Friday, March 6, 2020

Book Review: Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

Title: Echo North
Author: Joanna Ruth Meyer
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
Publisher: Page Street Publishing Co.
Pages: 389

Add to Goodreads

Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world falls apart when her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf—the same creature who attacked her as a child. The wolf presents Echo with an ultimatum: If she lives with him for one year, he will ensure her father makes it home safely. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes.

In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, each room must be sewn together to keep the home from unraveling, and something new and dark and strange lies behind every door. When centuries-old secrets unfold, Echo discovers a magical library full of books-turned-mirrors, and a young man named Hal who is trapped inside of them. As the year ticks by, the rooms begin to disappear, and Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf’s enchantment before her time is up, otherwise Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever.

 Echo North has been on my shelf for awhile but I was always a bit scared to read it because it sounded TOO good. I didn't want all my expectations to be crushed because this book sounded seriously up my alley. I finally decided to give it a try and I am happy to say it fully lived up to everything expectation I had!

My only familiarity with East of the Sun and West of the Moon before Echo North was my brief interaction with East, a book I did not have much luck with. Because of that, the beginning of this book felt somewhat familiar but I was very excited to see where this author would take the story and how she would bring her own magic to it.

As a child, Echo had a dangerous brush with a wolf who left her scarred. Because of her appearance, the entire town treats her badly. Echo's father sets off for the city, leaving her with a new, horrible stepmother who hates her more than anyone. When Echo decides to find him, she instead comes face to face with the wolf again and ends up joining him in his enchanted house, where she'll live with him for one full year.

Yes, there are rules, but while she's stuck in his ever-changing house, she also has access to a magical library full of storybook mirrors. In the mirrors she meets others who can also walk their pages and they help Echo in her quest to understand the wolf and his strange house.

I'm not sure what I can say about this book other than I loved it! I loved Echo, even though her curiosity frustrated me. I loved the wolf even though I hated how evasive he had to be and I loved Hal! The mirrors were so unique and magical and the house itself was essentially another character in itself. I loved the magic of Echo's world and was constantly hoping to learn more. I sincerely hope the author writes more stories set in this world!

This retelling has everything I look for: fantasy, romance, mystery, and magic. Even though I had a good idea of how it would end, I loved every minute of the journey and can definitely see Echo North being a book I read more than once. If you're a lover of retellings, please don't wait another day before you give this a read!