By Joanna Ruth Meyer
The first quarter of Echo North was wonderful and had me captivated as everything was setting up, but the rest of the book was up and down for me. I wanted to fall in love with this book, but it turned out to be just an okay read for me.
The story begins with Echo, a young girl who lost her mother at birth and now lives with her father and brother. After attempting to help a wolf in a trap escape, Echo is attacked and her face is permanently scared. She’s treated differently because of her scars and ends up working in her father’s bookshop with little belief in herself. After being reunited with the wolf who attacked her, she agrees to live in his magical house for one year which will spare her father’s life. The wolf intends for her to be the new ‘keeper’ of the house because he’s dying and there is no one to tend to it. Echo wishes to find a way to save his life as she struggles to help keep the house from unbinding, with more rooms disappearing each day.
“Everyone is searching for their true selves. But everyone hides their true selves from each other. Look for the truth. If you find it, you will see through the enchantment.”
I love retellings and did feel the similarities (although subtle) to Beauty and the Beast and East of the Sun and West of the Moon, but the book had some definite uniqueness to it. I can say with certainty that I haven’t read a book with a library of enchanted ‘book mirrors’ in it before, where you enter a mirror and become part of the story within it, visiting all different sorts of book-worlds, all containing different adventures. The idea is unique to me and what I found most interesting in the tale. I also had questions throughout the story with certain parts that were puzzling, but appreciated that everything was nicely wrapped up by the end of the book.