Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
‘I may no longer hear the screaming demons of my past, but they do indeed to continue to scream. It’s a reminder that you’re never truly free.’
Well, well, well E.k. Blair! Behind that happy go lucky giggly face we see on Social Media lurks a very sinister, disturbing and scary alter ego, with a very macabre imagination! Just how your brain works is a bit of a concern because this was one MESSED UP story and Elizabeth is one MESSED UP character!! And we mean that in a very complimentary way!
‘Only ash and embers remain. Echoes and shadows. Darkness and death.’
First off, due to the nature of how Bang concluded, we are going to be purposely vague in our review of Echo. We do not want to spoil any part this book for readers and for that reason we will not delve into the story nor mention any characters names other than Elizabeth.
How did we feel about Echo? Hmmm we really don’t know to be honest. We couldn’t stop reading it we know that much. We were constantly astonished at the talent of this author, of that there is no doubt! We were consumed with conspiracy theories all the way through, and consistently guessing how or what was going on, only to have the author throw another curve ball at us. It was akin to reading whilst performing the Boston Two Step. One step forward, two steps back. For every answer there was a question. However the gripping and addictive emotions we felt in Bang didn’t quite surface as significantly in Echo.
Now that isn’t to say Echo was a let-down, because it certainly wasn’t yet neither was it what we would call an ‘enjoyable read.’ In fact, this installment could, at times, be downright disturbing and exhausting.
“Everybody has secrets, everybody lies, and everybody cheats their way through life for self-fulfilment. We wouldn’t do it if we felt sorry; we do it because it’s our human right to seek happiness.”
We talked for hours after we finished Echo and both of us said there were certain scenes we wish we could ‘unread’ as we found them somewhat grotesque and uncomfortable. There were times we felt sick to our stomachs. Not emotionally sick as we did in Bang, but more uncomfortably sick. As in; certain scenes were just too much.
We’re not squeamish or timid readers by any stretch of the imagination but we found some of the actions of Elizabeth were added more for the sake of a shock factor than emotional depth. We grasped Elizabeth’s fragility and desperation through her internal dialogue, and felt we didn’t need the physical scenes to enforce that. In fact, those scenes had an opposite effect whereby the sympathy we felt for Elizabeth in Bang, somewhat diminished in Echo. We felt her character too extreme, too forced and the occasional softness which accompanied her in Bang was absent in Echo.
‘Sometimes, for some people, the fairytale only exists in death.’
In Bang, the horrifying nature of the events and the story left us emotionally wrought, the actions in Echo left us feeling drained, just drained. It was exhausting being inside Elizabeth’s head and we found it hard going at times. In Bang, the extreme nature of the story and events felt organic and natural in some respect, whereas, in Echo they didn’t on the whole.
‘My body is used up and polluted. It always was and always will be.’
The second part of this story had us riveted and sitting on tenterhooks. It was then we were blown away! As the story progressed and worked towards its crescendo we were left worn out and teetering on a knife edge! All is not as it seems, people are not who they appear to be, lies, treachery, deceit and duplicity abound in this second installment that left our mouths agape and our stomachs in knots! We know one thing for sure…We NEED HUSH and we NEED IT NOW!!! Bloody hell, we felt as if we had run a marathon, only to end up back at the beginning and needing to put ourselves through it all over again in Hush!
**Reviewed from an ARC copy provided by the author, with thanks**
THE BLACK LOTUS SERIES by E.k. BLAIR