Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Release Date: 2019
4.5/ 5 stars
Synopsis from GoodReads
Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world falls apart after 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 offer: for her to come and live with him for a year. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes.
In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, Echo discovers centuries-old secrets, 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, 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
Why I was interested:
It’s a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon! I’m not as familiar with this fairytale, so I’m interested to see where the author takes it.
I really enjoyed Echo North. The writing was lovely, the world building was phenomenal, and the characters were engaging. I loved how the author took inspiration from different myths and fairytales, such as Cupid and Psyche, Beauty and the Beast, Tam Lin and The Snow Queen; and wove them together to create something new and unique.
What I liked:
- Body positivity: Echo was scarred on her face as a child, and it really affects her self esteem and relationships with others. Over the course of the novel, Echo’s self- esteem and self-worth really grow, and she learns to embrace her body as it is.
- Friendships: I enjoyed watching Echo’s relationships with the white wolf, Mokosh, and Hal grow throughout the story. The developing relationships mirrored Echo’s own personal growth.
- The atmosphere: The writing was beautiful, and I every time I opened the book I was enveloped in this feeling of whimsy and magic and unreality.
- The worldbuilding: The world of Echo North felt very expansive, and the setting was rich and well thought out. My favourite part was the library of mirror-books, which allowed both the reader and the characters to explore multiple realities.
What I disliked:
- That it ended?
Are you a fan of fairytale retellings? Have you read Echo North? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!