Look, this book isn’t super original. There are a lot of things that will feel very reminiscent to other series. Heck, even the plot isn’t that hard to sort out after the first few pages. Yet, I still enjoyed this book. It was really the journey that made it for me.
The story follows a girl named Echo. Unlike pretty much unlike every other character in this book she’s a human. She was taken in by a well respected member of the Avicen, the bird like people. Though she was raised with them and was even dating one, she was never fully accepted by the race other than those closest to her. It is her drive to be accepted and do things for the people she considers family that gets her into trouble. When she ends up in the crossfire between the Avicen and the Drakharn, the dragon like people, in the search for the firebird, things become a big mess.
If that sounds similar, warring factions and someone who gets caught in between, it’s because it is. The premise isn’t unique. If you’re okay with that then move on.
Where this novel works is the characters and the journey. You follow a number of characters of different races which allows you different perspectives. Soon you find yourself with some of those characters working together and seeing their personalities bust. Each character felt different. Some fell into some stereotypical character types, but they were upended just enough to remain interesting. It is really the characters that make it shine. Since there are a number of POVs you don’t get a lot of time to see real progression with most of the characters, but you do get hints of changes and solid introductions to these characters.
As I mentioned before, it is the journey that this book is about. Obviously this lies largely on the characters. If you don’t like them, this book won’t work for you. However, if you found them to be compelling with interesting personalities then the journey is what will make this book. The plot twists in ways that you can see coming, but it’s how the characters interact with that changing plot that makes it entertaining.
When the big twist reveal finally comes to pass it’s hard not to realize what it was going to be. I’m a bit dense when it comes to picking up clues about plot twists if they are well done. Yet, in this book the twist was hitting you over the head from the very beginning. Heck, you know what the twist is going to be before they even talk about it. Yes, the twist is that heavy handidly seeded. Yet the way the twist played out and how the characters interacted with the twist that ended up making it worth it.
So the big thing that I came away from this book was that it didn’t feel fresh or unique. Yet, it felt enjoyable. Enough so that I want to see what happens next for the characters. Sure, I’ll probably be able to see how their arcs will progress, yet, I still want to go on the journey simply because it was pleasant. Seriously, pleasant.
That means if you’re the kind of person who hates when a story feels familiar to another, then don’t bother with this one. If similarities drive you up a wall and is all that you can focus on stay away. If you don’t like if characters are super snarky, then Echo is a protagonist that you won’t like because girl takes snark to a new level and pairs it with nerdy pleasure. If none of those things turn you away, then you’ll probably enjoy this, even if you don’t love it.