Among the Echoes by Aly Martinez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One of the best books I've read in 2014.
"I'm not some damsel in destress you can swoop off her feet and save, Prince Charming. I'm lost in a world so dark you wouldn't be able to to find the light of day again."
I have spent the last couple of days trying to figure out how much...or how little...to say about this story. I am a firm believer in diving into certain books completely blind, and letting it take you on a journey that you're not prepared for. This is definitely one of those books. The less said about the plot, the better. It makes for a much more captivating reading experience IMO.
But, this is a book review after all, so I will do my best to convey how much i enjoyed the book without giving too much away.
This book had me at the first sentence.
I am always up for a dark and twisty tale....and judging by the very first chapter of this book, I was in for a wild ride indeed.
This has to be said: The first chapter is dark. About as dark as it gets.
It may stir up some rather intense emotions, and can be hard to read. But, keep in mind that darkness is important to understanding the actions and RE-actions of the characters throughout the book. One character in particular...and the heart and soul of the book (for me at least) . If you can hold on through the first chapter....the rest of the story is SO worth it.
In a nutshell, the story centers around Riley, a woman who has basically lost everything and been forced into the Witness Protection Program. Initially, she is a terrified young woman, completely dependent on the man who has taken it upon himself to protect her. The emotional journey that she takes, and how much she grows as a character is one of my favorite aspects of the book.
There are three main characters, and they all equally important to the overall success of the story. I know that I am not alone in my preference for the 'Bodyguard' character over the actual leading man (Slate is a good guy, but my heart belonged to "Adam" from the beginning. I'm such a sucker for a tortured soul), but the dynamic between all three was perfectly executed by Martinez. It didn't feel forced in any way - and considering the circumstances the characters find themselves in? It would have been easy for that part of the story to feel a bit over the top or contrived. But, it all worked so beautifully. I honestly can't say enough about her skills as a writer.
All of Martinez's books are considered standalones...but this is loosely tied in with her previous two books Changing Course and Stolen Course. As well as her latest release Broken Course.
This was hands down one of the best books I have read in 2014, and i can't wait to see what this author is going to do next,
"Fuck your fairytale. I just want you. I'll make my own God damn happily ever after. But you're the one who is mistaken. You'll be at the end of that story, beautiful. You either come willingly or you force me into the dark after you, It doesn't matter to me, because either way I'll find you."