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Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review: Echo 8


Three lives. Two worlds. One chance to save them all.

As a parapsychologist working for Seattle Psi, Tess has devoted her life to studying psychic phenomena. But when doppelgangers begin appearing from a parallel world that's been struck by an asteroid, nothing in her training will help her survive what's to come.

After dislocating to Seattle Psi from the other Earth, Jake is confined by a special task force for study. But when he drains life energy from Tess, almost killing her, it causes a ripple effect across two worlds — and creates a bond neither of them expected.

Ross is an FBI agent ordered to protect Tess while she studies Jake. His assignment is not random — he and Tess have a history, and a connection the Bureau hopes to use to its own advantage. By the time Ross realizes his mission could be compromised, it's already too late — he'll have to choose between his love for Tess and his duty to protect the people of his own Earth.


This one is more like GHOST PLANET then THE OPHELIA PROPHECY, even down to the paranormal component. Largely I spent the book confused by anything not directly related to the character emotional relationships with each other.

Basically this was much "harder" scifi then I'm accustomed to in my scifi romances. Words, theories and suppositions were all tossed around as if I should understand the underlying concepts.  I love parallel world stories.  Just look at my love for A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray or UNRAVELING by Elizabeth Norris.  But what I love more is some sort of understanding of how the parallel world works.

So let's instead focus on what I did enjoy. Tess is interesting in that she's obviously smart; we're told as much, but she proves it more than once in her analysis and comprehension.  She catches on quickly to what the circumstances surrounding Jake represent.  She's also a victim of her own brilliance in terms of her and Ross' relationship.  Social cues mean little to her so she takes everything on face value.  Ross made a snarky comment about something she believes in, so obviously he thinks everything she does is ridiculous.  Even as she recognizes the skepticism others have she holds him higher.

Ross meanwhile is very much "Listen to what I mean, not what I say" sort of person.  More than Tess we "hear" his regrets in how he has handled their first meeting and how they get along thereafter.  But he doesn't understand what she's looking into and he doesn't know how to get around that.  So he waits and he pokes about trying to find a way to get her to understand.

Jake is antagonistic, somewhat petty and wholly over his head.  I never quite understood Tess' attraction to him, and I'd argue she never felt romantically towards him.  Still we can thank him for Tess and Ross, since Ross' jealousy towards him prompt him to act.The change in their relationship is a shock, since it just sort of happens, but from his point of view made sense. 

Fisher does address the inconsistency on Tess' end, as to that point she spent much of the book worried over what her research could mean and how Ross kept getting in the way (or rather the group Ross represented), then any lust she felt towards him.  Given that their first time together is rather...extraordinary and opens up a host of new things for Tess to investigate, I was rather glad there wasn't a whole lot of time spent on regret.

The "Echoes" like Jake represent a link that, as anyone who is versed in any sort of paranormal books that involve the government can attest to, offers quite the juicy prize.  "You can travel across dimensions you say hmmm?" is the gist of at least one government official's commentary as he twirls his imaginary mustache.  Rule number one in dimension hopping never trust the government. Yours or the one on the other side.

In the end this wasn't enough for me to whole-heartedly enjoy.  The mechanics of it didn't interest me as much as they should have and Jake's grating presence wore thin on my patience.