through the rest of the novel. For example, there is a chapter in the book where Dynara criticizes Adem for trying to figure out his mother’s murder through logic and data instead of going out there and finding the murderer by himself, when that happens we are not given a point of view of the characters, we don’t know how he feels and he acts as if Dynara never mentions his mother, but her murder is what drives the character through the story.

Echoes has been a delightful reading from the very beginning to the last page, it is easy to read, well-built and interesting. I shall await Epitaph and any other book that the author writes in the future with great expectation. I raise my glass for a long and fruitful career, Ms. Knite, may you give us many good novels.

FINAL SCORE: 8/10

¡Hasta la próxima!

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