Title: Echo North
Series: Echo North (Book 1)
Author: Joanna Ruth Meyer
Genre: YA Fantasy
Overview: That hurt.
That’s really the best way I can describe it. This retelling of “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” is packed with reams of emotions, making me want to scream, cry, and rejoice by turns. It’s such an achingly raw story about the desperation of hope.
Characters: Echo is the first-person POV character, and she’s a fantastic narrator. It’s easy to see the story through her eyes, and she’s a good, relatable character. She’s one in a growing line of heroines who actually don’t annoy me!
The Wolf is so sad. He bears horrible griefs. Really, the book is about him just as much as—if not more than—Echo. I really enjoyed their dynamic.
Content: A couple kisses a few times, with mild descriptions. Echo lets the Wolf sleep in her bed, but it’s not sexual at all. He’s freezing and her bed is plenty big, so it’s just a logical conclusion.
There’s some violence, with ample amounts of blood being spilled. The climax is rather intense, with two characters undergoing magical equivalents of torture.
And speaking of, magic plays a key role in the story. It’s drawn from the nature of the world instead of in spoken spells and incantations.
A swear word is used a couple of times near the beginning.
Writing: Meyer’s writing is beautiful. She excellently weaves together several fairytales to create this story, resulting in a heart-wrenching tale uniquely her own. Splitting the book into two parts like she did was clever and works so well! I guessed one of the plot twists, but the really big one definitely caught me by surprise. It’s so well done!
Summary: This book made me feel more than any book has done in a long time. I ached over it and was worried more than once about what would happen to my new friends by the end. It’s a magical tale whispering of the strength of hope and loyalty, pointing to the power of second chances. Readers aged 14+ will find much to enjoy here!